1 LA LIVRE AN HOMAGE TO EZRA POUND2 3 LA LIVRE AN HOMAGE TO EZRA POUND Edited by Patrizio Peterlini with essays of Augus...
AN HOMAGE TO EZRA POUND
AN HOMAGE TO EZRA POUND
Edited by Patrizio Peterlini with essays of Augusto De Campos Wieland Schmied Eugen Gomringer Steve MacCaffery
An Homage to Ezra Pound
This homage to Ezra Pound was initiated in 1987 on the basis of a project suggested to Mary de Rachewiltz, the poet’s daughter, by Francesco Conz, and it ranks as the most important publication yet to be produced by Archivio Conz. In the course of the last twenty years, it has seen the participation of fifty-eight artists of international repute from all the principal movements of experimental avantgarde poetry, and each of them has rendered an act of homage to Ezra Pound, in the form of a series of original works, from three to fifteen in number. Each of these works has been executed on a sheet of cardboard of the standard size of 24.5 by 35cm, and each of the series to which they belong assumes the form of one or a number of artists’ books. The project began with the organization of the first of what were finally to amount to seven workshops at Brunnenburg Castle—the home of the de Rachewiltz family—where Pound, starting in 1958, spent much of the final part of his life. These workshops now present themselves as veritable historical events that permitted many of the twentieth century’s most important experimental poets to work together in rooms once inhabited by Pound himself, and all on a single theme. To mention but a few, we recall the workshop of 1989, in which the concrete poets took part: Ilse Garnier, Emmett Williams, Eugen Gomringer, Gerhard Rühm and Heinz Gappmayr. Or, again, there was the workshop of 1991, which hosted three of the members of Brazil’s Noigandres group: Augusto and Haroldo De Campos, and Decio Pignatari. After the notion of further workshops was abandoned in 1993, the project continued to develop by way of invitations extended by Francesco Conz to individual authors whom he felt should be involved in it. This tactic made it possible to avail the project of contributions from poets whom otherwise it would have been difficult to gather together into workshops, as in the case, for example, of the poets from Japan. The original plan for a series of workshops was curtailed for financial reasons, but remains nonetheless the motive force of the whole initiative. The “La Livre” workshops, indeed, bear witness to of one of the fundamental characteristics of Archive Conz. These workshops developed and rendered explicit a number of the subterranean links that have always guided the choices which Francesco Conz has made for the construction of his collection, and which give it a unity and self-consistency that goes well beyond the principle, no matter how important, of “inter-media.” They imply, supply or point in the
direction of inter-relationships among nearly all the movements of which Archive Conz has collected the works. They testify as well to that desire for constant, deeply felt, and always productive dialog which has made Francesco Conz an impresario of encounters and events, and a true and proper catalyst that can trigger and solidify relationships between the many different movements that constitute the avantgarde. We discover the Archive’s most conspicuous characteristic—and see it clearly to be embodied in the “La Livre” project—when we note that Francesco Conz finds less satisfaction in collecting works of art, than in making them possible. Ezra Pound stands, quite properly, at the center of this project. His mark on literature throughout the world includes the mark he left on the development of experimental poetry. One remembers in particular that his “Cantos” were among the very first texts in the western world to effect a rendezvous between poetry and the power of the ideogram. “La Livre,” however, proceeds to a more detailed reconnaissance of Pound’s influence, both direct and indirect, on the avantgardes of the second half of the twentieth century, and as an act of homage the project has enjoyed the spontaneous and grateful adhesion of artists from the widest variety of tendencies and backgrounds, in stark and creative contrast to the iniquitous treatment the poet received in the wake of the stance he took in opposition to the United States’ participation in the Second World War. There are absences from the list of the poets included in the project, for various fortuitous reasons, but it nonetheless achieves a scope that reflects the intentions with which it was first conceived. Archive Conz is proud to have captained an experience that has seen the participation of so many creative minds. In alphabetical order: Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Fernando Aguiar, Alain Arias-Misson, Julien Blaine, Jean-François Bory, Dmitry Bulatov, Ugo Carrega, Henri Chopin, Costis, Augusto De Campos, Haroldo De Campos, Klaus Peter Dencker, Jean Dupuy, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bartolomé Ferrando, Giovanni Fontana, John Furnival, Heinz Gappmayr, Ilse Garnier, Pierre Garnier, John Giorno, Eugen Gomringer, Bohumila Grögerová, Kalus Groh Bernard Hedsieck, Dick Higgins, Josef Hiršal, Motoyuki Ito, Richard Kostelanetz, Robert Lax, Arrigo Lora Totino, Jackson Mac Low, Stelio Maria Martini, Eugenio Miccini, Enzo Minarelli, Franz Mon, Shutaro Mukai, Rea Nikonova, Ladislav Novak, Anna Oberto, Martino Oberto, Clemente Padin, Decio Pignatari, Lamberto Pignotti, Ben Porter, Jerome Rothemberg, Gerhard Rühm, Sarenco, Konrad Schäuffelen, Roland Seuphour, Jacques Spacagna, Vagn Steen, Shoachiro Takahashi, Luigi Tola, Karel Trinkewitz, Rodolfo Vitone, Wolf Wezel, Emmett Williams. Patrizio Peterlini Verona, February 2008
OL’ EZ IN BRAZIL
EPitaph Now you see no less VenEZia sul mare Now Venice you are Ol’ EZ A. de .C.
My generation of poets in Brazil is largely indebted to Ezra Pound, and for several reasons: not only for the important achievements of his poetical work in which the monument of The Cantos stands as the magnum opus, but also for the lessons of his literary practice. We learned from Pound his love of literature, his demand of rigor and competence from “the serious artist” (“I believe in technique as the text of a man’s sincerity”) and his indefatigable disposition toward renewal — MAKE IT NEW, DAY BY DAY MAKE IT NEW. A renewal this poet was able to extend back to the past, without any kind of prejudice, to see with “new subtlety of eyes” the Greek and Latin classics, the ancient poetry of Egypt and China, the Noh Plays of Japan, or the medieval troubadours, the anonymous Spanish creation of “El Cid”, and the Portuguese epics of Camões in the Renaissance. From him we also learned an openness toward all arts, one which prompted him to study with Brancusi and to defend the work of the young sculptor Gaudier-Brzeska, to experiment with abstract film on the “vortoscope”, to compose the music of his operas Villon and Cavalcanti, and to associate with George Antheil, the author of the polemical Ballet Mécanique, and to organize the famous Rapallo concerts, where the work of Vivaldi was re-evaluated in the thirties. From Pound, the critic, we learned “precise definitions”, his emphasis on “invention”, and his pragmatic method of looking at the texts — what he called the “ideogrammic
method” — “careful first-hand examination of the matter”. A method that permitted him to create what Eliot defined as “the least dispensable body of critical writing in our times” — the unorthodox and still very new approaches to literature of ABC of Reading and Literary Essays. We learned too another new way of illuminating literary work: criticism via translation. Pound rehabilitated translation, making it an art-process equivalent to his own original poems. So, he was “the inventor of Chinese poetry for our time”, to quote Eliot again, and at the same time he invented or re-invented the poetry of Propertius and the songs of the Provençal troubadours. He opened new paths for poetry with the advanced experiments of his Cantos, especially through the ideogrammic structure of this long poem, which in his boldest moments — as in the Pisan Cantos — appears as a symphony of phrases in freedom or “a diluvium of haiku”, in the words of Eugenio Montale, or as I would like to put it, as a movable musical mosaic. Though involved in a practice that implied abandoning the construction of long poems, Brazilian concrete poets profited from the “ideogrammic principle”, radicalizing it, as a way of surpassing the discursiveness and the linearity of verse syntax — and also from Pound’s inclination to turn away from abstractions toward “the definite and concrete”. As a consequence of the “Ezuversity’s teaching”, we established new practices of translation art in Brazil, rendering in our language, in accurate re-creations or “transcreations” (a term of Haroldo de Campos’) the poetry of Arnaut Daniel, Donne, Dante, among other classics, as well as such moderns as Mallarmé, Joyce, Cummings, the Russian Khlebnikov and Mayakovsky, and many others. Also stimulated by his re-evaluations of the past, Brazilian Concretism re-discovered a forgotten poet, Joaquim de Sousândrade (1832-1902), who is now considered one of the forerunners of modern poetry for the elliptic stanzas and the collage techniques of his “O Inferno de Wall Street” (The Wall Street Inferno). We even learned with Pound’s errors, which should be considered with benevolence, against a background of generosity — the unselfishness of a man who helped the talents of Joyce, Eliot, Hemingway, Marianne Moore, Cummings and so many others to flourish. The major poet that Hemingway described in the twenties dedicating one fifth of his working-time to his own poetry and the rest assisting his fellow-poets and artists. Against this backdrop, his regrettable adhesion to Italian Fascism — for which he paid with 12 years of confinement in St. Elizabeths Hospital — should be seen as an error of good-will, motivated by his sincere hate of predatory capitalism and by his hope to see implanted the monetary and economical reforms in which he believed. Pound’s tragic political mistake should be balanced with the no less tragic fault of many leftwing writers and poets who, like Pablo Neruda, wrote laudatory odes to Stalin and with the reproachable omission of those who kept silent about the dictator’s murders, and were never punished for their connivance. Mayakovsky’s suicide in the dawn of the Stalin Era keeps hovering as a sad omen over the frustrated attempts of political engagement of the most sincere artists of our time. On the other hand, it is true that Pound’s political errors did not affect at all the es-
sence of his poetry, perhaps because, in Michel Butor’s expression, “he was able to catch poetically the phenomenon of the perversion of economy” through the apocalyptic vision of “usury”, Usura, contra naturam, against nature, a theme that seems to revive when we see international bankers deciding about the survival of the indebted nations of the Third World, and demanding interest upon interest while the people of underdeveloped countries are starving. Many years after his death, Pound’s poetry remains alive, and Eliot’s comment in “Isolated Superiority” is still valid: “I cannot think of any one writing verse, in our generation or the next, whose verse (if any good) has not been improved by a study of Pound”. Or Hemingway’s more provocative statement: “A poet of our century who affirms that he was not influenced by Ezra Pound is worth more of our pity than our reproach”. He was — as Charles Olson acknowledged in the rather unpleasant and resentful book, Charles Olson and Ezra Pound - An Encounter at St. Elizabeths (a collection of Olson’s notes, diaries and poems documenting his visits to EP) — an extraordinary EAR OF AN ERA. Augusto De campos
UNDER THE SIGN OF A GREAT POET Ezra Pound and Concrete Poetry
I If an homage to Ezra Pound by more than fifty contemporary poets is presented here under the title La Livre, it may at first glance seem surprising since the contemporary poets assembled – among whom there are more than a few illustrious names - are all more or less denizens of what is referred to as visual poetry, concrete poetry or ‘sound poetry,’ and often dismissed more than appreciated with the (slightly derogatory) name ‘experimental poetry.’ Yet this very appreciation is what has been called for! The genesis of this important work, in whose French title a feminine pronoun is deliberately meant to be estranging, is treated at length elsewhere in this publication. In particular, the meetings at the fountain near Merano Castle played an important role. Castello Fontana in Merano is where Ezra Pound once lived, and where workshops were organized beginning in 1987. Equally important, however, is the role played by the initiator of this project, the artist, photographer and collector Francesco Conz of Verona. Not only did he know the work of all the poets involved, but he also knew most of them personally before the common undertaking was launched. Nor can one forget the part played in this project by Mary de Rachewiltz, the daughter of Ezra Pound and Mistress of Brunnenburg (widow of the Egyptologist Boris de Rachewiltz), who far surpassed the role of highly cultivated hostess. Thus it may initially have been an external impetus that led to this “Homage.” For this very reason it is meaningful to seek a deeper relationship connecting the contemporary authors here to work stamped with such different features by Ezra Pound, who died in Venice in 1973 at the age of 88.
At first glance, Ezra Pound, in fact, has little to do with the contemporary poets united in this collection, for Pound was anything but a “concrete poet.” Furthermore, it would be false to speculate that Ezra Pound would at all have been an aficionado of “concrete poetry.” There are no indications of this whatsoever. On the contrary, the aim of his artistic conception from the beginning led in a different direction, which the following remarks will explore in closer detail. If it still makes sense, nonetheless, that a subsequent generation of poets dedicates a work to him as a tribute, then it may be asked for whom this homage is to have value. The answer seems clear: it is for the coming pioneer of poetry, the innovator and instigator of new things. Think of Pound’s early involvement in the avant-garde circles of London from 1908 to 1920, when he distinguished himself as a catalyst and initiator of various movements, granting to everyone innovative an opportunity in Imagism and Vorticism within the framework of the journal Blast, which he fostered along with Percy Wyndham Lewis. Pound brought fresh air to Late Victorian English lyric poetry, purifying it of its quest for extravagant comparisons, excess ballast and all symbolism. He broke into the London art scene like a whirlwind and the vortex sent heads spinning. For Iris Barry (to whom Pound addressed the letters from which How To Read arose) Pound endured as the memory of “a young American with flaming hair and fluttering robes” (The Ezra Pound Period, London, 1931). Without a doubt Pound was a revolutionary, indeed a revolutionary who wanted to proceed cautiously. By no means did he want to dismiss or even destroy what had been reflected in the arts, in poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture, or music. He was therefore in favor of preserving a part of it, albeit only a small part. If he also often behaved in his personal life like a “bull in a china shop,” and went out of his way to be different, he was in matters of art more of a traditionalist and anything but the proverbial “bull in a china shop.” His motto was: to make it new - and that presupposed the continuation of traditions. He wanted to renew, not make a tabula rasa.
II It’s hard to imagine a more protean young poet than the 23-year-old Ezra Pound, coming from Venice (where he’d published at his own expense his first book of poetry A Lume Spento) and arriving in London in 1908. Immediately he began to make contacts, becoming acquainted with poets, intellectuals, critics, painters, sculptors, and musicians, involving himself in the literary, philosophical, and artistic circles. He was possessed by the idea of helping to inaugurate a kind of renaissance of the arts. From the outset it was Pound’s quest to renew the art of poetry - make it new - to create a pictorial language freed of all symbolistic ballast. The picture invoked with words was to play a central role in the poem. Accentuating this position of the image in the poem, Pound called the first poetic movement he initiated Imagism. The “Imagist Program,” published in the journal Poetry in March 1913, reads: “An image is something that engenders an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant. It is the presentation
of such a “complex” instantaneously which gives that sense of sudden liberation; that sense of freedom from time limits and space limits; that sense of sudden growth, which we experience in the presence of the greatest works of art.” Further we read: “I believe that the proper and perfect symbol is the natural object, that if a man use ‘symbols’ he must so use them that their symbolic function does not obtrude. . . .” (Ezra Pound, “A Retrospect,” The Literary Essays of Ezra Pound, NY: New Directions, 1968, pp. 4, 9). Pound then appropriated Imagism as a literary component of the artistic movement of Vorticism, further clarifying its goals within the framework of “Vorticism - The Program of Modernism,” 1914. Recalling the American painter Whistler, who had died in London in 1903, Pound thought that it was a question of “giving the people new eyes,” with which they could observe what would otherwise have been all too easily overlooked. Pound was able to write: “The meaning of Imagism is that the pictorial is not to be used as ornament. The image is itself language. The image is the word beyond definition.” Similarly, the meaning of Imagism is discovery. “The Japanese possessed a sense of discovery. They have understood the beauty of this sort of knowing.” *The most concentrated form of Japanese poetry, the haiku, fascinated Pound during his London period. In many of his early poems he not only emulated its brevity, but also the way the haiku typically combines two images (or visual metaphors) into something mutually illuminating. From this technique, he derived a central demand of Imagism. “The one image poem is a form of super-position, that is to say it is one idea set on top of another.” **In his Cantos, begun in 1917, Pound perfected this process, combining different images in a manner unsurpassed. This is also reflected in the typographical form - typewritten and print - in which the Cantos appear. The form serves to make legible a text concentrated and reduced to the utmost. It is done with the reader in mind. What might otherwise be obscure in association or abbreviation is to be made more comprehensible. Superfluous parts of sentences (not just words) are omitted. The visual form restores the rhythm of the spoken word. The flexible apportioning of lines on the page, the irregular alternation of shorter and longer lines or sections, the alternating degree of indentation, the insertion of Greek letters and Chinese characters, all of these were for Pound important elements of visual design meant to resolve the high degree of compression, the aim of which is not abstraction. They serve as communication. They help to engender an optical equivalent of the meaning of the content and correspond to the pictorial quality of the text. The image and its accompanying visual element, however, is not the sole foundation of Pound’s poetry. Writing nearly a decade later (1927)*** Pound distinguishes in retrospect as well as with foresight three constitutive elements of the poem, or as he puts it, “three possibilities of charging words.” “ Melopoeia wherein the words are charged, over and above their plain meaning, with some musical property, which directs the bearing or trend of that meaning.” “Phanopoeia, which is a casting of images upon the visual imagination.”
