Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Poundian Indirection, Archambaldian Indiscretion

Alex Davis (whom I haven't seen since the MSA conference in Philadelphia in '99 — too long!) writes in from Cork about the war poetry conversation, with this learned note on the influence of Pound on David Jones:

I'm enjoying the Blog-exchange with Mark Scroggins. To chip in my penny's-worth, there is in fact no direct influence of Pound on In Parenthesis. As late as the composition of The Wedding Poems and the beginnings of The Anathemata, Jones had still to read The Cantos. The Possum, yes, of course-The Waste Land is a clear precursor to In Parenthesis, but not Pound.

So it seems that any Poundian influence on this stage of Jones' work comes indirectly, via the savage blue-penciling Pound gave to Eliot's Waste Land. I'm beginning to think that, despite some reservations about it in erudite places, I may have to read Keith Alldritt’s biography of Jones, David Jones: Writer and Artist, which has been glaring down at me, unread and resentful, from my bookshelf for close to two years. This may, at least, save me from further indiscrete remarks.