The new Hilaritas Press podcast, released today, features guest Eric Wagner discussing a key influence on Robert Anton Wklson: The poet Ezra Pound. Mike Gathers returns as host. As usual, the official site for the podcast has links for more information. This is a topic Eric knows a lot about, and I expect to be listening soon.
Thank you for sharing this. I always enjoy speaking with Mr. Gathers.
I enjoyed this conversation so much. I’ve long wanted to get into Pound based on RAW’s appreciation of him, but, like Mike, find his writing incomprehensible. How does someone get to the point where they CAN understand him? I’m thinking some folks (like Eric) are just a tad more advanced in their reading comprehension skills, honestly. I don’t feel like effort and focus are going to get me there. And I don’t even mind. Part of why I enjoy RAW and his fan community so much is that I live for being exposed to other radical thinkers even if I’ll never read them firsthand. Joyce is another who comes to mind. I also just plain love hearing savants like Eric, Oz, et al rap about esoteric RAW material.
That said, I would love to try a biography of Pound. His life and thinking fascinates me. Does anyone know the Makin book Eric mentioned is a bio? I couldn’t tell from the Amazon description…
Very much looking fwd to this!
Excellent conversation, Eric! I hope I know as much about somebody as you do about Pound someday. (Or Oz does about Deleuze. Or Tom on Shea.) When Bobby, Tom and I talked about Pound during Confluence we were all approaching as outsiders and brought up the idea that Pound might cease to be taught in the future. Mostly because of his political and personal prejudices (which you put in excellent context) but also because of his obscurity. You make an great argument for delving into that murk. Saint of Hell is the best title I've ever heard. The fool sees not the tree that the wise man sees and all that shit.
Thanks for the kind words. I loved this book by Peter Makin: Pound's Cantos, https://www.amazon.com/Pounds-Cantos-Professor-Peter-Makin/dp/0801843715/ref=sr_1_6?qid=1679873384&refinements=p_27%3APeter+Makin&s=books&sr=1-6&text=Peter+Makin&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.006c50ae-5d4c-4777-9bc0-4513d670b6bc . The Amazon search function had a bit of trouble finding this wonderful book.
In terms of understanding Pound (or any other difficult author), I recommend faking it until you make it. Just keep reading the author and reading about the author, and talk with people about the works. Eventually it will likely make more sense. Joyce recommended reading Finnegans Wake as music, not worrying about understanding the meaning. I recommend reading Pound that way as well. Also, I found his prose easier to understand than his poetry. And I recommend reading his poetry (and poetry in general) aloud.
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