“Logopoeia, ‘the dance of the intellect among words’, that is to say, it employs words not only for their direct meaning. . . . but it takes count in a special way of habits of usuage, . . . and of ironical play.” Already assumed by Pound was the transition from the use (and static super-position) of an image to the ideogram and the “ideographic method.” This gradually realized transition (just an extension, in fact, of an idea already sketched out in Imagism) dates from the end of 1913 to the beginning of 1914 and is connected with the emergence of Vorticism. Just as movement, dynamism, and process play a crucial role in that movement (as expressed in the image of the vortex, the swirl, gyro, and whirlwind from which Vorticism takes its name), so too the ideogram portrays the dynamically charged image. In an essay published in 1967 discussing Pound’s early development of the concept of beauty derived from the Greek “to kalon,” John Espey referred to Pound’s incorporation of the dynamic, which from the outset made this concept much more complex. Pound incorporated the dynamic by availing himself (already as early as 1907 in the poem “In Durance,”) of the phrase (kalón) “quasi KALOUN,” which he defines (with Coleridge) as a “call to the soul.” In an essay from 1910 inThe Spirit of Romance), Pound identified Dante as the originator of an elaborated concept of beauty: “Dante anticipates Coleridge’s most magical definition of beauty -kalon quasi kaloun.”*
III Many of the literary techniques used by Pound have a parallel in procedures developed in the visual arts at the beginning of the modernist era: the techniques of collage, quotation, the cut, the use of models as “structural ground,” somewhat like a palimpsest written over earlier copy. Many examples from the art of the Cubists, Futurists, Dadaists and Surrealists could be cited. Parallels to film technology (which Pound encountered in Leger’s “Ballet Mecanique” of 1924) could also be mentioned: the jump cut, the change of rhythm, the close-up, and the machine-like operation of individual elements. Most important seems to me the reference to the collage technique, corresponding in the three-dimensional sculptural work to the assemblage. The collage (or assemblage) suited a certain trait in Pound’s nature. The poet perceived reality to some extent as collage-like, that is to say fragmentary or in extracts; just as if he’d looked through a kaleidoscope (or through a “vortoscope,” recalling the photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn). Reality for Pound was made up of a variety of details, and it was his lifelong task, with which he charged his poem, to assemble anew the perceived and formulaically condensed details into an integral - and convincing - whole. Pound is unrelentingly present in his poetry, destroying one familiar context while creating a new one. Within this context he appears in love with the particle, respecting every detail, in love with each mosaic stone from the quarry of reality, with every sherd of actuality he wants to arrange, without having to renounce a single one, no matter how
small. He loves the sharp contours inside of which the tiny particles are compressed, the clear demarcation, the lucid distinction, the winnowing of things and images, just as much as their sudden concurrence. The surprising proximity of different images and moods in turn kindles sparks. And how often such encounters of Pound succeed! Then there are great moments when the details become transparent and reveal an unexpected harmony, conferring meaning upon all of it. Ask what changed most radically in Ezra Pound’s artistic outlook over the years, and one would first have to mention his early appreciation of the aesthetic and his attitude towards abstraction. In the early years in London, Whistler, the aesthete, was his role model: the artist who is far from the crowd, unerringly keeping to his own path, who allows no challenge to draw near and feels only a commitment to his artistic convictions. And these convictions allow him to consistently develop a work that brings to language not primarily particular contents, but rather formal qualities to be contemplated; decisive is the ‘how,’ not the ‘what.’ Only with the years, but then increasingly so, was the ‘what’ to become more and more important for Pound. His tone became more urgent - not only in his letters, but also in his Cantos. It was sometimes as if the poet were speaking to deaf ears. Pound’s attitude toward abstraction changed as he paid close attention to the praxis of the painter Percy Wyndham Lewis. If he was still enthusiastic about Lewis’ geometric shapes at the time of Vorticism, Pound was to grow skeptical about any abstractions in the post-war years after 1918 as he tried to grasp real as well as mythologically familiar figures in expressive-grotesque imagery. At first, Pound still recognized in Lewis’ geometric abstractions the necessity of renouncing all unreflected reproduction; parallel to the stance of the poet who would banish every sentiment from his text. Pound was to become convinced, however, that the poet should not evade the facts of the here and now, and he progressively rejected abstraction as an escape. Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, published in 1920, marks an early departure from his aesthetic ideal. Here he abandons the figure ensconced in himself, the poet living in splendid isolation. No longer having anything to say, Mauberley is condemned to death. If Pound here is tackling a lyrical counterpart to the prose aesthetics of the novel, then the form he chose signals the opening to the present. Pound had long fought for a poetic form of expression that seemed to him at the height of his day and age. As he discovered it – in poems such as his “Homage to Sextus Propertius” (1917) and “Mauberley” he also discovered at the same time the role of the poet in society. Furthermore, it underscored the transformation from aesthete to committed poet and to critic of the society in which he lives. All themes included in a people’s fate in their own era were to be his object, and only at the end his own feelings . The image of the poet, as it represents Pound from now on – namely, as that of a man who is called to work in the community – departs at a considerable distance from the fin de siecle ideal of the dandy and all thoughts of l’art pour l’art.
IV The gradual overcoming of the world-despising aesthete and the progressively relative loyalty to forms of abstraction corresponds to another kind of development: Pound’s changing attitude to the aesthetics of the machine. The Vorticists, especially Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth and Jacob Epstein, formulated a language of art reflecting the era of the machine. The first version of Epstein’s machinelike sculpture “Rock-Drill” (1913), for example, was characteristically demolished later when one of its integral parts, an electric drill, was dismantled. During the Vorticist period not only the paintings of Lewis and Wadsworth, but also those of David Bomberg and William Roberts were characterized by square, sharp-edged, geometric shapes – mostly positioned diagonally in the picture. If these forms were not meant as abstract but only to represent themselves, they would suggest high-rise buildings, bridges, yards, dock sites, building cranes, i.e., building structures that regulate, initiate or reflect speed, though they themselves are meant to be static – a feature distinguishing the Vorticists from the Futurists, who abandoned themselves unreservedly to the intoxicating rush of speed and saw everything in motion. Vorticists, on the other hand, dealt with the incantation of a latent dynamism, an unreleased energy, the eruption of which it was easier to intimate than actually bring about. With its “Storms of Steel” (Stahlgewitter) the war was too much of a seismic shock for them to have continued singing the unqualified praises of the machine- see Jacob Epstein and his tearing apart of the sculpture “Rock-Drill” whose mechanical parts he removed. After his move to Paris in 1920, Pound’s involvement with the machine initially lasted a little while longer. In the paintings of Francis Picabia (up to about 1918) and in the work of Fernand Leger (his paintings as well as his experimental film “Ballet mecanique,” for which Pound’s protege George Antheil wrote the music) Pound saw himself confronted by an even more radical aesthetics stamped in the spirit of the machine than he had found among the Vorticists. And he in turn responded positively, finding in the rhythmic images of the “Ballet mecanique” confirmation of the technique he had developed in the Cantos. Among Ezra Pound’s posthumously published papers was a manuscript about “Machine Art,” edited by Maria Luisa Ardizzone. What is unusual about this text is that it is was first written in Rapallo in 1927 - 1930 at a time when Pound was deeply immersed in the early Renaissance and was more at home with Sigismundo Malatesta in Rimini or Schifanoia Palace of Ferrara than in his own era. Ezra Pound was more interested in the parts of the machine than in machines as a whole. It was his view that we would be correct in interpreting them as merely “form in motion.” In 1930 he wrote, “The beauty of machines is mainly to be found in those parts of the machine where the energy is most concentrated.” (This still sounds as if it were
just dictated by the spirit of Vorticism.) And further: “The beauty of the individual or spare parts of machinery is currently much greater than that of the whole machine.” The important thing is that the machine is divided into separate parts. What concerns Pound is the combination and interaction of these parts (which is first realized in the movement or function). Perhaps he also noticed a parallel with the combination and interaction of various parts of poems or splintered thoughts in his Cantos. In the end Pound came to this Conclusio: “The modern man can and should live in his cities and factories with the same kind of vitality and exuberance he thinks the savage has living in his forests.” While much in Pound changed, others things remained constant. This includes his attitude to tradition. He always felt a responsibility toward those lasting achievements in literature, philosophy, music, and the visual arts, using them to measure himself and his own work as well as that of his contemporaries. If he thought an artistic value buried or misunderstood, he engaged it with full force to validate it and make it new and effective. A creation ex nihilo was suspicious to him. His previously mentioned motto ‘make it new’ included neither a general rejection of the past nor an absolutely new beginning. Pound’s relation to tradition was one reason for the break with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and the Futurists. To Pound and others in the Vorticist circle the Futurists’ attitude toward the past appeared superficial and unreflective; conversely, the penchant Pound and his friends had for tradition (or parts of it) made them appear to the Futurists as hopeless “Passatisten.” The same is true for Pound and his relationship with the Dadaists. He never quite understood what they really wanted. Nonetheless, for a short stretch of his life they appeared to him as acceptable companions. In one of Francis Picabia’s special issues of the journal “391,” published in Paris in July 1921 under the strange title “Le Pilhaou-Thibaou,” Pound smuggled in still stranger contraband: his poem “Congo Roux,” making its appearance, according to its typographic form, completely as Dada. The costume nonetheless contains lots of literary, political, and historical allusions. Usury (ever a ‘red flag’ for Pound) is mentioned, as is monotheism, Verona’s San Zeno and other monuments of architecture; important to Pound as the representatives of a vital tradition. Camouflaged as nonsense, he brought into play seriously intended ideas. Pound’s concept of tradition is complex. In poetry, too, as in the visual arts and music, he saw no continuous tradition upon which he could support himself. In tradition there existed only the most rudimentary historical continuity. Instead there were isolated periods and individual personalities (like Homer, Dante and Browning). In between there were periods of decline, downfall, ignorance, the confusion of all values, and the loss of true tradition. To Pound, much of what was generally appreciated, was suspect. To him, it belonged (as is stated in the “Rock-Drill” Cantos) to “centuries of de-sensitization.”
V Ezra Pound published a lot. The list of his drafted and published books is impressive. Up to 1965 (the year of his 80th birthday, when he’d already discontinued the business of writing and publishing) – according to Donald Gallup’s compilation in Ezra Pound - 22 Versuche über einen Dichter (ed. Eva Hesse, Frankfurt, a.M., 1967) – there had appeared no fewer than 84 titles, which were more or less divided equally between “Poetry” and “Prose” (to be precise: 38 titles belong to poetry, 46 to prose works). Included in this list were only the original English editions, not the numerous translations in other languages, such as Italian, German, French, Spanish ... But Pound never wrote a best seller. Of those to whom Pound’s significance was wellknown, only a small circle of libraries and universities, experts and friends had eagerly imbibed his publications - the general book trade ignored him. Did Pound’s skepticism of the mechanisms of the market have any connection? In any case, no matter how much he thought about it, Pound could never make friends with the market. Was Pound as “discoverer” too far ahead of his time to be generally recognized and accepted? Pound’s major achievement in his Cantos is the attempt to throw into relief highlights from the history of human ideas and make them current. What other poetry of Pound’s time is packed so full of pronouncement and significance as his? Ezra Pound wanted to include the whole world in his poetry, at least its entire history (albeit filtered and condensed in small particles), and he wanted to assess both the individual cultures and their various phases, categorizing them as “good” and “not as good” (or “bad”). Eva Hesse aptly writes of him: “Just as the words are derivations of things, but things in themselves still declare their sense without being transformed into language ... so too is history to be taken not in the sequential moments of discursive comprehension, but rather in the interplay, as the simultaneous existence (Dasein) of the world spirit. For this art of relating the past to us in its contemporaneity, quoted speech proves to be the language form necessary for jumping from language to language, dissolving space and time. Thus ... as poet, Pound takes on the task of de-historicizing universal history; indeed, to the extent that he only critically examines its fruits... History is important not for the sake of what has been, but rather for the sake of what remains ...” Therefore, much separates the structure of the Cantos from of the objectives pursued by contemporary poets who, prescribing to concrete and visual poetry, concentrate consciously on the material of language. In her introduction to the anthology Ezra Pound - 22 Attempts At a Poet, Eva Hesse distinguishes between “discoverers” and “inventors”. Pound belongs in his entire being to the “discoverers.” He is one of the discoverers who incessantly sifts through the tradition for whatever is worth holding on to and comprehending anew. The poets polarized differently, however, are to be judged cum grano salis as “inventors”.
Pursuing this idea further, perhaps the relationship between Ezra Pound and the contemporary poetry represented by the poets gathered here could be compared to the rift between analytic and synthetic Cubism. Analytic Cubism proceeded inductively by taking a real situation as the starting point and abstracted from it to attain an image-formula. Synthetic Cubism however pursued the opposite path, following the deductive method. It set out from a sculptural formulation – such as may present itself in a slice of reality (something ripped out of the newspaper, a tapestry pattern, a reproduction) – and then attempted to attain the reality. In this sense we could call Pound’s approach analytical (according to which, however, he did everything so that the fragments of reality he’d discovered did not become transformed into abstractions and would therefore be detached - Pound avoided abstractions like the plague), in the sense that the concrete and visual poetry is conversely underway and proceeds synthetically. It must not hunt for the mot juste because it already has it and can start its explorations and inventions from the material of language it already possesses. Wieland Schmied Translated by Scott J. Thompson
HOMAGE FOR A GREAT SPIRIT
What we honor in Ezra Pound - beyond the years 1885-1972 - is the great spirit in the world of poetry that ever ‘makes it new.’ Mention his name and whole continents of poetry blast open as if a volcano had awakened and shafts and strata, long blocked and buried, had again become suddenly visible. Magma, understood as spiritual efflux, is no extravagant expression. As such did his life and poetry pour out time and again over all the charted tracks and newly forged pathways. Carlo Belloli’s visual poem of 1991 has painted a wonderful picture of the paths and stations in Pound’s life in a way that only a visual poem could realize. Sundry famous names of literature, poetry and the fine arts have crossed his paths or become enmeshed with them. Without Pound the Moderns of poetry would certainly be a succession of illustrative names, but they would lack the quickening, consolidating leaven fermentation needs to begin. As one example of the revealing empathetic reports of meetings with Pound, T. S. Eliot’s can be cited as representative. Pound was ultimately to edit the manuscript of Eliot’s epoch-making poem “The Waste Land” into a version half the size, in which form it was then published. For T. S. Eliot Pound’s work was proof of his genius as a publisher’s lector. (By the way, it should be said that all-too-many a long-winded lyrical concoction is crying out for just such a reader.) T. S. Eliot also made it clear that while Pound was masterful as a critic of lyric poetry, he was, however, rather susceptible to deceiving himself as a judge of human nature. The numerous unfortunate turns of events, the ideological standstill that seems unintelligible in retrospect, were counterbalanced by his naivete that he could convince Mussolini of the power of art or of his ideas on how to make peace in the world. William Carlos Williams, for example, reported the following in 1951 after visiting St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington, D.C., where Pound was incarcerated. At the beginning of our difficulties with Russia, for example, Ezra was convinced that, had he been granted a five-minute conference with Stalin after twenty minutes of preparation in the Georgian dialect, he would have been able to make the man realize his own faulty reasoning, and in so doing would have been able to lead him to take action
following this insight; as a consequence, all of the following confusion and catastrophe would presumably have been avoided. In the end, the prominence of language in achieving peace was not to succeed in the era of dictators. What endured, however, was Pound’s great spirit. Even where the cooling volcanic torrents congeal into bizarre shapes, they know to fascinate, and wonder of wonders, the shapes begin to set themselves in motion. To take it all in, this all-encompassing work, means comprehending hundreds of concentric circles, for there was hardly a single artistic sphere of influence not open to Ezra Pound. And from time to time it can happen that Pound reappears eye-to-eye to offer a friendly and helping hand. That means, to everyone his own Pound. At such times the poet draws near. This book in honor of Ezra Pound appears with such a prominent list of artists and authors thanks to one of Ezra Pound’s spiritual kin, to the partisan of Fluxus, concrete poetry, and the avant-garde of the last decades as a whole – there really is such a thing – to the publisher with the open house in Verona: Francesco Conz. Around Conz the threads of related but different artistic endeavors intertwine, bringing together poets from South America and North America, often quite unexpectedly, with Germans, Japanese, Austrians and those of every other conceivable cultural perspective. Ever new plans and inspirations are on this hospitable man’s mind, and he invites his friends to discuss ways to realize them. These are festivals of lucidity, benefiting art with new experiences and knowledge. Pound and Conz – could there be a more ideal encounter? To invoke the nearness of Ezra Pound I could avail myself of the help of my friends in Sao Paulo, the poets of the journal noigandres, the brothers Haroldo and Augusto de Campos and Decio Pignatari. For them the American was both exemplar and stimulator. They admired him. During those early years in the 1950s I was involved with the workgroup (Werkbund) of concrete art, the Bauhaus, and with Marcel Wyss, Diter Rot and spirale, the journal I started as a kind of counterpart of noigandres. I came into conscious contact with American poetry in 1953 when I accepted an invitation to attend an American seminar in Castle Leopoldskron [Leopold’s Crown] in Salzburg. William Carlos Williams and E.E. Cummings fascinated me above all. I found a riposte to my terse speech in theirs. Listing my constellations in my first manifesto in 1954, I took their poetry into consideration as much as I did that of Arno Holz. Pound was only familiar to me through hearsay. Yet, in a somewhat later reference to Pound with the title “A Definition of the Beautiful is: Usefulness,” I discovered the following inroad: My impression of Ezra Pound was and still is very ambivalent. On the one hand I find him somewhat of an American braggart, full of bluster. On the other hand he has been a great mover and shaker. I see him not unlike Michelangelo painted God the Father in the Sistine Chapel. He rows with great gestures through the universum of language, repressing at the same time that he creates something original. My attitude changed abruptly in 1969. In a small, alternative bookshop in San Francisco I discovered a thin little book with the likeness of an ‘immortal,’ a philosopher, a sage
from China on its cover. It was entitled The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry. Ernest Fenollosa was the author. Written at the bottom in the same size font was the name ‘Ezra Pound,’ which was also on the 1936 copyright. The essay was first printed in London in 1920. Among the Sinologists it was ridiculed. Professor George Kennedy of Yale University, for example, called the brochure-sized work totaling 45 pages in length “a small mass of confusion.”At the time I did not know that the essay had been translated into German already. In any case, my enthusiasm concerning the content was so great that I published my own translation of it in 1972. Since that time I have repeatedly gotten into discussions about it with Sinologists. It was to become clear to me that the Sinologists instructing me in Zürich at the time of my discovery of this text would never take an interest either in the findings of Ezra Pound or in the meaning Fenollosa attributed to his publication. Indeed, he makes the following introductory remark: It is not as a professional linguist nor as a sinologue that I humbly put forward what I have to say. As an enthusiastic student of beauty in Oriental culture, having spent a large portion of my years in close relation with Orientals, I could not but breathe in something of the poetry incarnated in their lives. For Pound Fenollosa’s essay was a study concerning the very foundations of aesthetics from time immemorial. Speaking from the visual point of view alone, whoever becomes devoted to the development and transformations of the Chinese written characters will derive personal profit from this slender publication. In 1934 Pound came back to Fenollosa’s method with renewed emphasis in his world renowned little book The ABC of Reading. The knowledge I gleaned through Fenollosa, knowledge Pound conveyed, served me in a fundamental way: “A definition of the beautiful is usefulness.” I have delineated it further in lectures on “The Theory of Aesthetics” I gave at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art; in particular, the connection between biology and aesthetics, and the aesthetic function in the sense attributed to it by Jan Mukarovsky. Though I never met Pound in person, I certainly would encounter him more often in his words. This craftsman of language who knew how to navigate such a vast domain was of the firm conviction (as in The ABC of Reading) that a person learns more about poetry by really becoming familiar with and investigating a few of the best poems than by drifting without a rudder over a large body of poetry. Such an approach brought me into intimate contact with him. To be sure, his own work itself glaringly contradicts his own good intentions. The poet who attempts to familiarize himself with the most famous of the posthumous works, The Cantos, encounters a work compiled from various editions that eventually would reach 800 pages. Comprising over 20 languages, in fragmentary form as a rule, countless quotations from not always certain sources, etc., make the book difficult reading. Though in principle very open and flexible toward the manifold influences of a society in flux, The Cantos were at times also obscure to Pound himself. Literary investigations into the history of ideas gleefully lead into vanishing points. Understandable too, since the publication of the work was accompanied by pirated edi-
tions, which must have scattered the integrity of the whole, making it hard to cohere. Yet far more concentrated, the work of the translator Ezra Pound has been judged his high point. Once again we come to the 305 Confucian Odes. The fruit of a 40-yearlong study of Chinese, the translation was so wonderfully successful that T. S. Eliot christened Pound the re-discoverer of Chinese poetry in our time. Richard Wilbur, moreover, was correct when he declared that Pound had not only translated the Chinese poetry but also rendered it into something practically translucent. Questions regarding these Odes center on the collection of 305 classical poems Confucius is thought to have selected in the 5th century B.C. from an older and far more extensive anthology. In fact, Pound’s English translation is so fresh and vital, it’s as if it had just been written. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that these texts were sung, and that Confucius was recognized as an editor not of texts but of music. The accompanying instrument at that time was the lute. Ezra Pound died on November 1, 1972 in Venice. He’s buried on the island of San Michel near Stravinsky’s grave. While his life was slowly ebbing, his daughter Mary was on the Brunnenburg near Meran, where she’d been living since 1946. She married Boris, an Italian, half Russian, with whom she spoke mostly English in public. She had two children, a boy and a girl, and the family adopted an orphaned girl as well. Boris’s father purchased the castle, Brunnenburg, for the young family. Mary is the daughter of Ezra Pound and Olga Rudge, a violinist of American descent who grew up in England and France. Pound had been married to Dorothy Shakespear since 1914. Mary was born in 1925 in Brixen and was raised by foster parents. Though she should have had her memoir Discretions (1994) published in the south Tyrolean dialect, it nonetheless appeared in English. Through marriage she became Countess Mary de Rachewiltz. Boris de Rachewiltz was not only the most esteemed Egyptologist of his day, but he was also recognized as a profound expert of Pound’s work. The attractions of Mary’s “Indiscretions” are twofold. First of all, they make for lively reading, imparting to literature a perhaps unique description not only of the immense world of her father, who’s portrayed as a light-being, but also even more intimately, in fact, a description of her Tyrolean foster parents and their everyday pains and modest joys. The love she shows toward those belonging to her intimate sphere sympathetically complements the worldliness of her mother and father in the greater world outside. Her father Ezra Pound, who came to visit her from time to time, was called “Sir” by her fosterparents and those around her. Pound nonetheless kept an affectionate relationship to both daughter and grandchildren. In 1958, after the charges of treason against him were dropped (we will forego a description of that unfortunate story), he was released from the hospital in Washington, moving to Italy and living on the Brunnenburg, in Rapallo and Venice. Pound savored the role of grandfather. Today, his grandson Siegfried-Walter is the castellan and founder of the Brunnenburg’s museum of farming and folklore. Here the last chapter in the life of Ezra Pound comes to a close. At present Francesco Conz has taken upon himself a not inconsiderable part of Pound’s same vital force for artistic endeavors that has time and again proved so vindicating. Conz can be seen on the Brunnenburg together with Mary de Rachewiltz in a photograph taken in 1983.
