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Poundemonium
     

Poundemonium

by Julian Rios, Richard A Francis (Translator)
 

Just as Ezra Pound wrote an "Homage to Sextus Propertius" to pay tribute to an important influence, Julián Ríos offers in his novel an "Homage to Ezra Pound" (as the original Spanish edition is subtitled). On November 1, 1972, news of Pound's death in Venice reaches three Spanish bohemians in London, passionate admirers of "il miglior fabbro" ("the better

Overview

Just as Ezra Pound wrote an "Homage to Sextus Propertius" to pay tribute to an important influence, Julián Ríos offers in his novel an "Homage to Ezra Pound" (as the original Spanish edition is subtitled). On November 1, 1972, news of Pound's death in Venice reaches three Spanish bohemians in London, passionate admirers of "il miglior fabbro" ("the better craftsman," as Eliot called him), who decide to honor Pound's memory by visiting various sites in London associated with him.

Filled with allusions to Pound's life and works and written in a style similar to Finnegans Wake, Ríos's word-mad novel features the same characters from his first novel "Larva" the poet Milalias, his girlfriend Babelle, and their mentor X. Reis, each of whom writes part of the novel: Milalias writes the Joycean main text, Reis (as Herr Narrator) adds commentary on facing pages, and Babelle furnishes maps and photos. Together, they compile the "Parting Shots" at the end, dazzling short stories that expand upon incidents in the main text. Sound confusing? No more so than "The Cantos," and Ríos is much funnier.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[W]hat Rios creates is a Baedeker of modernism."-- PW

Dalkey Archive Press

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his more lucid moments, Ezra Pound would have appreciated this combination of puzzle and pastiche. Ros's second part in the projected quintet that started with the massive Larva: Midsummer Night's Babel, owes its style to all of the early Modernists, especially Joyce. But the content is a treasure hunt of Poundiana. The plot follows three (or more) Spaniards named Babelle, Milalias and X. Reis (and perhaps Rimbaudalaire and Reynaldo) as they make a memorial pilgrimage to London after hearing of Pound's death in 1972. That is, at least, the theory. In fact, the main narrative combines puns and portmanteau words to create a running babble of Pound-itry. This requires some concentration and even more when you add in the explanatory notes on each facing page-which lead, in certain cases, to a series of "Parting Shots" at the end of the book and then to maps of London as well. Pound, who famously dismissed the Imagism imported by Amy Lowell to the U.S. as "Amy-gisme," is repaid by Ros, who portrays the poet as "holding forth with his pounderings and impounderables and poundemonium." The title character from Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley appears in Poundemonium as a character accompanied by Valery Larbaud's not dissimilar creation, A.O. Barnabooth. References to Pound's titles are re-combined, as in "`Fernando Pessoa: The Four Personae,' said the Newspaper ad. And how many for you Ezra Personae. Personne?" "Li Po", Pound's pronouncement to MAKE IT NEW, Eliot's dedication to Il Miglior Fabbro are all here. So are Pound's Stations of the Cross (London edition), through Kensington and Deptford. But most of all, what Ros creates is a Baedeker of modernism. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Poundemonium, the second volume in Ros's projected five-novel cycle (following Larva, LJ 2/1/91), was originally published in Spain as Poundemonium: Homenaje a Ezra Pound as a testament to one of the founders of modernism. The book brings back the characters from Larva-the poet Milalias; his girlfriend, Babette; and their mentor, X, all Spaniards living in London-who visit various spots associated with Pound when they receive word of his death. The first part contains comic imitations of various works by Pound, e.g., "Apparition, a paper white face in the dark" (recalling "In a Station at the Metro") and "And then went down the ship of fools and floozies" (recalling the "Seafarer" and the "ABZero of Reading"). Narrated by Milalias, these clever pieces work together as a poem of their own, aided by commentary from X on the facing page. The second part is a series of short, pointed pieces on Pound that amplify events in Part 1. The book is lots of fun and beautifully translated; recommended where experimental fiction is popular.-Michael Boylan, Marymount Univ., Bethesda, Md.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564781383
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
12/15/1996
Series:
Spanish Literature Series
Pages:
147
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.42(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Julián Ríos is Spain's foremost post- modernist writer. After co-authoring two books with Octavio Paz, Ríos went on to write numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including "Larva, Poundemonium, Loves That Bind", and "Monstruary", all of which have been published in English translation. He lives in Paris.

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