Pavannes and Divisions

Pavannes and Divisions

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by Ezra Pound

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Scanned, proofed and corrected from the original hardcover edition for enjoyable reading. (Worth every penny spent!)


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I have said that the arts give us our best data for determining what sort of creature man is. As our treatment of man must be determined by our knowledge or conception of what man is, the arts provide data


Scanned, proofed and corrected from the original hardcover edition for enjoyable reading. (Worth every penny spent!)


An excerpt:

I have said that the arts give us our best data for determining what sort of creature man is. As our treatment of man must be determined by our knowledge or conception of what man is, the arts provide data for ethics.

These data are sound and the data of generalising psychologists and social theoricians are usually unsound, for the serious artist is scientific and the theorist is usually empiric in the mediaeval fashion. That is to say a good biologist will make a reasonable number of observations of any given phenomenon before he draws a conclusion, thus we read such phrases as "over 1100 cultures from the secretions of the respiratory tracts of over 500 patients and 30 nurses and attendants." The results of each observation must be precise and no single observation must in itself be taken as determining a general law, although, after experiment, certain observations may be held as typical or normal. The serious artist is scientific in that he presents the image of his desire, of his hate, of his indifference as precisely that, as precisely the image of his own desire, hate or indifference. The more precise his record the more lasting and unassailable his work of art.

The theorist, and we see this constantly illustrated by the English writers on sex, the theorist constantly proceeds as if his own case, his own limits and predilections were the typical case, or even as if it were the universal. He is constantly urging someone else to behave as he, the theorist, would like to behave. Now art never asks anybody to do anything, or to think anything, or to be anything. It exists as the trees exist, you can admire, you can sit in the shade, you can pick bananas, you can cut firewood, you can do as you jolly well please.

Also you are a fool to seek the kind of art you don't like. You are a fool to read classics because you are told to and not because you like them. You are a fool to aspire to good taste if you haven't naturally got it. If there is one place where it is idiotic to sham that place is before a work of art. Also you are a fool not to have an open mind, not to be eager to enjoy something you might enjoy but don't know how to. But it is not the artist's place to ask you to learn, or to defend his particular works of art, or to insist on your reading his books. Any artist who wants your particular admiration is, by just so much, the less artist.

The desire to stand on the stage, the desire of plaudits has nothing to do with serious art. The serious artist may like to stand on the stage, he may, apart from his art, be any kind of imbecile you like, but the two things are not connected, at least they are not concentric. Lots of people who don't even pretend to be artists have the same desire to be slobbered over, by people with less brains than they have.

The serious artist is usually, or is often as far from the ægrum vulgus as is the serious scientist. Nobody has heard of the abstract mathematicians who worked out the determinants that Marconi made use of in his computations for the wireless telegraph. The public, the public so dear to the journalistic heart, is far more concerned with the shareholders in the Marconi company.

The permanent property, the property given to the race at large is precisely these data of the serious scientist and of the serious artist; of the scientist as touching the relations of abstract numbers, of molecular energy, of the composition of matter, etc.; of the serious artist, as touching the nature of man, of individuals.



Jodindranath Mawhwor's Occupation
An Anachronism at Chinon
Aux Etuves De Wiesbaden
L'Homme Moyen Sensuel
Stark Realism

I. Alexander and Phriné
II. Dido and Stratonice
III. Anacreon and Aristotle
IV. Homer and Æsop
V. Socrates and Montaigne
VI. Charles V and Erasmus
VII. Agnes Sorel—Roxelane
VIII. Brutus and Faustina
IX . Helen And Fulvia
X. Seneca and Scarron
XI. Strato, Raphael Of Urbino
XII. Bombastes Paracelsus and Molière

A Retrospect:
A Few Don'ts
Rhythm and Rhyme
Re Vers Libre
Only Emotion Endures
Remy de Gourmont
Mr. Hueffer and the Prose Tradition in Verse
The Rev. G. Crabbe, LL. B.
Arnold Dolmetsch
Vers Libre and Dolmetsch
"Dubliners" and Mr. James Joyce
Troubadours: Their Sorts and Conditions
Notes on Elizabethan Classicists

Appendix I. The Serious Artist
Appendix II. Extract from a Letter to "The Dial"
Appendix III. Ezra Pound Files Exceptions
Appendix IV. Vortographs
Appendix V. Arnold Dolmetsch

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Meet the Author

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an American expatriate poet and critic, and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry. He became known for his role in developing Imagism, which in reaction to the Victorian and Georgian poets favored tight language, unadorned imagery, and a strong correspondence between the verbal and musical qualities of the verse and the mood it expressed. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos, which consumed his middle and late career, and was published between 1917 and 1969.

Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, Pound helped to discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost, and Ernest Hemingway. It was Pound who was responsible for the publication in 1915 of Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and for the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote in 1925: "He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. He loans them money. ... He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying ... he advances them hospital expenses and dissuades them from suicide."

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Pavannes and Divisions (Barnes & Noble Digital Library) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book showcases some of Pound's best early writing. Whether it be imagined dialogues between historical figures or insightful glimpses into important literary issues, this book shows the clean, clear insight into literary issues and straight-forward prose style that made him such a force in the world of letters before his unfortunate descent into mental illness. The book also includes a brief appendix with a few of Pound's more obscure translations. Many readers only know Pound in relation to his arrest for treason following WWII and wonder why so much attention was even paid to him. This book (along with Personae and Collected Literary Essays) answers that question. A must!