In the year 1987 a work-in-residence retreat was held among the group of artists whose work is published in this volume. So, who is Francesco Conz? At the outset of these observations I’ve attempted to characterize him in a single sentence, namely, as one of the spiritual kin of Ezra Pound. To do justice to this assertion means bringing to mind a particular work, namely, the work under consideration here, which in turn presupposes a connection between Conz’s circle of colleagues and friends and the house of Pound. For the individualist sorts, whose eyes were still focused upon reputation, being invited up to the Brunnenburg by Francesco Conz was considered without doubt a grand idea and enterprise. A meeting of poets with alternating participants spanning over fifteen years, not just conversing with one another for a day or two as in customary colloquia, no, working with one another, taking a holiday from one’s own style, but also engaged in relaxed conversation in wonderful surroundings. Whoever was German-speaking and versed in traditional German poetry may have traveled to Meran with the recollection of the poem by Gottfried Benn “March. Letter to Meran.” [“März. Brief nach Meran”], the unforgettable first verse of which runs: Bloom not too early, o bloom not till I come, Then spray just your sea und your foam, Almonds, forsythia, unsundered suns The glow to the valley, and to Self the dream. Naturally the invited poets had to furnish another, contrasting qualification of their literary work. They were all international experimenters of poetic language. They numbered among the generation after the Second World War that came to writing, and to what counted as Concrete Poetry, helping make breakthroughs by sorting through the semiotic media of the new communications theory. Perhaps the shadow of the famous Brunnenburg found one or the other at odds with themselves. After all, the world spirit’s daughter is still living there, and to the walls and rooms still clings her father’s enduring influence. The question I’ve asked myself is the following: is Ezra Pound’s poetry to influence us in order that we perpetuate a kind of Cantos by other means, or is it more worthwhile to use the means and methods of our own languages to document an independent stand we take at a well-known place? As I have remarked, the posing of this question – in what respect does the location influence? – played far less of a role among most of my colleagues. They continued more or less what they created at home, and indeed that’s why they were invited by Conz. He was familiar with all their idiosyncrasies. Brunnenburg offered grand structure. Eugen Gomringer Translated by Scott J. Thompson
Ezra Loomis Pound was an Idaho kid but hardly “through and through.” Following his birth in 1885, in a small clapboard home built by his father in the frontier town of Hailey, he moved at the age of four with his mother Isobel and his father Homer to Wyncote, a small town on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Despite his father’s suggestive given name and the Homeric content that would form a considerable amount of Ezra’s epic poem to come, the trajectory of his life was destined not to be Odyssean and he would never again return to the town of his birth. Ezra’s father worked as assistant assayor at the United States Mint (a fact that psychoanalytic minds might see as one source of Pound’s later obsession with economics). In 1901, after three years at the Cheltenham Military Academy, Ezra was enrolled at the precocious age of fifteen in the University of Pennsylvania (apparently on the strength of his excellent command of Latin). It was there that he met William Carlos Williams and a friendship began that was to survive throughout both their lives. He received his MA in 1906 and continued graduate studies on the Provençal poets, however he withdrew suddenly from graduate school in 1907 to take a teaching position at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, but was fired almost immediately on the grounds of a minor sexual indiscretion. A new continent awaited Pound’s ministrations. There the young man sought a vibrant alternative existence to prudish America. After sailing for Europe in 1908, he made his first home in the San Travaso Quarter of Venice where, opposite a gondola repair shop, he ruminated his own reparation of contemporary culture and took his first early steps up Parnassus toward the revolution of the word. From as early as 1907 Pound was convinced that poetry was his métier, the sole art of which he could envision mastery. His first book, A Lume Spento (“With Tapers Quenched”) appeared in July; published privately in a modest print-run of 100 copies, it marks an inconspicuous entry onto the contemporary poetry scene. Formally conservative, aesthetically self-conscious, replete with heavy allusions to Dante and set in numerous chronological frames, Pound himself considered tossing it into the canals. Nonetheless A Lume Spento remains biographically significant as marking Pound’s adoption and utilization of the dramatic persona. From the outset of his literary career (and unlike William Carlos Williams) Pound escaped
the saccharine seduction of Keats, finding a dynamic model in Browning’s dramatic monologue. What Pound derives from Browning is technical rather than thematic. The confident theology of Pippa Passes is nowhere evident in Pound’s earlier or later work; it is the formal device of the dramatic monolog and the patchwork historical method of Browning’s early Sordello that Pound escorts into the 20th Century. The next month Pound moved to London knowing no one and with only £3 in his pocket. He entered a British literary scene in transition. The impact of the laureate Tennyson’s death had waned, as too the porcelain aesthetics of the “Yellow Eighties” with the demise of Oscar Wilde. In its mid-Edwardian dynamics W. E. Henley had at least temporarily assured the dominance of neo-realism and the condensed incisiveness of his gatherings in the National Observer would have met with a sympathetic response from Pound. Though Henley was then dead, he had effectively undermined the dominant Victorian moral ideals and the overweening tendency to pseudo-respectability and sentimentalism. The year 1909 proved auspicious: moving to Kensington in London, meeting fellow Vorticist Wyndham Lewis, delivering the Polytechnic lectures that materialized as his prose work The Spirit of Romance, and enjoying the publication of two modest volumes of poetry, Personae and Exultations. (He was also to meet Olivia Shakespeare whose daughter, Dorothy, Pound would marry in 1914.) Ezra, however, did not explode upon the London literary scene. Despite his flamboyant personality and the guarded attraction of others to his magnetism, the bastions of Edwardian hegemony remained intact. The confident handling of existing forms is evident in the two books, yet a bold formal expertise finds an uneasy interface with a struggle against artifice. Writing in 1914 Pound explains that in Personae he began a “search for the real . . . casting off, as it were, complete masks of the self in each poem.” (Pound will later cast off the masks and pretensions of the dominant forms, attitudes and values of the day, in a strident defiance of orthodoxy, yet the mask will remain an enduring preoccupation as we see in his later interest in Chinese dramaturgy and the Japanese Noh theatre.) Exultations was guaranteed not to shake the literary foundations of London. Much of the material was reprinted from his earlier book A Lume Spento and, like that work, was redolent with literary influences. Its trajectory was retroactive, an atavistic sprinkling of those decadent themes and images that characterized the poetry of the 1890s. In 1911 Canzoni appeared, a transitional collection largely archaic in style and motivated by Pound’s zealous desire to revive the poetry of the troubadours. (Pound would refer in retrospect to this book as being “moribund.”) It would be fair to say that Ezra’s beginnings in Provençal pastiche were inauspicious to say the least, but he was soon to develop a projective mentality, and in the one poem “Und Drang” there is the awakening of a genuine contemporary sentiment delivered by a distinctly modern voice. Through the London bookseller and publisher Elkin Mathews, Pound was introduced to T. E. Hulme whose theories of the poetic image and of “pure” poetry became a formative influence. Soon he was attending Hulme’s “Thursday Group” and (quickly dominating) Yeats’ Monday soirees. By the end of 1911 he is moving towards new stylistic proclivities marked by linguistic austerity and intellectual focus summed up in the famous credo he compiled with fellow poet F. S. Flint.
1. Direct treatment of the “thing,” whether subjective or objective. 2. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation. 3. As regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not the metronome.
Thus Imagism was born via three terse precepts, conceived in “hard sanity” and committing the new poetry to repudiating the aureate language of the day. Les Imagistes, as Pound dubbed the coterie of Hilda Doolittle (H. D.), Richard Aldington, and F. S. Flint, soon emerged out of the London poetic scene. The group also included the American poet Amy Lowell whose poetry Pound did not warm to. The shaky amity between Pound and that Aurignacian Venus came to an end when Ezra invented and then banished her to her own sub-movement: “Amygisme.” Pound describes the group’s desiderata in a brief note to some of Aldington’s poems that appeared in the November 1912 issue of Harriet Monroe’s magazine Poetry. The “Imagistes” he writes, are “a group of ardent Hellenists who are pursuing interesting experiments in vers libre; trying to attain in English certain subtleties and cadences of the kind which Mallarmé and his followers have studied in French.” Whether the French poet’s work was indeed Imagiste is a moot point. Certainly the second and third principles seem applicable to Mallarméan method but hardly the first which goes flatly against Mallarmé’s own symbolist principle that a poem should not mean but suggest. Perhaps of more lasting significance than the trio of principles are Pound’s two early theories of the image. The first appeared in the March 1913 issue of Poetry:
An “Image” is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an nstant of time. … It is the presentation of such a “complex” instantaneously which gives that sudden sense of liberation … which we experience in the presence of the greatest works of art.
Given the substance of the last sentence, it is difficult to argue that Pound is offering a new theory of the image, but rather imparting a general aesthetic quality discernible across historic epochs. However, the emancipation of the image from a pictorial ground is noteworthy, (occurring as it does at roughly the same time as the emergence of silent cinema). But this theory was soon to be modified. By 1909 (as already mentioned) Pound had met the young English artist, poet and novelist Wyndham Lewis, a meeting destined to flower into an active collaboration, fecund intellectual exchange, and a new movement: Vorticism. Lewis had founded The Rebel Art Centre at 38 Great Ormond Street and was soon to develop his ideas of dynamic aggressive form. In March 1914 Pound and Lewis launch Blast (a name Ezra suggested). Typographically similar (and unquestionably indebted) to Marinetti’s contemporary Italian Futurist publications, the first issue appeared in June 1914 and in it Pound advocates the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the new movement. In his 1916 book Gaudier-Brzeska (written under the principles of Vorticism) Pound redefined the image as no longer an emotional and intellectual complex in an instant of time but “a radiant node or cluster … a VORTEX from which, and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing.”
Blast handily served as the artistic and propagandist mouthpiece of the Vorticist movement whose major proponents (Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound) significantly represented three artistic disciplines: sculpture, painting and poetry respectively. Drawing unacknowledged inspiration from Italian Futurism and Cubism, Vorticism envisioned a more national than international agenda; it sought to gather the counter-bourgeois aesthetics and formal energies then available in Georgian England. Pound’s parallel interests at this time in both Confucius and early Chinese poetry, together with a radical European vanguard puzzled Lewis as an incompatible convergence to say the least. However, Pound himself sketched a different template seeing his Vorticist contribution as a “Confucian calm and reserve” to balance Lewis’s aesthetic force and Gaudier-Brzeska’s “animal energy.” Pound met the young rebel sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska in 1913 and the latter ardently joined the Vorticist ranks. His rough-hewn, primitive approach to representation had an immediate impact on the young, emerging poet, but his life was cut tragically short in 1915 in the trench warfare of his native France. Pound gathered together the sculptor’s scattered writings and published them, along with his own related aesthetic theories, the following year. Pound’s “oriental turn” was occasioned when he inherited the notebooks of Ernest Fenollosa, a recently deceased American orientalist, via his widow Mary. Fenollosa had been working on translations from the Japanese and Chinese, including the Japanese Noh theater, whose dramaturgical principles would prove influential on both Pound’s thinking and Yeats’s attempts to revitalize contemporary Irish theater. Ezra’s first reaction to the notebooks was to immediately try his hand at Chinese-style poems, which appeared along with modified translations gleaned from the Fenellosa notebooks, in his 1915 volume Cathay. His editorial acumen soon turned to a major task: the preparation for publication of Fenollosa’s ars poetica, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, which first saw light of day in the 1920 Instigations. Pound asserted the work to be “a study of the fundamentals of all aesthetics,” and it was destined to have a fundamental influence on his own writing practice and the development of his post-Imagist “Ideogrammic Method” that reached perfection in the later Cantos. 1914 proved to be a meaningful year for Pound with a marriage, a meeting, and a confederation. His inauguration of Blast and his theoretical construction of Vorticism has already been mentioned. However, Pound’s expanded notions of writing (developed first in Imagism and then Vorticism), together with his open criticism of the current London poetic scene, served to alienate him at this time from the dominant poetic establishment of the metropolis. His meeting with T. S. Eliot in this year, however, was to prove a seminal antidote and Eliot’s position at Faber & Faber was to guarantee a British outlet for Ezra’s future writing. The young poet first met Dorothy Shakespeare through her mother Olivia’s friendship with Ezra and the union of the young couple was (despite Pound’s affairs) a lasting one. The next year Dorothy would design the cover of the second edition of Pound’s collection of Ripostes. Pound’s circle of culture and amity continued to grow. Earlier, in 1913, via the influence of Yeats, Pound had contacted an unknown, unpublished Irish writer: James Joyce. In replying to Pound’s initial letter Joyce sent a manuscript copy of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the older poet grasped with uncanny immediacy the critical significance of Joyce’s writing. For the next decade Pound would
act on behalf of Joyce, serving with equal devotion and energy to promote his work. Soon A Portrait would appear in serial form in the pages of The Egoist and launch Joyce’s illustrious career. Pound’s charitable energy, his ardent campaigning on behalf of others and his selfless constructions of others’ reputations came to the forefront again in 1916. He repeated the strategy of serialized publication with Lewis’ novel Tarr in The Egoist but in both instances struggled to find a publisher— a fate shared by his own new book of poems. Mention should be made also of Ezra Pound the anthologist. His indefatigable energy in mustering together like minds and proclivities into consolidated fronts proved to be a pattern through much of his early and middle life. Des Imagistes appeared in 1914, followed in 1915 by the Catholic Anthology (notable for including T. S. Eliot’s first publication in a book) and Active Anthology (containing work by Basil Bunting, Marianne Moore, Louis Zukofsky, William Carlos Williams and others) in 1932. Mathews rejected Pound’s next collection, Lustra, on the grounds of the alleged obscenity and blasphemy in certain of the poems. Irate, Pound turned to the assistance of American lawyer and patron of letters John Quinn who subsidized a small American edition of sixty copies entirely for private circulation. (An expurgated edition, purged of 25 poems, soon followed from Mathews’ shop on Cork Street.) Lustra (which incorporated all the poems in Cathay) marks a significant technical advance in Pound’s style; it resonates with an innovative direct handling of description, a lucidity of form and a confidence not seen in his earlier pastiche pieces. A new turning-point in Pound’s energy came in March 1917 when he became Foreign editor for the Chicago-based magazine The Little Review. The position granted Pound an official voice in Modern Letters and guaranteed a venue for the ongoing work of Eliot, Joyce and Lewis. Success followed rapidly—Pound secured a publisher for Joyce’s A Portrait and Ulysses started to appear in serialized portions in The Little Review. However, Ezra’s own reputation did not grow with his entrepreneurial prowess. Towards the end of 1918 he had completed a lengthy poem “Homage to Sextus Propertius” that marked a singular switch from his Chinese focus. Much of the poem is a loose translation (with many interpolations of Pound’s own material) of poems in the second and third books of Propertius’s Elegies. Pound saw in his eponymous hero a rebellious spirit in a declining age that rhymed with his own condition. Stylistically, a new and fresh colloquialism enters the poetry and a startling mixture of time schemes (Wordsworth appears at one point as well as a refrigerator). Ezra’s bold license with chronological history and semantic accuracy did not please critics and when the poem appeared in Poetry it was uniformly ridiculed for its inaccuracy and loose handling of the Latin source texts. Ezra’s next collection Quia Pauper Amavi faired little better on its appearance in the October 1919 edition of The Egoist. Reprinting the Homage to Sextus Propertius in defiance of earlier criticism served only to heap more excoriations upon it and the only review that Pound himself udged favorable came from May Sinclair in the North American Review. All uniformly condemned the book’s obscurantism, unpredictability and incomprehensibility. (Even Ezra confessed to John Quinn his own reservations about this propensity in his writing.) Negative reviews of his work now seemed guaranteed, as too did his continuing obscurity, but the volume’s historic importance cannot be dimmed, for in it appear the first three Cantos in their original form.
In the Spring of 1920 Dorothy and Ezra traveled to the continent stopping first in Paris en route to Venice and then Sirmione on Lake Garda. Pound held Sirmione to be hallowed terrain for it was there that Catullus wrote many of his finest poems. Pound invokes Sirmione in the Cantos as “the original world of the gods,” but it was to be the scene of a contemporary encounter that registers as an event of high magnitude: Pound’s first meeting with Joyce. The mind savors the fantasy of what a Joyce-Pound collaboration might have produced from the grandiose confluence of two vast and incompatible intellects and egos. Unquestionably Pound and Joyce mark the zenith in modernist masculine caprice. It remains a curious fact that Pound never subscribed to Ulysses and Joyce for his part parodied the Cantos in a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver. Pound’s Umbra appeared in the Summer of 1920, a retrospective and selective collection of all the poems Pound wished (at that time) to preserve. Also during his travels his Hugh Selwyn Mauberley appeared in a small edition of 200 copies. Penned as a sort of valedictory address to English culture it assembles numerous vignettes of Ezra’s contemporaries—its structural relations bear affinity to Henry James’s novels. (Pound himself refers to it as “a definite attempt to get the novel cut down to the size of verse.”) Ezra’s growing technical expertise with cadence and phonic harmonies are manifest throughout. (The young critic F. R. Leavis judged it a technical masterpiece.) The eponymous figure functions as yet another of Pound’s masking devices to serve as a mouthpiece for his own thoughts and sentiments. The book certainly stands as a valedictory address, for in December 1920 Pound was to leave England for good, choosing Paris as his new creative matrix. He was already in amicable and mutually respectful relations with Cocteau, and Joyce had moved there from Trieste earlier in the year. In Paris Pound also met Aragon, Tzara and Picabia and for a brief time became associated with the Paris Dadaist movement. Soon too a Parisian cultural hub emerged for Anglophone expatriots around Sylvia Beach’s legendary bookshop “Shakespeare and Company.” Arguably, Ezra’s brief encounter with T. S. Eliot in 1921 proved to be an intersection of the greatest consequence to the development of literary Modernism. Returning from Lausanne to London via Paris, Eliot met Pound and showed him the first draft of a new poem in the making. Pound’s editorial, technical, stylistic and substantive emendations were to transform The Waste Land (first entitled “Doing the Police in Different Voices”) from the lyric continuum it originally was into an impersonal, structurally “irregular” and highly condensed poem. For his part Eliot gratefully accepted the emendations and tellingly dedicated the published poem to “Ezra Pound, il miglior fabbro.” Of at least equal significance was Pound’s renewed work on the Cantos. 1922 ushered in two volcanic texts: Eliot’s The Waste Land (in its Poundian redaction) and Joyce’s magnum opus Ulysses. Rather than envy, the publication of these two major texts seemed to release in Ezra a new energy and a quantum increase in ambition and self-confidence. He announced that the age of Christianity was over and the new era was the “Pound Era.” 1922 also saw a new development in Ezra’s amorous wanderings when he met the expatriot American violinist Olga Rudge and the two soon became lovers. The fate of a writer’s magnum opus is perilously uncertain (Thomas Hardy’s once popular The Dynasts is now unread). However, Pound’s Cantos is safely ensconced as a permanent cultural accomplishment of the first magnitude. There is a lasting critical
debate as to whether or not Pound’s shorter volumes are merely preludes to his great epic poem, but with this ambitious historical and transcultural epic Pound escorted Victorian poetry into Modernist radicality and on to towards the poetries of the 1970s. Pound claimed in an interview published in The Paris Review that he started the Cantos around 1904 although no evidence survives to substantiate this claim. It is indisputable however that Ezra began work on the Cantos proper in 1915, for he confessed in a 21 September letter of that year that he was engaged in writing “a chryselephantine poem of immeasurable length which will occupy me for the next four decades unless it becomes a bore.” Versions of the first three appeared two years later in separate issues of Harriet Monroe’s Chicago-based magazine Poetry. The original three cantos either disappeared or mutated into subsequent incarnations, however Pound did admit in the 1967 “Forward” to the Selected Cantos that the first “the Ur Sordello” Canto offers the best introduction to the entire poem. Certainly, it outlines Pound’s initial method of gathering and juxtaposing trans-historic fragments in an attempt to construct a multi-historical sense. It was in these three early cantos (published first in Poetry then in Quia Pauper Amavit) that Pound initially deploys his technique of the “luminous detail” to bring a dazzling focus to historical facts and occasions. Using the paratactic, nongrammatical method of the Chinese character that he extrapolated and adopted from Fenollosa’s research, Ezra developed his now famous “ideogrammic method” of stark juxtaposition which resists narrative continuity between the particular details. It is Pound’s solution to the cul de sac of logical abstraction and linear, argumental coherence and at their best Pound’s “phalanx of particulars” evoke an intuitive sense of the appropriate, implicit relationships among their seeming disparateness. It is unquestionably Pound’s method, rather than the content, ideology or even beauties of the Cantos that have proven influential on not only three generations of radical American poetries (from Williams, through Olson, to the Language poets of the 1970s and 80s) but on the very evolution of concrete poetry. Indeed, Haroldo and Augusto de Campos named their seminal magazine “Noigandres,” (a semantically inexplicable word that occurs early in Canto XX). The Cantos takes its place alongside Joyce’s Finnegans Wake as the quintessential modernist “work in progress,” appearing usually in groups of ten from 1917 through the final Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII in 1962 to the eventual gathering of Canto CXX and the previously uncollected fragments in 1969. Alongside Pound’s literary progress were his burgeoning sorties into music. In December 1917 he published (under the pseudonym of “William Atheling”) the first of his monthly music reviews in Orage’s publication the New Age.(He was also writing art criticism under the nom de plume of “B. H. Dias” for the same magazine.) In 1921, however, his inclination moved from musical criticism to actual composition and Pound began work on Le Testament de Villon, a one-act opera (first performed in Paris in 1926) whose libretto derived from Villon’s poem “Le Grand Testament.” In 1923, he met a young American composer George Antheil in whose compositions Ezra perceived the musical equivalent of Vorticism. Beyond his expressed admiration for Antheil, Pound went on to actually write a book about him. Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony appeared in 1924 through William Bird’s Paris-based Three Mountains Press. What Ezra’s precise intentions were in this publication are not entirely clear. Indeed, the amount of content devoted to Antheil’s work is relatively little and there are no detailed analyses or comments upon
his actual compositions. Much of the book reprints many of Pound’s Atheling essays as well as his own eccentrically appealing theory of musical pitch: the “Great Bass.” (In a nutshell Pound argues that the tempo of a work is governed by a note’s sound frequency and that a sound in any pitch can be followed by a sound in a different pitch.) Ezra had completed his revisions to the first Cantos by Spring 1924 and these appeared in January 1925 through Three Mountains Press as A Draft of XVI Cantos in a deluxe edition of great opulence. These early drafts attempt to apply the technique of dramatic persona that Browning developed in his early work Sordello which was structured around the character of the Mantovan troubadour. It is there however that any derivation stops and Pound’s own Sordello will inaugurate a gallery of historical figures around which the separate cantos will be organized: Confucius, Jefferson, Odysseus, Malatesta, John Adams. From this time on the Cantos were to prove Pound’s obsession and, apart from retrospective selections, translations and light verse, they were to be his exclusive preoccupation until his death. The year also marked a significant relocation for Pound. After five years in Paris he moved back to Italy. Pound’s move in October to Rapallo (first with Olga then Dorothy soon following) provided Ezra with a refreshingly different ambience than the cosmopolitan bustle of the French capital. A small town of around 15,000 inhabits and largely of peasant stock, Rapallo offered the seclusion without distraction that would be conducive to uninterrupted concentrated writing. Ezra and Dorothy finally took up residence on the Via Marsala and their top-floor apartment provided a panoramic vista of the seafront. Though his mission and destiny were by now luminous and focused (a near absolute concentration on composing his Cantos), Pound nonetheless took time to organize a collection of his shorter poems, which appeared in December 1926, under the recycled title—from his earlier 1909 volume—Personae. By March 1925 Pound had written seven additional cantos and in 1928 A Draft of Cantos XVII to XXVII appeared. Though the move to Rapallo was positive and productive, 1925 was also to bring Ezra clandestine complications. In midsummer he left alone for the Italian Tyrol for an assignation with Olga. What prompted Pound’s flight was news that Olga had borne him a daughter named Maria and it was decided that the child should be raised in the foster home of Johanna Marcher, a Tyrolean peasant woman well experienced in foster care. In May 1926 Pound’s legitimate offspring, a son, was born to Dorothy in the American Hospital in Paris and was christened Omar. A further familial complication arose when Pound’s parents, Homer and Isabel, decided to move to Rapallo (although Pound remained tacit about his feelings). Ezra’s next literary initiative was Exiles, a magazine he started in 1927 with the expressed intention “to print what no other mag. wd. print.” Not only edited by Pound but also published and largely funded by him it was to run to only four issues and perhaps its lasting value was to have printed the young Jewish poet Louis Zukofzky’s ambitious “Poem Beginning ‘The’,” a densely allusive, erudite, part-autobiographical satire on Eliot’s The Waste Land. Pound peppered the chosen literary works (by such emerging modernists as John Rodker and Cheever Dunning) with his own prose comments that cumulatively articulated his growing alienation with all things American. Indeed, Pound stated adamantly that he would never publish work again in either the States or England—a promise that was, of course, not kept. One comment he printed related to the positive values
(practical and moral) of Confucianism and at this time he commenced translating the Ta Hio from Pauthier’s 1858 French version. It was the deceptive shallowness of the texts, capable of yielding increasingly profound meanings on second reading, as well as the Confucian call away from psychologized personism towards a practical life based on probity, correctness, good government and comportment that he found appealing. As well as Confucius Pound also developed a consuming interest in the work of Leo Frobenius, a German historian whose theory of “paideuma” he found immensely attractive and thus very quickly the word entered Pound’s own vocabulary. (As Ezra understood it, “paideuma” refers to both the layers and interlacements of ideas and objects that granta culture cohesion and allow a contemporary to define his or her own historical period.) Here, Frobenius’s theory (or rather Pound’s own version of it) certainly helps us understand the nature and pattern of the poet’s own historical trajectories and motivations. Yeats and his wife visited Dorothy and Ezra in February 1928 (a visit captured in Canto 77) with Richard Aldington (Pound’s old friend from Imagist days) and his then-girlfriend Brigit Patmore arriving later in the year. Yeats wrote during the visit a group of texts he named A Packet for Ezra Pound that saw light in 1929 through his own Cuala Press in Dublin. The material is heterogeneous ranging from comments on the published Cantos, to Ezra’s habit of feeding daily the stray cats of Rapallo, to Yeats’ own supernatural contacts and his wife George’s practice of automatic writing. Pound at this time returned to his great love Cavalcanti with the idea of publishing a revised and expanded edition of his own translations that had appeared previously. The project became thwarted with frustrations and complexities. When Faber and Gwyre rejected it on the grounds that Ezra’s inflexible stipulations as to type and paper stock rendered it too expensive a accepted, the new, small London press Aquila took over the project with great enthusiasm but suddenly went bankrupt in mid-production. Salvaging the already printed sheets from Aquila that Pound had ordered to be manufactured in Germany (at his own expense), the planned facsimile plates and the rest of the book were typeset in nearby Genoa; it finally appeared in early 1932 as Guido Cavalcanti Rime through the Genoa firm of Edizione Marsano in an edition of 500 copies and to mixed reviews. The 1930s were to prove to be a decade of intense literary activity. First, in 1930, A Draft of Thirty Cantos appeared. Clearly Pound had no great aspirations for a wide readership for these early cantos. The Draft of Thirty Cantos was a grandiose production from Nancy Cunard’s Hours Press (a reincarnation of Three Mountains Press which she had purchased from Bill Bird) but published in a miniscule edition of 200 copies which quickly sold out. Cunard spared nothing in order to produce a sumptuous object with Dorothy supplying exquisite hand-drawn designs for the large initial letters. But by 1933, when British and American trade editions of the first thirty cantos appeared from both Faber & Faber and Farrar & Rhinehart, the impact of Pound’s revolutionary style was becoming clear: a complex blend of lyrical passages and historical collage. Moreover, the textual range of the ideogrammic method was remarkable: polyglot, appropriated documents and a dense allusiveness drew praise and vilification alike from the Cantos’ early readers. The loose albeit majestic flow of the luminous details were thought by many to be confusing and lacking structure. However a coherent structure had become clear in the author’s own mind and Pound related this to Yeats in a conversation that took place
in February 1928. The Cantos were to be structured musically like a Bach fugue held together by neither plot, historical sequence nor logical discourse, but by two continuous themes: the Homeric descent into Hades and the Ovidian theme of metamorphosis. Marbled into these terms were to be heterogeneous characters taken from medieval times to modern. Yeats, however, persisted in seeing the Cantos as nothing other than a dazzling mosaic of discontinuities. Work on further cantos continued at a steady pace with Cantos 31 through 33 published in a New England literary magazine in 1931, three years before the collected new cantos appeared through Farrar & Rhinehart under the title Eleven New Cantos,a year later from Faber & Faber as A Draft of Cantos XXXI-XLI. Around this time too Pound expanded his non-poetic activities into local journalism, contributing a literary column twice a month to the Rapallo newspaper Il Mare and publishing on a wide array of subjects from the atrocious state of modern Italian prose to contemporary women figures such as Harriet Monroe and Harriet Shaw Weaver, (the latter providing a continuing source of financial assistance to the always penniless Joyce). How to Read (1931) became the first of numerous prose books Pound wrote and published during this period and was followed by ABC of Economics (1933), ABC of Reading (1934), Make it New (1934), Jefferson and Mussolini (1935), Polite Essays (1937) and Guide to Kulchur (1938). Strictly speaking How to Read (along with its expanded version ABC of Reading) are not new but recycle Pound’s letters to Iris Barry that had appeared in the New York Herald Tribune at the beginning of 1929. As the title suggests, the spirit of the book is pedagogical, delivering a sound castigation of current curriculum and offering a radical rethinking of how literary canons should be constructed and ordered—put simply, students should be given only those books to read that contained authentic invention. Ezra’s accompanying curriculum is egregious in its omissions. Only two Greek texts figure in his scheme: Homer and Sappho; among the Latins the entirety of Virgil and Horace are removed leaving Ovid, Catullus and Propertius. Old English is represented by The Seafarer alone but the troubadours and Villon (not surprisingly) figure prominently on the curriculum. Shakespeare is missing and the lone Victorian poet is Robert Browning. Among prose writers, Ezra recommends Flaubert, Stendhal and Henry James. Pound is clearly choosing according to his own tastes and thinking towards a distillate of world literature down to a small core of essential texts. Although intended to be an explication of the economic theory of Social Credit as formulated by the Canadian Captain C. H. Douglas ABC of Economics in reality is Pound’s “creative misunderstanding” of much of that theory and largely elaborates Pound’s own thinking on the bases of economics. By contrast Make it New contains no references to economic matters; it collects some of Pound’s essays on exclusively literary topics. Occasioned by Frank Morely’s insistence on sending such a collection to press, its title did not find favor with either Eliot or Morely but Ezra remained insistent on the choice. The book lacks any contemporary content and Pound limits his focus to essays on Arnaut Daniel, the troubadours and Elizabethan writers. However he would follow up in his 1937 Polite Essays with essays on a more contemporary and engaging bevy of subjects(including Joyce, Eliot and Williams). Written in 1933 Jefferson and Mussolini did not find a ready publisher until the small London firm of Stanley Nott took it on and
published it in the Summer of 1935 (it appeared in the United States through Liveright the following year). Pound’s adherence to Italian Fascism will remain a moot point in any assessment of his ultimate cultural value and that thwarted discussion is beyond the scope of this literary biography. Suffice to say that in this short book of comparative analysis Pound argues (rightly or wrongly) the profound concurrence of both Jefferson’s and Mussolini’s ideas and rhetorical styles; in a number of digressions it argues links between Mussolini’s economic system and Dante —and even Fenollosa’s essay on the Chinese Written Character. One particular insight I believe to be most telling: Pound compares the nascent Italian Fascism to the Soviet regime, noting that while the latter was totally preconceived, the Italian venture was precisely that—an experimental leap into the unknown. Pound dedicated Guide to Kulchur to his two fellow “strugglers in the desert” Louis Zukofsky and Basil Bunting, and the book offers a dynamic, polemical overview, transcultural and trans-historic in its breadth. Where How to Read has a strategically “reductive” purpose (reducing the study of literature to a relatively small number of “essential” texts), the Guide attempts a similar condensation to essential wisdom and counsel that fittingly contains the “new paideuma.” Significantly, Pound starts with a short paragraph before the Forward that claims the book “is written for men who have not been able to afford an university education, or for young men, whether or not threatened with universities, who want to know more at the age of fifty than I know today [.]” The Guide advances a stridently non-pedagogical treatise characterized by its ideogrammic juxtaposition of contexts. In effect, it transposes the poetic method of the Cantos to a prose guide that sets forth a singular and egregious itinerary: from the Confucian Analects, through ancient Sparta to the contemporary Vortex, back to Aeschylus, then a jump forward to the new learning. In a new Preface to the 1970 reprint Pound informs readers retrospectively of his intention “to COMMIT myself on as many points as possible [and] to preserve some of the values that make life worth living.” It is with this purpose in mind that we can see the value of the Guide as radical pedagogy, advice, advocacy, exposé and a daring challenge to cultural reinterpretations. Important poetic texts also appeared during the 1930s beyond A Draft of Cantos XXXIXLI. Eleven new cantos were published under that name in 1934 taking the total now to 41 and Homage to Sextus Propertius appeared in the same year for the first time as a separate publication. Alfred Venison’s Poetry was released in 1935 in a large run of 2000 copies and quickly sold out. As the title suggests it parodies Tennyson’s poems but the themes of the poems are economic and advance Pound’s social credit beliefs. The Fifth Decade of Cantos saw light in 1937 as did Pound’s Confucius Digest of the Analects. Early in 1940 appeared the Cantos’ next installment: Cantos LII-LXXI (the “Chinese and Adams Cantos”). Completed in only six months, the 200 pages of text are he consequence of a highly productive development. Perhaps mindful of the standard criticism of the work’s obscurity Pound added for the first time in the Cantos a table of contents and a note stating his intention in utilizing ideograms and foreign phrases: “[F]oreign words and ideograms both in these two new decades and in earlier cantos enforce the text but seldom if ever add anything not stated in the English, though not always in lines immediately contiguous to these underlinings.” Despite this note the Adams Cantos (cantos 62
through 71) albeit powerful in their dizzying progression make chaotic reading owing to their intense condensation of historical events and facts. It would appear that Ezra felt the Cantos to be almost complete, confessing that “there’s a final volume to be done.” That volume, however, was not to signal the end of the Cantos but does mark a distinct change in the proclivity of their content from economics and history toward philosophy. He also engaged the possibility of writing some cantos along Frobenian lines on the subject of the racial components in Christianity but the idea was abandoned. The history of Pound’s wartime activities and subsequent imprisonment and declared insanity are well documented and will not become a subject of this predominantly literary biography. In 1942 Pound’s father died and two years later Ezra and Dorothy were ordered out of their seafront apartment by the authorities on the grounds that it was deemed a prohibited area for aliens. The town’s coastal defences had certainly been strengthened and an allied air attack on Rapallo was a daily possibility, and so the move from 12 Via Marsala to Olga Rudge’s home in neighboring Sant’ Ambrogio was no doubt a wise one. (The confluence, however, of Dorothy and Olga understandably produced domestic tension.) Pound wrote little during the war years beyond his radio speeches. However, the Cantos continued and he wrote 72 and 73 in the newly established Salo Republic during the chaos of the breakdown of Italian rule. (Brief and written in Italian, he deliberately held back from including them in the collected Cantos, although they did subsequently appear in the 1969 edition, and Pound’s own English translation of canto 72 in the edition of 1970.) After his arrest he commenced writing the next ten in the medical compound of the American Disciplinary Training Center at Pisa. The Pisan Cantos (which finally appeared in 1948) offer a strange confection, juxtaposing mythology, near hallucinatory passages, the Eleusinian Mysteries, and allusions back to characters in the previous cantos. There are also personal recollections of incidents in the poet’s own life, reflections on family, vivid descriptions of his current plight and, of course, a brooding, intense self-questioning. Written without the aid of a library and with no way to check the precise details of facts and quotations, there are inaccuracies and misquotations, as well as obscurities. Ezra had managed to write (in Italian) his version of Confucius’s Cung Iung and see it published through the Venetian press of Casa Editrice della Edizioni Populari in 1945. The English edition Confucius, The Unwobbling Pivot & The Great Digest appeared through New Directions in 1947, with an Indian edition published through Orient Longmans in 1949. Pound’s version of The Great Digest or Ta Hio had appeared in 1928 using a French translation as a source text; the 1945 is by far superior being based on James Legge’s English text. Judged insane Pound was committed to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC four days before Christmas. Opened in 1855, and situated on more than 300 acres of land overlooking the Anacostia River, Saint Elizabeth’s still retains the picturesque look of a Scottish manor house. However, beyond its pleasing architectural façade and setting the hospital had major internal shortcomings by the time of Ezra arrived. The cluster of buildings were overcrowded with patients, (7000 in a hospital with a total bed-capacity of 6,500 guaranteed cramped quarters). He was housed in his own cell in Howard Hall
(the ward devoted to the criminally insane and which Pound described as a “hell-hole”). Over time he was able to assemble a coterie of new and old friends to visit him among them Charles Olson, Caresse Crosby, Robert Lowell, e.e. cummings, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams. Mentally fatigued and depressed he endured his confinement, admitting to an unsound mind, resigning himself to the plea of insanity, but adamantly denying that mental state to any visiting friends. Finally, after nine months separation, Dorothy was able to arrange a transatlantic crossing and first visited Ezra on 10 July 1946. She noted his nervousness and exhaustion but spent most of the permitted hour of visitation discussing Confucius and, most importantly, became convinced of the need to get him transferred to a less grim environment (a conviction seconded by T. S. Eliot after his first visit to Saint Elizabeth’s in early July 1946). For his part, Williams wrote directly to President Truman petitioning Ezra’s immediate release, but to no avail—the White House passed the letter on to the hospital head, Dr. Winfred Overholser, who in his reply to Williams informed that Pound was not mentally suitable for either trial or release. Not surprisingly, Pound found creative production in Saint Elizabeth’s exceedingly difficult, (admitting to “artistic impotence” in a letter to Archibald MacLeish). But one ray of sunshine was to appear during these bleak times. In the summer of 1948 the Pisan Cantos were eventually published and a year later received the prestigious Bollingen Prize for Poetry (a not surprising accolade given the jury included Eliot, Auden, Robert Lowell and Allen Tate). Despite the controversial reception of this news, the Prize precipitated a marked increase in Ezra’s reputation. Several critics have noted that these cantos read like working notes without cohesive development, yet in them we find some of the finest lyric passages in the entire work. The collected Cantos up to and including Canto 84 had already appeared in 1948, and in 1951 Hugh Kenner’s The Poetry of Ezra Pound saw publication, offering a superb, inaugural study of the poet. Pound’s reputation as a translator was ensured by the 1953 publication of the collected translations. The range is stunningly transcultural and transhistoric and includes translations from Cavalcanti, Arnaut Daniel, the Chinese Cathay, the Anglo-Saxon “Seafarer,” Japanese Noh Plays, Remy de Gourmont’s “Dust for Sparrows” and poems by two other contemporaries or near contemporaries: Laforgue and Leopardi. Pound extended this list a year later with his own translation (compiled with the aid of a Chinese student Veronica Sun) of the Confucian odes known as The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius. Many new acolites visited Ezra during the 1950s: Marshall McLuhan, Achilles Fang, David Rattray, Huntingdon Cairns, and a future love partner, Sheri Martinelli. After a seven year hiatus a new decade of cantos appeared in a limited edition through the Milan-based house of Vanni Scheiwiller, with American and British editions following in 1956 and 1957 respectively. With the mixed-language title of Section: Rock-Drill de los cantares the poems extend and elaborate on Pound’s poetic purpose of giving (as the American dust jacket unequivocally states) “the true meaning of history as one man has found it: in the annals of ancient China, in the Italian Renaissance, in the letters and diaries of Jefferson, the Adamses and Van Buren, in the personalities and currents of his own time.” Stylistically it bears resemblance to the fragmentary quality of the Pisan Cantos, while its liberal inclusion of ideograms are reminiscent of the style of
the ones on Chinese History. (In addition Pound includes some Egyptian hieroglyphics and a reproduction of medieval musical notation.) The title is taken from a sculpture by Jacob Epstein that Ezra had seen and serves as the machinic metaphor for Pound’s assumed responsibility of drilling facts into his readers’ (and editors’) heads. Around 1953 Pound turned to translating Sophocles’ Trachiniae (Women of Trachis) with the singular intention of rendering the Greek tragedy presentable in the style of Japanese Noh. In so doing Ezra took extreme license with the Greek text but nonetheless produced an actable version. Published in 1956, it was first produced and acted in England by the Keele University Drama Group in late 1962. Meanwhile, Pound’s confinement in Saint Elizabeth’s continued. The request for a Presidential pardon was raised in 1954 only to be rejected because of the following legal technicality: a pardon could only be granted if Pound had been found guilty; Pound could not be found guilty because he had yet to stand trial; Ezra could not stand trial as long as he was declared insane. Despite cumulative appeals (from Bertrand Russell and the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, for instance) Dr. Overholser remained defiant in his stance. Notwithstanding, Ezra’s overall living conditions improved somewhat when in 1955 Overholser granted him permission to remain in the grounds of the hospital until 8pm. In addition, due to the assiduous requests from Pound’s friend and fellow poet Archibald MacLeish, Ezra was supplied with books from the library of Congress on a regular basis. In November 1956 Overholser finally relented, writing to MacLeish to inform him that charges against Pound should be dropped and that he should remain in Saint Elizabeth’s until a release was deemed timely. Finally on 18 April 1958, after protracted negotiations and eventual Presidential intercession, all indictments were dismissed and Ezra was discharged from St Elizabeth’s on 7 May. After visiting his boyhood haunt of Wyncote, Pennsylvania, acquiring a passport, and a brief sojourn to Rutherford to meet his ailing friend and fellow poet William Carlos Williams, Ezra went to New York and on 30 June 1958 he and Dorothy boarded the Cristoforo Colombo, bound for Europe, and destined for a new domestic life in Ezra’s daughter’s home in the Italian Tyrol. The castle of Brunnenberg, close to the village of Tirolo in the Italian Alps, is an impressive sight. Repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries it soars in splendid isolation above the villages that lie scattered across the Adige Valley. Its situation is such that it echoes the equally imposing twelfth-century Castel Tirolo. Brunnenberg’s exterior walls are eleventh-century and the main tower dates back to Roman times. The architecture was transformed towards the end of the nineteenth century when it was bought with the explicit intention of being converted to a Masonic Temple and a multiplicity of turrets and balconies were added in the style of “mad” Ludwig of Bavaria. For decades the castle lay in ruins until Pound’s daughter Mary and her husband Boris de Rachelwitz took it over in 1948. Ezra’s office occupied the entirety of the top floor of the main tower, however, despite arriving at the Castle in a condition of euphoria, Pound’s state of mind and emotional moods were to change rapidly. His anticipated life of contemplation and relaxation was undermined by the persistent invasions of photographers, reporters and acolytes. (These exhausting encounters were not entirely unanticipated as Mary herself had planned the castle to function somewhat in the manner of an Ezra Pound Museum
and Club.) To compound matters Ezra developed a claustrophobia about the surrounding mountainous terrain and high altitude and, in the only partially heated stone edifice, felt the cold of late Fall hard to endure. Despite these negative conditions he continued to work on the Cantos, preparing another group for press (96 to 109) with the title Thrones de los Cantares. Personal relations, however, deteriorated quickly; Ezra, fatigued (he was after all in his mid-seventies) and disliking his daughter’s adulation felt unrest, and Mary herself experienced growing discontent on several domestic points and other tribulations. Finally, Ezra and Dorothy moved to Rapallo. We learn significant things regarding Pound’s reading patterns from the numerous interviews he granted at the Castle. From D. G. Bridson (who visited Ezra to shoot a BBC documentary on the poet) we learn that Pound’s central interests were economics and Confucius, and from a Swedish newspaper report that he was also reading much historical material in preparation for writing further cantos. Bridson insisted that the film be shot not in Rapallo but back at Brunnenberg, Pound concurred and in April 1959 he and Dorothy made a brief return to the Castle. By May, Dorothy and Ezra had left Rapallo for a tour of Italy with the poet’s amanuensis Marcella Spann, visiting among other places the site of the Detention Centre at Pisa as well as his beloved Sermione. What exactly happened on the trip is far from clear, (according to Pound’s biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, Pound proposed to Marcella at Lago Garde,) but what is certain is that by summer’s end Marcella had returned to America and, desperate for accommodation, Dorothy and Ezra returned to the Castle in the summer of 1960. It was around this time that Ezra started complaining of and “calcifications” of the neck and vertebrae. To compound his problems hypochondria and depression set in as well as bitterness, selfpity and inconsolability. (An inability to eat as well as prostate complications were soon to follow.) Mary insisted that Ezra visit Rome, partly as an antidote to the cold weather around Brunnenberg. He responded favorably to the idea and also took up Mary’s suggestion that he stay with Ugo Dadne, a retired friend of Boris. Despite his misfortunes Ezra could still work on his epic—but with notable difficulty. “Notes for 111” were formulated around December 1959 and, during a visit to Rome by Pound’s young admirer Donald Hall, to conduct a lengthy interview for the Paris Review, he showed Hall fragments and notes towards the concluding cantos— fragments that would finally appear in book form in April 1969 as Drafts & Fragments of Cantos CXCXVII. Ezra left Rome in May 1960 to join Dorothy in Rapallo, returning to Brunnenberg in the summer. His health and comportment deteriorated noticeably; he stopped eating, remained inert for extended periods of time and his figure was apparently becoming bent. Eventually he entered a private clinic and remained there until the autumn. His spirits did not improve. Self-reproachful, erratic in his behavior and interpersonal communication and increasingly depressed he expressed thoughts of suicide. In the early spring of 1961 he returned to Rome but soon fell ill. He was taken by Mary back to the clinic near Brunnenberg emaciated and fatigued. There, he was finally diagnosed with a precise malady: an enlarged prostate and consequent retention of urine. Ameliorated by a catheter he remained bed-ridden for several months. By August his condition had distinctly improved: he was drinking fluids, and by November he was sitting up in bedin good spirits and eating again. Despite improvement Ezra remained in the clinic until
released in the early part of 1962. Rather than moving back to Brunnenberg Pound decided to visit Olga in Rapallo and the visit led to a permanent stay. Olga seized the opportunity of Ezra’s failing health to become his sole protectress and care giver. Ezra soon suffered from a major hemorrhage that required his immediate hospitalization. An operation was performed to remove uraemic poisoning; he recovered well and was released at the end 1962 and immediately returned to Olga in Sant’Ambrogio. She took him to live in Venice at her secret apartment in Calle Querini and Ezra’s life seemed to be making a turn for the better; he now dined frequently and reverted to dressing in his old Edwardian clothes with cane, broad brimmed hat, 1909 large silk tie and long black overcoat. Despite the reversal of fortunes, and his now unbroken connection with Olga, he continued to be taciturn and unproductive, adding nothing to the Cantos and neglecting to answer correspondence. We can glean much of Pound’s mental state from his 1963 interview conducted by Grazia Livi for the Milan-based magazine Epoca. In it he admits to being lethargic, despondent, neither writing nor reading, and of having lost his expertise with words. In the summer of 1963 Ezra also returned to the hospital in Rapallo to undergo a full prostatectomy. As with his previous operation he quickly recovered and with recovery came a renewed burst of energy—but his silence persisted. His doctor, Giuseppe Bacigalupo attributed it to a psychological block rather than a willed refusal or affected manner. Friends and family noted a clear pattern of brief periods when Ezra was lucid and would speak, followed by lengthy spells of silence. Needless to say, Pound’s publications during this time were minimal: a few of the Drafts and Fragments appeared in magazines but the years were noted more for the death of friends. Hemmingway committed suicide in 1961, Cummings died in 1962, Williams a year later and Eliot would die in 1965—a collective mammoth loss. At the beginning of 1964 and in an attempt to alleviate Ezra’s depression Dorothy decided to take him to Switzerland. Although visits to numerous clinics proved unsuccessful in finding a cure, Ezra did meet Oskar Kokoschka who drew his portrait. After Eliot’s death Ezra decided to pay his final respects by attending the funeral service in Westminster Abbey and after the service he and Olga visited Valerie Eliot in her Kensington flat. Ezra’s elective solo journey surprised Dorothy and his decision to visit Yeats’s widow in Dublin before returning to Rapallo surprised Olga. More optimistically, 1965 was noteworthy for Gian-Carlo Manotti’s production of Pound’s opera, Le Testament de Villon at the Spoleto Festival. Manotti invited Pound to read publicly but the poet doubly refused both to read from his own work (choosing poems by Marianne Moore and Robert Lowell) and to read from the stage. That same year would see Pound celebrate his eightieth birthday and would bring the welcome reprinting of some of his early work. In the summer the first separate edition of “The Seafarer” appeared through Gotthard de Beauclair in Frankfurt am Main in a limited edition of 200 copies and enhanced by a splendid lithograph by Oskar Kokoschka. The end of October saw the republication of Ezra’s first book, A Lume Spento, by James Laughlin with additional early poems, released deliberately on October 30 to coincide with Ezra’s 80th birthday. William Cookson tendered his own homage to Pound with a special issue of his magazine Agenda while, for his part, Noel Stock organized a festschrift released under the title Perspec-
tives. Laurence Scott and Guy Davenport celebrated with a limited edition (118 copies) of Canto CX, printed by their Sextant Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To celebrate his birthday Ezra decided to visit Paris where Natalie Barney threw a party in his honor. During the festivities someone suggested Ezra should take in a Beckett play: Endgame, a suggestion that Pound took up. After the play he wrote a short and amicable note to the playwright intimating his enjoyment but tendering concern about Beckett’s health— (Pound had been informed by Hugh Kenner that Beckett was ill) —and offering to visit. What transpired was the opposite. Beckett phoned Pound and suggested that he himself visit the elder statesman. Beckett later informed Joyce’s biographer Richard Ellman that the two met, sat together in unbearable mutual silence before Beckett embraced Pound and fled the room in embarrassment. Despite his health and age Ezra moved into a surprising peripatetic period traveling to Greece in 1965 and Zurich two years later where he visited Joyce’s grave (an event immortalized in Horst Tape’s photograph). Yet despite the travel and geo-cultural variety, Pound’s depression persisted. He spent a month in 1966 in a Genoa clinic for mental and nervous disorders. Both the diagnostics and descriptions are telling: his hypochondria had increased, he frequently refused to eat, his psychomotor activity was markedly retarded. Though periods of normal activity did occur, these were countermatched by bouts of silence, slurred speech and a marked separation between internal thinking and verbal expression. Despite being given antidepressants Ezra left the clinic unimproved. The Cantos lay dormant but they were still alive. Indeed, Ezra, in his final decade, supplied Faber & Faber with a copy of the 1964 collected Cantos that he had marked up by himself (and with Olga’s persistent encouragement) for purposes of selection. (He sent James Laughlin a slightly variant selection with a few additional selections.) The Selected Cantos finally appeared towards the end of 1967, and with a print run of 36,000 copies English and 7,000 American copies, the publishers apparently anticipated considerable sales. Meanwhile life in Venice at Casa 60 (Olga’s “hidden nest”) was far from uneventful. Indeed, Olga and Ezra were plagued by journalists, academics, (even hippies), would-be biographers and miscellaneous devotees. But one noteworthy caller should be mentioned. Allen Ginsberg visited Sant’Ambrogio in the Summer of 1967 with a retinue of likeminded fans; it was to be the first of a number of meetings between Ezra and the author of “Howl.” Ginsberg, ever curious and gracious to Pound as a mentor, finally arranged an interview with him on 28 October 1967 which finally appeared in Evergreen Review 55 for June 1968. Finally, in 1969, appeared Draft & Fragments of CX-CXVII. Though the product of an old man in failing health, the Drafts contain some of Ezra’s finest lyric poetry. Canto CX begins:
Thy quiet house The crozier’s curve runs in the wall, The harl, feather-white, as a dolphin on sea-brink
and the “Notes for Canto CXVII et seq.” conclude: Milkweed the sustenance as to enter Arcanum.
To be men not destroyers.
“Canto CXX,” added later to the 1972 (and subsequent) American editions of the Cantos ends the poem with a naked lyric of confession and repentance—a personal testimonial summation of Ezra’s epic quest:
I have tried to write Paradise
Do not move Let the wind speak that is paradise. Let the Gods forgive what I have made Let those I love try to forgive what I have made It was not Pound’s choice to end the Cantos on this note, yet his return to facture, to the material making of art, is crucially important. Where the Cantos open with a sea voyage towards the trajectory of a periplum, this ending returns us to the Cantos as less a song or a gathering of singings, than to a made thing. The year 1969 also finds Ezra in the United States. He had been invited by the New York Public Library to the official opening of the exhibition of the manuscript of The Waste Land (acquired by them a decade earlier). Though failing to reply he turned up and was greeted by his American publisher, James Lauglin. It is not clear that Pound actually intended to visit the exhibition; he had the increasing desire to visit at least once more before his death his home town of Hailey, Idaho. Ezra, however, did not make the pilgrimage, although Olga went back to revisit her own birthplace of Youngstown, Ohio. He did, however, meet up with Valerie Eliot who was in New York working on transcribing drafts of Eliot’s poem for a forthcoming facsimile and transcript edition of the poem. Apart from the odd visits to Calle Querini little of importance transpired for the next two years. However, in 1972 a significant development in permanent Pound scholarship occurred with the founding of the journal Paideuma by Carroll F. Terrell dedicated exclusively to the study of Ezra’s work. Pound was also nominated by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for the annual Emerson-Thoreau Medal but the recommendation
was outvoted 13-9. One member of the nominating committee, O. B. Hardison Jr., Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, disgruntled by the decision resigned and in protest invited Ezra to read at the Library. Ezra did not reply and did not make the trip. Now bedridden and further failing in health he mustered sufficient energy to write a brief foreword to William Cookson’s planned edition of the Selected Prose. Written in Venice, Pound’s beloved city, and dated on the day of American Independence, it registers as a curious symbol of Ezra’s bi-continental existence. Less obsequious and self-deprecating than the 1972 ending to the Cantos it concludes, after a terse discussion of pronouns, on a note of frank confession and discovery:
re USURY: I was out of focus, taking a symptom for a cause. The cause is AVARICE.
I believe this short prose document, Ezra’s final published writing, is the true conclusion of the Cantos and should at last be added to the collected edition. On Monday October 30, 1972, his eighty-seventh birthday Ezra was too weak to join the party held in his honor. Guests instead visited him in his bedroom and he was served a little cake and champagne. The next evening he complained of abdominal pains and Olga phoned the doctor who ordered an ambulance boat to take him to the municipal hospital of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. Ezra refused to be carried to the water’s edge and walked down to the boat for his final aquatic journey. Although all of Pound’s biographers fail to mention it, I find it impossible not to recall the opening of Canto 1:
And then went down to the ship, Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and We set up mast and sail on that swart ship . . .
At 8 p.m. on Wednesday 1, November, 1972, Ezra drifted to sleep and died . . . with one eye open. Steve MacCaffery, june 2008
WORKSHOPS’ CHRONOLOGY Workshop I 1987 Arrigo Lora Totino 1987 Eugenio Miccini 1987 Stelio Maria Martini Workshop II 1988 Jean Dupuy 1988 Bernard Heidsieck 1988 Arrigo Lora Totino Workshop III 1989 Heinz Gappmayr 1989 Ilse Garnier 1989 Eugen Gomringer 1989 Gerhard Rühm 1989 Emmett Williams Workshop IV 1989 Henri Chopin 1989 Jean Dupuy 1989 John Furnival 1989 Dick Higgins Workshop V 1989 Pierre Garnier 1989 Ladislav Novak 1989 Jacques Spacagna
Workshop VI 1991 Augusto De Campos 1991 Haroldo De Campos 1991 Decio Pignatari
1991 Robert Lax 1991 Jackson Mac Low 1991 Bern Porter 1991 Michel Seuphour Workshop VII 1992 Heinz Gappmayr 1992 Bohumila Grögerová 1992 Josef Hiršal 1992 Franz Mon 1992 Konrad Balder Schäuffelen 1992 Wolf Wezel
2000 John Giorno 2000 Richard Kostelanetz 2001 Alain Arias Misson 2002 Demosthenes Agrafiotis 2002 Lawrence Ferlinghetti
2003 Dmitry Bulatov 2003 Klaus Peter Dencker 2003 Rea Nikonova 2003 Vagn Steen 2004 Motoyuki Ito 2004 Shutaro Mukai 2004 Jerome Rothenberg 2004 Shohachiro Takahashi 2006 Fernando Aguiar 2006 Julien Blaine 2006 Ugo Carrega 2006 Bartolomé Ferrando 2006 Giovanni Fontana 2006 Clemente Padin 2006 Lamberto Pignotti 2007 Jean-François Bory 2007 Enzo Minarelli 2007 Anna Oberto 2007 Martino Oberto 2007 Sarenco 2007 Luigi Tola 2007 Rodolfo Vitone 2008 Costis 2008 Klaus Groh 2008 Steve MacCaffery 2008 Karel Trinkewitz
LA LIVRE I A r r i g o L o r a To t i n o Stelio Maria Mar tini Eugenio Miccini To t i n o / M a r t i n i / M i c c i n i
Arrigo Lora Totino
Arrigo Lora-Totino (1928 - ) Born in 1928 in Torino, where he resides. In 1959, he founded with friends “antipiugiù”, a magazine of experimental literature he directed for the following four numbers until 1966. In 1964 with the musician Enore Zaffiri and the painter Sandro de Alexandris opened “Studio of Aesthetic Information” dedicated to searching for interrelations among visual and sonorous poetry, plastic operations and electronic music, and for the diffusion of the constructivist art. In1969, he curated with Dietrich Mahlow the exposure of concrete poetry within the Biennale exhibition in Venice, near Ca’ Giustinian (September-October, 1969). In 1978, published on behalf of the record house Cramps Records of Milan “Futura, Sound Poetry”, an anthology in 7 LP disks with presentations of historical-criticism from Futurism to the contemporary scene. From 1974 he elaborated a series of performances of “Gymnastic Poetry” and of “Liquid Poetry”, and from 1976 a series of mimodeclamations of texts of the historical avantgarde, from Futurism to the Dada, from the Zaum to German expressionism, from Lettrism to Concretism. In 1980 on the TV network of RAI 2. a series of transmissions “Il colpo di glottide” on Sound Poetry, in 13 episodes. From 1967 to 1969 he published a series of “Bodies of Poetry”, three-dimensional visual poetries on silkscreen plexiglas (Multiart, Torino). In 1968 he published with Peter Fogliati “Il Liquimofono, congegno generatore di Musica Liquida e la Poesia Liquida, inflessioni tuffate nell’idromegafono” (V. Scheiwiller, Milan). 1977-78, he published two portfolios of visual poetry in more colors: “Cromofonemi iridescenti” (Tuttagrafica, Torino) and “Incandescenze, cinque itinerari litoranei” (La Nuova Foglio, Macerata). Other publications: “Verbale 1987” – “Fluenti Traslati, concertazione drammatica in 4 tempi” (Morra edizioni, Napoli, 1986); “Gazzarra di gazzette” a 4 mani con Sergio Cena (Sapiens edizioni, Milano 1993). Numerous publications of sonorous poetry on cassettes, disks and CDs, both in Italy and abroad.
Stelio Maria Martini
Stelio Maria MARTINI (1934 - ) Born in Ancona in 1934, from a Neapolitan father. Transferred to Naples in 1958. He has created along with others (Persico, E. Villa, Diacono, Desiato, Caruso), a nonstop sequence of magazines and publications of avant-garde (from “ Documento-Sud “ to “ E/mana/azione “, in the majority of cases also as editor, collaborating at the same time with other magazines, also foreign ones. He has participated in the most important shows of visual poetry (Poesia visiva 1963-1988: cinque maestri. Carrega, Martini, Miccini, Pignotti, Sarenco, Firenze, 1998 e L’ultima avanguardia, Spoleto, 1995) and published different volumes, also of saggistica: Schemi (Documento-Sud, 1962; Morra, Napoli, 1989); Turbiglione (Guanda, Parma, 1965); Formulazione non-A (Colonnese, Napoli, 1972; Morra, 1984); Paralogismata (Napoli, 1974); Neurosentimental (Continuum, Napoli, 1974; Morra, 1983); Calligrammi di Apollinaire (Morra, 1984); L’impassibile naufrago (Giuda, Napoli, 1986); Breve storia dell’avanguardia (Nuove Edizioni, Napoli, 1988); Una postilla e altre storie (Mercato del Sale, Milano, 1989); Poemi, calligrammi, metri (Marotta, Napoli, 1991); Libentia signa (Ripostes, Salerno-Roma, 1993); La chiave universale (Morra, 1997); Via nel vento (Il Laboratorio, Nola, 1997); Tramonto della parola (Bulzoni, Roma, 1999); Tigri e filtri, con tavole di Salvatore Cotugno (Morra, 2001); Forma sostanziale (id., 2002).
Eugenio MICCINI (1925 – 2007) He completed his studies in a seminary, interesting himself, above all, in Greek philosophy and Latin literature, humanistic influences that would characterize the work of his mature years in the ‘70s. He graduated in Pedagogy and became a publicist. He began a complex activity and literary militancy, during which he collaborated with various magazines, among which “Quartiere”, “Letteratura”, “Il Menabò”, published some books of poetry and he won the Poetry Prize of the City of Florence (1961); The first visual poetries go back to 1962 and in 1963 he founded in Florence the Gruppo 70 with Lamberto Pignotti and Luciano Ori, and he began the experience of Visual Poetry. His Poesie Visive appeared in the homonym anthology curated by Lamberto Pignotti and published by the editions Sampietro in Bologna in 1965. These were intense years characterized by strong ideological meetings and with the organization of exhibitions, shows, debates and publications on visual poetry. In 1969 he organized, again in Florence, the Centro Tèchne, the homonym magazine and notebooks devoted to visual poetry, the theater, and the cultural and political debate of those years. In the’70s he participated in the International Group of Visual Poetry, or Nine Group, and directed with Sarenco the second and third series of the magazine Lotta poetica (Brescia). In 1983 he founded the Group Logomotives with Arias-Misson, Blaine, Bory, De Vree, Sarenco and Verdi. During those years he also involved himself in didactic and academic activity, as Curator of Semiotic Disciplines at the Faculty of Architecture at the Universityof Florence, and teaching art history in the Academies of Belle Arti of Verona and Ravenna. He was invited to the most important international shows; the Biennial of Venice on four occasions four editions XXVI: The book as place of search, 1972, XXXIX: The time of the museum, 1980, XLII: 1986, Italian Work, transits, 1993; XI: Quadriennale in Rome, Palazzo dei Congressi, as Commissioner for the section of Visual Poetry, 1986, and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of the Pilotta in Parma, Museum of Modem Art of New York, National Galleries in Warsaw, Cèret, Lublino, Value, Anversa, and others. He has published over seventy books of creative character and essays; among the foremost, we mention: Poesie visive 1962-1970, Firenze, Tèchne (1970); Ex Rebus, Firenze, Tèchne (1970); Archivio della poesia visiva italiana, Firenze, Tèchne (1970). Later: Poesia visiva e dintorni, Firenze, Meta, 1995.
LA LIVRE II Henri Chopin Jean Dupuy John Furnival Dick Higgins
Henri CHOPIN (1922 – 2007) Born in Paris, France, in 1922, he didn’t start recording until after he saw Isidore Isou’s film Traite de Bave dt d’Eternité in 1952, with the soundtrack of Francois Dufrene using his voice without words. Defrene was founder of the Ultraletterists, a poetry movement to abolish words in favor of linguistic noises, inspired by Antonin Artaud as well as by the early Dada movement. Inspired by Dufrene and the earlier Dadaists, Chopin began his own experiments with voice and tape by the mid-1950s, as well as recording some older sound poets like Raoul Hausmann, one of the founders of the Berlin Dada of 1918. Chopin’s work pointed the way in which technology could re-define the early sound poetry, and open it up to even less reliance on language. Whereas the Dada sound poetry still relied on letters, Chopin often focused on the pure essence of sounds that the voice was capable of. At the same time he started to exhibit his artwork, among which were his typewriter poems that utilize typewritten letters to create visual images. Chopin decided to further promote contemporary sound poetry by publishing the 19-issue journal, Cinquieme Saison, from 1959 to 1963, and then the 13issue magazine with phonograph record Ou Revue, from 1964 to 1974. The Ou records showcased a broad spectrum of avant-garde artists from Europe and the United States, from the early Dadaists like Hausmann, to Ultraletterists like Dufrene, Swedish text-sound artists like Ake Hodell and Sten Hanson, and early work by Bob Cobbing, Brion Gyson, and William Burroughs among others, as well as Chopin’s own work. In 1979 Jean-Michel Place published in Paris Chopin’s Poesie Sonore International, an extensive history of sound poetry accompanied by a two-cassette anthology. In 1968 Chopin relocated from Paris to London, and the next year Tangent Records in London released his LP Audiopoems. Whereas earlier Chopin had used tape recorders in his own studio, by the 1970s he was recording in some of the best studios in Europe, including Atelier de Création at Radio France, the Fylkingen Studio in Stockholm, and the WDR Studio in Cologne. Another LP, Poesie Sonore, came out in 1983 on the Igloo-Carmel label in Brussels. Chopin moved back to Paris in the late ‘80s. Since the mid-‘90s, much more of Chopin’s work has been released by various labels as more people have become aware of the groundbreaking work of this avantgarde artist, bridging the gap between the Dadaists of the WW1 era and the experimental electronic artists of contemporary times. His poesie sonore or sound poetry, using multi-layered vocals and tape recorder, went far beyond spoken-word, as the vocal component is stripped of language to fully experiment with the power of the voice. As poet, tape experimenter, painter, graphic artist, typographer, performance artist, broadcaster and film director, Chopin was a prolific artist, but in his roles as independent publisher and arts promoter he was also a tireless champion, and a focal point for other artists in the areas of sound poetry, text-sound, audio-poems and other avantgarde sound experiments.
Jean DUPUY (1925 - ) Sagittarius, born one 22/11, and whose arrow, after 82 years, goes to 00. From age 7 to 20, he made representational painting. After one year spent at the school of architecture and fine art, in Paris, he resumed painting and discovered lyric abstraction. Then after 20 years of painting, dissatisfied, he left Paris and settled down in New York. In 1968 he exhibited at Moma and at the Museum of Brooklyn (in 2 exhibition “ Art and Technology “), a sculpture of dust “ A Pyramid “ put in movement by the pulsations of visitors. (During 4 years he also exhibited at Sonnabend). In 1971, he was invited to an exhibition “ Art and Technology “ at the County Museum of Los Angeles, and presented a diesel engine “FEWA Fuel” (Fire Earth Water Air) made by Cummins Engine Co2. Among other things, he reported the pollution of such an engine, provoking, a scandal. In 1972 he exposes Ear at the Big Palace in Paris, an object which allowed the visitors to see their own ears (not so clean). In 1974 he met Olga Adorno with whom he had a son, Augustin. In 1973 he organized in his loft in “ 405th 13*55 “ a collective exhibition “in situ” where artists report on the war of Vietnam and the speculative market of art. End of relation with Sonnadend. In 1974 he organized at The Kitchen ( NY) a collective performance “Soup and Tarts” where, during a dinner for 360 persons, 40 artists made alternately, a performance of 2 minutes. On 1976 he organized at the Grommet Studio, 537 Brodway, studio of workshops almost permanent until 1984. It was during this period that he made an accidental discovery (“Le hasard, c’est moi” he says). 4 words printed on a pencil “ American unique venus red “ give him an anagram: “Univers ardu en mécanique”. This equation surprised him. It was going to change his life later. 1978. A black year. G. Maciunas, G. Matta, Clarke and Cadere died. This same year (after Augustin’s birth) he invited 40 artists to make performances at the Museum of the Louvre. This lively animation in this boring place starts a new scandal. During the ‘70s, having made a series of videos, he leaves New York in 1984, to settle down in a village, Pierrefeu, where he begins a series of books, having invented a system of writing based on anagrams. Between 1987 and 2008, he published around thirty books. Between 1988 and 1991, he worked with F. Conz, in Verona. Together they created about forty editions. In 2007, he made an exhibition for Mamac, in Nice, starting from a rebus: AB x 2. Then, in November, an exhibition in the Gallery Sèmiose in Paris. With B. Porcher and E. Mangion, they prepared a monograph and two exhibitions: June 27th, in Villa Tamarisk, 28 in the Villa Arson, and on September 19th, 2008 an exhibition of Galets et de Polypes at Musée de Salutre, in Bourgogne.
John FURNIVAL (1933 - ) Born in Lewisham, South London, in 1933, he was evacuated to the countryside for the duration of the Second World War. From there he had a front-row seat for the Battle of Britain. After school, he studied, first, at Wimbledon School of Art, and then, after Military Service, at the Royal College of Art. Having graduated, he started teaching at Gloucestershire College of Art. Whilst there he made the acquaintance of dom Silvester Hovédard, who introduced him to the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gomringer, the de Campos brothers et al. In 1964, together with the typographer Edward Wright, he founded Openings, a press devoted to the production of visual and concrete poetry on a small scale, suitable for sending through the mail – perhaps one of the earliest forms of mail art in England. The press, and Furnival, have been tottering on ever since, ever mindful of Pound’s advice to his daughter “Make it New!”
Dick HIGGINS (1938 – 1999) Dick Higgins was born on March 15, 1938 to Katherine Bigelow Higgins and Carter Higgins. The family owned and operated a steel mill in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Carter and Katherine settled after Dick was born to them in Jesus Pieces, England, while Carter was a student at Oxford. In 1958, after an abrupt departure from Yale University and a semester spent studying composition with Henry Cowell at Columbia University, Dick joined the now famous class in experimental composition, offered by John Cage at the New School for Social Research in New York. During this class, Dick collaborated with Al Hansen at the New York Audio-Visual Group and worked with Allan Kaprow on the first Happening, Kaprow’s famous 18 Happenings in Six Parts were performed at the Reuben Gallery. After several smaller group formations, many of the artists associated with that class would go on to found Fluxus in 1962, with the energetic help of Fluxus impresario, George Maciunas. Fluxus artists are best known for their Fluxkits, small boxes of tactile-conceptual objects, and the event-type of simply scored performance. Dick wrote a series of these called “Danger Music” from 1958-1962, one of which (No. 17) reads simply “Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream!” About a year later, in 1963, Dick co-founded the Something Else Press, so titled when his wife, Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, didn’t like the name Shirtsleeves Press that he had originally suggested. Call it “something else,” she said. As legend has it, he did. That press is probably Dick’s best known legacy. It was through the press that he coined the term “Inter media” in an essay by that name that appeared in the first Press newsletter in 1965. The inter media idea, that artistic structures can overlap in structurally fused, as opposed to merely additive, ways had a tremendous impact on the art of the ensuing three decades, where the term gradually came to refer to digital and computer art forms. As Dick intended it, however, the arts were most vibrant at their borders – he would write music by drawing images and write poems by throwing dice. Dick became an inter-media-based painter in the last decades of his life, a move misunderstood as a retrograde return to painting by an art audience that has misconstrued Fluxus gestures as simply anti-art. In these later, deeply committed graphic expressions of music, poetry and cultural history, he made the quintessential Fluxus gesture by Fluxing Fluxus into that corner of the art world with which it was presumed to have the least in common--painting. Dick died of a heart attack on October 20, 1999.
LA LIVRE III Pierre Garnier Franz Mon Ladislav Novak Jacques Spacagna
Pierre GARNIER (1928 - ) Born in Amiens, France, on January 9, 1928. The city of Amiens was destroyed by the war in May, 1940. In 1946 he moved to Germany as a student at the University of Mayence . Works as an assistant at the Realschule of the Palatinate. In 1950 he returns to France as a teacher of German. At the Sorbonne he meets the poetess ,Ilse who becomes his wife. In 1959 he abandoned the French Communist Party and deals exclusively with his job as a poet. From 1957 he interests himself in experimental poetry, after a meeting with Henri Chopin. From 1960, with Ilse Garnier, he developed his theory of “Spatial Poetry”, that is, an evolution of Concrete Poetry. From 1950 up to today he has published about seventy books of poetry and some books of prose. Since 1960 he has participated in most of the important, international shows devoted to Concrete and Visual Poetry. Lives and works in Laissez, Pericardia, France.
Franz MON (1926 - ) Born in 1926 in Frankfurt on Main. Active for many years in a publishing house. The first text volume: “Articulations” (1959). Since the ‘50s he has developed works in verbal, visual and acoustic texts. Radio plays since 1962 - type “ new radio play”. Altogether 16 pieces; finally “ausgeartetes auspunkten” (2007). Karl Sczuka Prize in 1971, in 1982, in 1996. The verbal texts since 1951 in “ Gesammlte Texte “, 4 Vols. (1994-97), as well as “ Nach Omege undsoweiter “ (1992), “ Wörter voller Worte “ (1999), “ Freiflug für Fangfragen “ (2004).
Ladislav NOVAK (1925 – 1999) Ladislav Novák was born in 1925, in Turnov, Czechoslovakia. In the late ‘50s he made his first visual poems, and a few years later, in 1962, the so -called ‘phonetic poems’. The same year he founded a new process for recycling existing images. Starting off from pages of illustrated magazines, he submitted them to a solvent-based chemical treatment, transforming them until they became what he called an ‘alchimage’. Two years later Novák invented the ‘froissage’, in which the contours of a crumbled piece of paper are used to create a drawing. The method was also later used by Novák’s friend Jiri Kolár. Novák also made so-called ‘fumages’, a surrealist technique in which drawings are made with the aid of the smoke of a candle. Novák exhibited his works in many galleries outside Czecholsovakia, such as Galleria Schwarz, Milano (1974), Galerie A, Amsterdam (1981), and Galleria Ferrari, Verona, Donguy, Paris and Studio Morra, Naples (all 1986). Ladislav Novák died in 1999.
Jacques SPACAGNA (1936 – 1990) Born on January 24th, 1936 in Paris. At 16 years in,1952, he discovered the Isidore Isou movie , Le traité de bave et d’éternité. Met François Dufrêne and Marc O and distributed their magazine Le soulèvement de la jounesse. In 1953 he wrote his first manuscript which has remained unpublished: Le voyage en itox. First publication: Pourquoi je suis externiste in the magazine Le soulèvement de la jounesse n°7, which also published Yves Klein’s very first text. First works, figurative. In 1954 met Raymonde Hains and Jacques Villeglé. In 1955 recited a Lettrist poem of Isidore Isou with Maurice Lemaître and Isou at the Fischbascher Bookshop, filmed by Orson Welles, within the framework of its documentary series for British television. 1957/58 Soldier in Algerie. Henri Chopin published the first poems of Spacagna in his magazine Cinquième Saison. 1959 Member of the Lettrist group. 1961 First exhibition: Autres Tives at the gallery Le Soleil dans la Tête, Paris. First lettrist works, in the GalleryWeiler with Isou, Pomerand, Wolman and Lemaître. First lettrist poem published by Maurice Lemaître. First public recital of his lettrist poetry at the Museum of Modern Art, Paris. 1963 collective exhibition La lettere et le signe dans la peinture contemporaine, Gallery Valérie Schmidt, Paris. Maurice Lemaître dedicated a sculpture to him: Menhir pour Spacagna. 1965 Began to paint hypergraphies---forms with lacquers and gold and silver ink of a large beauty, which had an originality, with which his work is still associated today. 1967 A large personal exhibition at the Galerie Stadler, introduced by Michel Tapié. Collaboration with Pierre Henry for the phonemes of the Mass of Liverpool. Prize-winner of the Fifth Biennial event of Paris. Secondhand bookseller on the quays of Paris where he would stay until the ‘80s. 1969/70 exceptional frescoes for the secondary school of Reuil Malmaison, commissioned by the State. 1971, his second series of bibliophilic books.1972, he left the Lettrist group. His style became more representational. 1973, he holds a oneman exhibition at the Kieffer Bookshop-gallery, the first one in 6 years. Met Wolman and Dufrêne for the historic recording of the film without film of Dufrêne: Tambours du jugment premier, which would be distributed by the Atelier de Création Radiophonique. 1977/78, he realized books with François Letaillieur to whom in 1982 he would give the room dedicated to La Letter et le Signe at the Salon Comparaisons, which he animated for 15 years. 1983, the beginning of cancer of the throat which would make him gradually voiceless. In 1988 the exhibition Le demi-siècle Lettriste at the Gallery 1900/2000 reinstates Spacagna in Lettrism and brings him into contact with his last collector and editor, Francesco Conz. 1989, several journeys of Spacagna to Verona at the invitation of Conz. He realized for him the first Lettrist piano, many silk-screen printings on cloth, hand-painted as well as artist books. 1990, last one-man exhibition in the gallery Le Chaînon Manquant, Paris. Spacagna dies one month after the end of this exhibition, on September 8th, 1990, as a consequence of cancer.
LA LIVRE IV Ilse Garnier Eugen Gomringer Gerahard Rühm Emmet t Williams
Ilse GARNIER (1927 - ) Born 1927 in Kaiserslautern. Literature and study of languages in Mainz and Paris. She lives and works as an author, artist and translator in Amiens and Paris..Translations from French and German. After the war, together with Pierre Garnier the first translations and essays of expressionism. Contributions to the acoustic, visual, specific and spatialistischen literature and art (“window pictures”, in 1983), exhibitions (among other things “ P. et I. Garnier. Le Spatialisme “, Stuttgart in 1991) and participation; “Speech actions” (1962/63), “writing actions” (1963); with Pierre Garnier “ Poèmes mechaniques “, “prototype” (both in 1965), “ Othon III - Jean d’Arc “ (1967); “ Esquisses of the Palatine “ (1971), “ Jardins japonais “ (1968), “ Le Spatialisme en Chemin “ (1990). Other issues in choice: “ Blazon you corps femininely “ (1979), “ Rythmes et silence “ (1980), “ Poème you i “ (1980), “ quartet, a numbers game “ (1985), “ album à colorier “ (1986), “puzzle alphabet” (1988), “ voices. Score for Marguerite Duras “ (1988), “ La Meuse “ (1991), “ Jardins de l’Enfance, pour Carlfriedrich Claus “ (1994), “ on the nämlichen earth “, ( with Döhl, P. Garnier, Grögerová, Hirsal, Kamimura, Pazarkaya, K. u. S. Suzuki, in 1995), “booklet” (1996). Since 1996 collaborations in international Internet projects.
Eugen GOMRINGER (1925 - ) Born in 1925 in Bolivia. Father Swiss. Went to Zurich. Studied economics and art history at the University of Bern and in Rome. In 1944 made his acquaintance with the art scene in Zurich. In 1953 establishment of the magazine “Spirale” with Marcel Wyss and Dieter Rot in Bern. 1953, first poetry volume, “Constellations”, Concrete poetry since 1951. 1954-58, College for Organization in Ulm, secretary to Max Bill. 1961-66, managing Director of the Swiss workers’ union. 1960 saw the establishment of the Gomringer Press in Frauenfeld. 1967 Cultural Representative of the Rosenthal Group in Selb, Bavaria. Acquaintance with Salvador Dalì, Andy Warhol, Henry Moore, Victor Vasarely. In 1976, Professorship for Theory of Aesthetics at the Academy of Arts, Düsseldorf. In 1988, Director of the International Forum for Organization in Ulm. In 1991, Honorary Professorship, Westsächsische College, Zwickau, abbot, Schneeberg. In 1992 opening of the Museum for Concrete Art in Ingolstadt with the Gomringer Collection. In 2000, establishment of the Institutes for Constructive art and Concrete poetry, with archives, and Poema (House of Concrete Poetry) in Rehau, Bavaria. Since 1953, several volumes of poems and art monographs. Visiting Professor in North and South America, Congo, and South Korea. The most important Künstlerbegegungen: Josef Albers, Max Bill, R.P. Lohse, Camille Gräser, Verena Loewensberg, Decio Pignatari, H. and A. de Campos, Francesco Conz, Karl Gerstner.
Gerhard RÜHM (1930 - ) Born in 1930 in Vienna, studied piano and composition at the Wienner academy of music, afterwards in private with Josef Matthias Haur, and was busy during a longer stay in Lebanon with eastern music. In the middle of the ‘50s he was a joint founder of the “ Wienner group “ (Achleintner, Artmann, Bayer, Rühm, Wiener), which aimed in 1997 at a big retrospective view in the “ Venice Biennale “. Rühm became known first by the Buchveroffenlichungen of experimental poetry. From the beginning, however, intermedially oriented, he developed poetry, first of all, in frontier zones , as educational art (visual poetry, action and conceptual drawings, exploded views, book objects) as well as music (sound poetry as a Sprech and tape recorder texts, chansons, melodramas, vocal ensembles, tone poems). His effective range comprises literary, musical and sculptural publications (among other things with Rowohlt, Luchterhand, Hanse, Residenz, Droschl), lectures, concerts, exhibitions, theater performances and radio productions (important contributions to the “Neuen Hörspiel”, Karl Sczuka Prize in 1977, Horspielpreis del Kriegsblinden in 1973). Osterreichischer Würdingungspreis for literature in 1976, Prize of the City of Vienna in 1984, Grosser Österreichischer Staatspreis in 1991. Since 1999 Vice-President of the Österreichischen Kunstsenats. Rühm taught 1972-1995 as a professor in the College of Fine Arts in Hamburg, as well as several times in the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg. He lives in Vienna and Cologne. In 2005, Parthas Verlag (Berlin) published his” Gesammelten Werke.”
Emmett WILLIAMS (1925-2007) Emmett Williams was born in Greenville, South Carolina and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He won a scholarship to Kenyon College, Ohio in 1943, but his education was interrupted by three years of service in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946. After his graduation in 1949, Emmett Williams married and moved to Europe, where he remained. He lived first in Paris, then in Lugano and finally in Darmstadt. He was a member of the Darmsädter Kreis with Daniel Spoerri and Claus Bremer. In 1962 he met George Maciunas and took part in the Fluxus Festivals George organised in Wiesbaden, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris etc. He continued to participate in Fluxus activities until the end of his life. In 1966 Emmett Williams returned to the United States to become Editor-in-Chief of The Something Else Press in New York, where he met and married his second wife, the English artist Ann Noël. From 1972-1980 he taught at the University of Lexington, Kentucky, the California Institute of the Arts, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Mount Holyoke College and at Harvard University. He returned to Europe in 1980 where lived and worked in Berlin, Germany. He was awarded the first Hannah Höch Prize from the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, for his life’s work in 1996. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Fine Art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1997 and at the Academy of Fine Art in Poznan, Poland, in 2005. His books include “An Anthology of Concrete Poetry”, “Sweethearts”, “Shorter Selected Poems 1950-1970”, “My Life in Flux“ and “Mr. Fluxus – a Collective Portrait of George Maciunas 1930-1978”, published by Edition Hansjörg Mayer and/or Thames and Hudson.
LA LIVRE V Heinz Gappmayr Bernatd Heidsieck Anna Oberto Mar tino Ober to
Heinz GAPPMAYR (1952 - ) Born in 1925 in Innsbruck, he lives and works in Innsbruck 1962 his first publication of visual texts. During the following years numerous book issues. 1964 first individual exhibition 1973 first space texts 1979 first photo texts A list of the texts, issues and exhibitions 1961-1990, in 1991-1996 and 1997-2004 the Koelen, Mainz and Chorus publishing house, Munich, is found in Heinz Gappmayr Opus (volume(tape) 1-3), publishing house Dorothea van.
Bernard Heidsieck (1928 - ) Born in Paris in 1928. Lives and works in Paris. Ex-Co-Director of a large Bank. National Grand Prix of Poetry, 1991. Ex-President of the Poetry Commission at the National Book Centre. From 1955 a founder of SOUND POETRY and from 1962 of POESIE ACTION. From 1959 used the tape recorder as means of additional writing and broadcast. He published a very large number of books, and his texts---recorded by him–are published on more than 80 disks, CD’s, and cassettes edited in about ten countries. He has realized more than 540 public readings at numerous International Festivals and he has also organized some of them. Collaboration with many artists: Jean Degottex, Heavy Castro, Bertini Gianni, Ruth Francken, PaulArmand Gette, Françoise Jannicot (books, films, demonstrations and public performances). Since 1970 he has realized numerous series on boards of ECRITURES/COLLAGES, shown on the occasion of personal or collective exhibitions in various countries.
Anna OBERTO (1934 - ) Active from 1958 in the magazine of interlinguistiche reserches, Ana Etcetera founded, with Martin Oberto in Genoa, and developed a theoretical and operational discourse on the writing of woman, and is present in shows, conferences, magazines, national and international anthologies of the movement Scrittura Visuale (Visual Writings). Some of her published creative and critical texts: Ragioni meta culturali della poesia visuale, Tre Rosso, Genova 1966. Perché una mostra della Nuova Scrittura al Femminile, Mercato del Sale, Milano, 1972. Manifesto della Nuova Scrittura al Femminile, Le Arti, Milano, 1975. Significare la Scrittura, Enciclopedia Lessico politico delle donne, Vol. 6, Ed. Gulliver, 1979. Ecritures d’amour Cérémonie pour Adèle H., Traverses Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1981. Mer Mère aimer, Silhouettes l’Altra Poesia San Marco de’ Giustiniani, Ed. Genova, 1985. Corpo Mente Essere. Percorsi della Memoria. Profili di Luce, Mitobiografia, Genova, 1993. Personal shows, performances, videos. Writings to Female. Diario v’ideosenti/mentale, Mercato del Sale, Milano, 1975. Anapoesia. Una dimensione diaristica, Il Punto Calice L, 1975. Nuova Scrittura. Il riscatto del significante, Galleria 2000, Bologna, 1975. Segno/Identità, Pinacoteca Comunale,, Ravenna, 1978. Scritture d’Amore. Diario. Ritratto. Seduzione., Genova, 1980-1982-1984. Love’s Writings in Wonderland, New York, 1985. Si apre la parola, La Pinta, Genova, 1989. Mitogiografia. Scritture d’amore. Scritture di Luce 1974-1993, Galleria, Genova, 1993. Anna Oberto 1963-1993, Museo di Arte Contemporanea, Genova, 1993. Il mare deve vivere, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genova, 2001. Liquida Memoria, Teatro delle Clarisse, Rapallo, 2002. She participated in the Biennal exhibition of art in Venice in 1972 and also in 1978. Invited to the great national and international historical shows. Italian Visual Poetry 1912-1972, New York 1973. Scrittura Visuale in Italia 1972-1972, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Torino, 1973. Scrittura Visuale a Genova 1960-1980, Genova, 1980. Linee della ricerca artistica in Italia 1960-1980, Palazzo Esposizioni, Roma, 1981. Identité Italienne. L’Art en Italie depuis 1959, Beaubourg, Paris, 1981. Arte Italiana 1960-1982, Hayward Gallery, London, 1982. Spiritual America, Buffalo, 1986. Libri e pagine d’artista in Italia, Biblioteca Nazionale, Firenze, 1989. Parola Immagine, Museo di Gallarate, 1991. Poésure et Peintrie, Musée Vieille Charité, Marseille, 1993. L’Espace de l’écriture, Paris Lille Ascona, 1994. Presenze liguri alle Biennali di Venezia 1895-1995, Palazzo Ducale, Genova, 1995. Post Scriptum. Artiste in Italia tra linguaggio e immagine 1960-1970, Palazzo Massari, Ferrara, 1998. Poesia Totale 1897-1997, Palazzo della Ragione, Mantova, 1998. Intermedia. Hommage à Dick Higgins, Musée Ernst, Budapest, 1999. Esercizi di stile, Palazzina delle Arti, La Spezia, 2000. Les Délirants, V.A.C. Ventabren Art Contemporain, Ventabren, 2000. Text-Image. Ricerche verbo visuali italiane e internazionali da Archivio Della Grazia, Musei La Chaud de Fond Bolzano Mart di Rovereto 1999-2001-2002. 1950-2000. Arte genovese e ligure, Museo Villa Croce, Genova, 2001. Alfabeto in sogno, Chiostri di San Domenico, Reggio Emilia, 2002. Attraversare Genova. Percorsi e linguaggi del contemporaneo anni ’60-’70, Museo Villa Croce, Genova, 2004. Primo Piano Parole Azioni Suoni Immagini, Centro Arte Contemporanea L. Pecci, Prato, 2006. Tuttolibri. Una mostra di Lea Vergine, Galleria Milano, Milano, 2006. Viaggio nella parola, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, La Spezia 2007. La parola nell’arte, Mart Museo Arte Contemporanea, Rovereto, 2007. Words/Parole, Unimedimodern, Genova, 2007.
Martino OBERTO (1925 - ) He was born in Genoa in the 1925. Interested in the aesthetics and the philosophy of language, in the immediate postwar period Martino Oberto breaks out on the Genoese scene with the first philosophical-literary essay, “Discorso agli spiriti liberi” (Talks with Free Fpirits) “Discorso agli uomini pari” (Talks with Equal Men) 1945 published in political journals in his youth. Since then his concerns are fairly divided among philosophy, painting and literary investigation. He reads futurist texts, chosen by the father of Gabriele Stocchi. Reads Pound, Joyce, Cummings. He approaches Lettrism. In a big grey notebook he composes in 1948, “The Theory of Value”, still unpublished, a philosophically aesthetic essay fed by suggestions from ancient sages to Nietzsche. In the meantime he approaches the advanced dimension of the pictorial questing: he is with the Genoese group of the MAC (Allosia, Mesciulam, Bisio, Fasce, Pecciarini) at the Gallery B24 in Milan in 1953; then with the Spazialistis in 1956, to St. Matteo in Genoa. His abstraction detach however from the geometric schemes of the first group and from the intent of the second to widen the figurative space through the use of new expressive tools. Despite the interest aroused in Lucio Fontana by his finished experiments tracing simple forms, with the color squeezed directly from the tube onto the cloth (“colortubetto”, 1955), Oberto aims above all to measure himself with the “Ineluctable formality of the visible one” (it is the 1959 title inspired by a passage from Joyce’s Ulysses) to read “the signature of all things” through colored signs brought to the “limit of the diaphanous one”, paradoxically through an overlap of layouts that make them illegible. In 1958, with his wife Anna, he founded the experimental magazine “Ana Etcetera.” His verb-view production conjugates a free handwriting, near to Visual Poetry and the Nuova Scrittura, with analytical attitudes. The ‘70s saw him intensify his exhibition activities, and in this sphere there were a series of exhibitions by Luigi Ballerini devoted to Italian visual writing at Finch College in New York and the Gallery of Modern art in Torino (1973), and the one man show “Ana art” of 1974 that marked the opening of the Milanese gallery “Il Mercato del Sale”. In the following decade Oberto transferred himself to New York. Returning to Liguria, OM started a new job (introduced by Caterina Gualco in 1992 in the show “Anartattack”, and developed up to the present “aforesaid DI vita Spenserian”) turning the writing into image-tangles, traced to the limit of abstraction; to suppress the usual communicative activity and place us, slightly, in front of the un-expected.
LA LIVRE VI Alain Arias-Misson Julien Blaine Jean-François Bory Va g n S t e e n
Alain ARIAS-MISSON (1938 - ) Alain Arias-Misson was born in Brussels just before it was invaded by Germany in World War II. His family’s attempt to get to his mother’s country, England, failed and instead they came to the shores of America. He grew up in New York and went to school in New England, studying Greek literature and philosophy at Harvard University. After his studies he traveled to North Africa and from then on has lived the nomadic existence that has characterized him: fleeing Vietnam to Barcelona and Madrid in the Sixties, he was an integral part of the Spanish poetic revival, forming deep friendships with Joan Brossa and Ignacio Gomez de Liano, the philosopher, poet and novelist. With the latter he created his first “Public Poems”, a form of “writing” the streets of the city, which he has continued up to today, often with various muses and galleries. He produced the first anthology of Concrete Poetry in the U.S. “Concretism”, in 1966. In the early 1970’s he lived in Belgium, thanks largely to his deep friendship with Paul De Vree ,with whom he collaborated closely on the latter’s small but worldwide magazine of poetic experimentation, “De Tafelrond”. At the same time his lifelong friendship with Carlfriedrich Claus, the shamanic philosopher/poet, bloomed. In the 1970’s and 1980’s he was particularly active in shows and publications throughout Italy and Europe with Sarenco’s “Lotta Poetica” and “Logomotive”. His visual poetry-- which he prefers to call “literal objects”-- can be found in major collections such as that of his friends, Luigi Bonotto in Molvena, and Marvin Sackner in Miami, and museums from the Getty in L.A. to the MART in Rovereto and the Museion in Bolzano. Recent shows include those with Lara Vincy in Paris and Marion Meyer in various cities, Emily Harvey in New York/Venice, Depardieu in Nice, and Jean-Paul Perrier in Barcelona. A recent major group show was “La Parola nell’Arte”, MART, Rovereto, 2007. Throughout these years, Arias-Misson has continued to publish essays and novels in the United States, most recently “Theatre of Incest” with Dalkey Archive in 2007. He is presently happily settled with companion, fashion designer and author, Karen Moller, and their child, Muffin, in Paris, Venice and Panama.
Julien BLAINE (1942 - ) Born in 1942 at Rognac, near Berre pond, Julien Blaine created his first magazine at the age of 20, Les carnets de l’Octéor, and dashed into the poetry action by realizing performances (Rep elephant 306 / Chute-chut! / La poésie est morte!). He then took a respite to investigate two domains: the book and its questioning, and poemic action which breaks with the classic reading of the works. In 1973, he founded the magazine, Doc(k)s, in which contemporary poetry in all its forms and over all horizons appears. He exhibited his work in France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany and the U.S., realized films and sound recordings, and participated in numerous avant-gardist festivals, collaborating with poets and American artists (Ginsberg, Giorno), Italian ( Sarenco, Miccini), French (Filliou, Garnier, Bory). He crossed the world, making of nomadism an art of living creation. He worked with Pirawa Indians in Amazonia and Bamiléké in the Cameroons. At the same time, he published about fifty works: La fine de la chasse, Comment sortir la phrase de sa gangue, Bye bye la perf et Poèmes Vulgos, for the greater part edited by Al Dante and Adriano Parise. In 1988 he organized the Rencontres Internationales de Poésie de Tarascon. From 1989 until 1995, he was a Deputy Mayor delegated to the culture of the City of Marseille. He took advantage of it to create the Centre International de la Poésie de Marseille, as well as the Museum of the Contemporary Arts, and to launch the project of rehabilitation of the former industrial sites of the Belle de Mai. In 2004, at the age of 62, he decided to stop performances (“my body is not any more as tall as my ambitions”) to become engaged in public readings, which he named DéclarActions.
Jean-François BORY (1938 - ) Poet, writer, artist, “author”, Jean-François Bory was born in Paris in 1938 and became renowned in the French experimental field of the ‘60s. He realized his first exhibitions of visual poetry in 1966 in London, Milan, Venice, and participated in the Biennial events of Paris organized by Jean-Clarence Lambert in 1967. He also participated in one of the first festivals of sound poetry, Text und aktionsabend II, in Kunsthalle of Bern in 1968, and later in the demonstrations of the group Polyphonix, in Paris and in New York. In 1965, he co-directed the magazine Approaches, of which he was the Managing Director, and met Pierre Garnier who directed him to the concrete Brazil poets, the groups VOU and ASA in Japan, and the movement Boj job in Czechoslovakia. In 1967, he published, with Jochen Gerz, a series of magazines - anthologies Agentzia and made friends with the great avantgarde Japanese poet, Takahashi Shohachiro. In 1968 he published in New York the anthology of concrete and visual poetry Once Again. In 1970, he created the magazine L’Humidité, dedicated to the plastic arts, which published the first text on Boltanski and which was the first magazine that spoke in France of Vito Acconci and Carmelo Bene. Jean-François Bory was also the author of the first translation, in the magazine Changes, of the first two poems of Galaxias of Haroldo de Campos, and in 1972 of the first book on Raoul Hausmann, whom he met personally in Limoges, at éditions de l’Herne. Besides, Jean-François Bory dedicated an important plastic work in the concept of book, applying literally the formula of Mallarmé: “everything in the world exists to end in a book “ which materialized under the shape of golden ironic objects (“Portrait of the Successful Author”, 1972; “Portrait de l’Auteur en beau parleur”, 1973; “Pourrissements poétiques I-XIV”, 1974). He also used photographic support within the framework of works close to the Italian Poesia Visiva (“Information”, 1966; “ Sans titre “, 1967), then he realized in 1983/84 a series of cibachromes from assemblages. At the same time, Jean-François Bory preserved a traditional literary activity. He published two novels at Flammarion and is the author of a monograph in two volumes on the photographer Nadar (éd. Hubschmid, Paris, 1979) and one concerning Victor Hugo’s drawings (éd. Veyrier, Paris, on 1980). In the field of plastic arts, he drafted for the editions Ides and Calends “Une vie dans l’art”, a book of conversations with Pierre Restany (1985), then with Jacques Donguy, “Journal de l’Art Actuel”. In the summer of 1985, he became friends with Francesco Conz during the foundation of the Logomotives group inVerona. He made two visits to Verona for the Archive Conz during the Summer 1987 and during the Summer 1993, when he produced numerous objects for the Archive---golden typewriters, a piano and a car. He also participated in 1998, with Jacques Donguy, in the creation of the label [email protected]
, the CD, the CD-ROM and the DVD, for which he realized films, notably “As for the Book “.
Vagn STEEN (1928 - ) Vagn Steen, born 1928 in Holbaek, Denmark. Publications: DIGTE? (POEMS?) 1964, concrete and visual poetry, followed by riv selv (tear it out yourself), skriv selv (write yourself), four books for children, visual poetry and word games. Et godt bogøje/A hole book, 1969, was a mask for the face. Several series of poster poems. Editor of the periodical Digte for en daler (Poems for two crowns) 1963-65. Criticism of poetry in Danish newspapers 1963-1980. Represented in many international anthologies of visual poetry. Exhibitions of poetry in various countries, e.g. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1970, Bloomington, Indiana 1972 and National Gallery, Cape Town 2003 and RAU Gallery, Johannesburg 2004. Professor of modern (concrete) poetry 1969 at Indiana University, Bloomington, and 1970 at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Awarded Aarestrup medal, Denmark, and Kalevala medal, Finland.
LA LIVRE VII Ugo Carrega Lamberto Pignot ti Sarenco L u i g i To l a
Ugo CARREGA (1935 - ) Born in Genova on August 17, 1935. From 1966 he has lived in Milan. In 1951, he published his first writing. In 1960 he edited his first issue of abstract poetry. In 1958 he met and frequented Martino Oberto and his wife, Anna Bontempi, which matured his preceding poetic experiences. He collaborated with their magazine “Ana Eccetera”, which published his first work widely. In 1965 he published his magazine “Tool: quaderni di scrittura simbiotica”. The first five numbers were mimeographed. The sixth projected the use of color in printing. In fact, the magazine had been projected in six issues, each of which investigated a specific field of interaction involving alphabets and other signs. Since then he has always used the term “scrittura” (“writing”) to point out an anthropological and social expansion concerning the problems of visual poetry. In 1967 he theorized for “Nuova Scrittura” which became operational in 1974 with the activity of the Mercato del Sale, which he shared with Anna and Martino Oberto, Corrado D’Ottavi, Rolando Mignani, Lilliana Landi, Vincenzo Ferrari and Vincenzo Accame. In 1973 he created with Ferrari and Salocchi the center of Ricerca Non Finalizzata, which published the book ,”Objects Rescovered from Our Childhood “ and the film “ Healthy Objects, Sick Objects”. In 1982 he theorized on the Art of Writing, compiling a small manifesto countersigned by Vincenzo Ferrari, Luca Patella and Magdalo Mussio. Besides “Tool”, he has realized “aaa” (with Mario Diacono), “Quaderni di Tool”, “Bollettino da dentro” (with Laura Alvini and Vincenzo Ferrari). He has directed two numbers of the magazine “Estra”. He has created the cultural centers: “Centro Suolo”, Milan 1969 (with Tomas Kemeny and Raffaele Perrotta); “Centro Tool”, Milan 1971; “Mercato del Sale”, Milan 1974. At the beginning of the ‘80s he had the opportunity to assiduously frequent Emilio Villa, from whom he acquired further tools of intelligence.
Lamberto PIGNOTTI (1926 - ) Born in 1926 in Florence, he now lives in Rome. He taught in the university in Florence for five years, from 1971 to the DAMS of the University in Bologna. He has published various books (poetry, narration, essays, anthologies, visual poetry) with Mondadori, Lerici, Einaudi, Marsilio, Guaraldi, Sampietro, Vallecchi, Carucci, Campanotto, “Il Verri”, “L’Espresso”, Florida, Empiria, Guida, Morra, “Fermenti”, Dedalo, “Le impronte degli uccelli”, Laterza, Manni, ecc. Founder along with other poets, painters, musicians and researchers of the Group ‘70, he has participated also in the birth of the Group ‘63; his visual and linear poetry is included in a lot of Italian and foreign anthologies and is treated in various books of essays and consultation. He has assiduously collaborated with “Paese Sera”, “La Nazione”, “L’Unità”, “Rinascita” in cultural programs of RAI, and also with various Italian and foreign magazines. He has participated in national and international collective shows of the avant-garde; is included in artistic and literary encyclopedias and in Italian and foreign catalogues. Various theses for degrees have been devoted to him. His works show up in prestigious public centers and select private collections. A vast monograph curated by Martina Corgnati, for Parise publishers in Verona in 1996, contains what is between a general bio-bibliography and a critical anthology, with writings of 48 authors, including Dorfles, Argan, Eco, Bonito Oliva, Quintavalle and Barilli. Another monograph was published for editions Meta in Firenze, in1999. His most recent publications are: In altro modo, poetry, Campanotto, Udine, 2001; Identikit di un’idea. Dalla poesia tecnologica e visiva all’arte multimedia/e e sinestetica, 1962 – 2002, essay, Campanotto, Udine, 2003; You are here, poetry, “Premio Corrado Alvaro”, Laterza, Bari, 2003; Scritture convergenti, Letteratura e mass media, essay, Campanotto, Udine, 2005; Favole minime, prose, Empiria, Roma, 2006; Eventi diversi, poetry, Manni, Lecce. In 2004 he received the “Prize to the DAMS career” of the University of Bologna. In recent years he has been invited to meetings and performances at: Villa Medici, Academy of France in Rome; Accademia di Brera of Milano; CSAC of the University of Parma; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna Roma; MART Rovereto; Museo Pecci, Prato; Museo of Praia a Mare; Festival di Asolo; Yacht Club, Montecarlo; Gabinetto Viesseux, Firenze; Teatro Ateneo, Università “La Sapienza” Roma. During 2007 he made two personal anthological shows, at the Studio Stefanini in Firenze and at the Civic Luigi Poletti Library of Modena. He is represented at the shows still in progress: Per parole e immagini, Museo Magi di Pieve di Cento, and La parola nell’arte MART, Rovereto.
SARENCO (1945 - ) Isaia Mabellini was born in 1945 in Vobarno, near Brescia. From 1963 until 1971, he realized visual poems, adopted the “pen name” of Sarenco, began to exhibit in Italy, Lived in Paris, published his first poetic collection and, together with the Flemish poet Paul De Vree, the magazine Lotta Poetica that he was to direct until 1986. Then began an international career: participated in the Biennial of Venezia (in 1972, 1986 and 2001) and in Dokumenta of Kassel ( 1972 ), held numerous exhibitions in Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain ( Biennial of Seville in 2004), China (Biennial of Shangai) and in the USA. Activist endowed with a rare energy, Sarenco used all that the period offered him to diversify his artistic approach: books, installations, performances, films, videos, records. He worked with large numbers of avantgarde artists: Beuys, Gerz, Aeman, Spoerri, William, Miccini, Mondino, Blaine, Bory, Garnier, Arias-Misson, etc. He also founded many art galleries, festivals and magazines. From the ‘80s, he traveled regularly in Africa and in Asia, liked the contemporary art of these two continents, organized exhibitions and published catalogues for Skira and Parise. In 1989, he settled down in Kenya where he created Malindi Artist’s Proof, a permanent workshop where western artists of the Fluxus movement came to work, those of groups of visual or sound poetry, and African artists as Richard Onyango, Esther Mahlangu, Kivuthi Mbuno, Cheff Mwai. In 2006, he launched the Biennial of Contemporary Art of Malindi.
Luigi TOLA (1930 - ) “Il Marcatré”, “Trerosso”, “La Carabaga”, were magic names that circulated at the beginning of the ‘60s and they remained impressed since that time on the imagination of young artists. There were everywhere the hard-working lightnings of Reconstruction, the hard-working events of the activities of metal-mechanics, the renewed and fervent merchant undertakings, but poetic culture was fervent and pulsated elsewhere in that mythical time of revolts and revolutions, outside of the factories, in the market places, and outside of the schools and the universities. Oddly it bloomed in places that seemed abandoned, in Genoa, Naples, Florence. Luigi Tola, a genovese, had participated with great conviction in the overturning of the post-ermetic word. He founded the “Gruppo Studio”, was animator and father of “Trerosso”, of “Carabaga” and “Marcatré”, and he is also remembered to have been part, even though for only an instant, of the “Group ‘63” from which the new Italian literary and cultural bureaucracy spread. Tola has not dealt with the national television editorials, or those of the daily papers; he has not occupied the rooms of the building. He has remained at the margin, solitary and superb, a poet only. In half a century of activity and creation he has delivered his works to numerous museums of contemporary art, in Italy and abroad, to archives of art and poetry, and to an infinity of scattered public and private collectors over the whole of Europe, in America and the Far East. Written mentions of him include Cesare Garelli, Umberto Eco, Alberto Arbasino, Jindrich Chalupecky, Zdenek Felix, Claudio Tempo, Zahranicni Ucastnici, Sergio Cobassi, Eugenio Miccini, Marcello Piccardo, Giorgio Di Genova, Arrigo Lora Totino, Riccardo Notte, Felice Piemontese, Stelio Maria Martini, Rodolfo Vitone, Vitaliano Corbi, Opdendragen Aan, Atlas, Het Nievisblad, Het Volk, etc.
LA LIVRE VIII Lawrence Ferlinghet ti John Giorno Jackson Mac Low Jerome Rothenberg
Lawrence FERLINGHETTI (1919 - ) Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers in 1919, son of Carlo Ferlinghetti who was from the province of Brescia and Clemence Albertine Mendes-Monsanto. Following his undergraduate years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a ship’s commander. He received a Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1947 and a Doctorate de l’Université de Paris (Sorbonne) in 1950. From 1951 to 1953, he settled in San Francisco, and taught French in an adult education program, painted, and wrote art criticism. In 1953, with Peter D. Martin, he founded City Lights Bookstore, the first all-paperbound bookshop in the country, and by 1955 he had launched the City Lights publishing house. The bookstore has served for half a century as a meeting place for writers, artists, and intellectuals. City Lights Publishers began with the Pocket Poets Series, through which Ferlinghetti aimed to create an international, dissident ferment. His publication of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl & Other Poems in 1956 led to his arrest on obscenity charges, and the trial that followed drew national attention to the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement writers. (He was overwhelmingly supported by prestigious literary and academic figures, and was acquitted.) This landmark First Amendment case established a legal precedent for the publication of controversial work with redeeming social importance. Ferlinghetti’s paintings have been shown at various galleries around the world, from the Butler Museum of American Painting to Il Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. He has been associated with the international Fluxus movement through the Archivio Francesco Conz in Verona. He has toured Italy, giving poetry readings in Roma, Napoli, Bologna, Firenze, Milano, Verona, Brescia, Cagliari, Torino, Venezia, and Sicilia. He won the Premio Taormino in 1973, and since then has been awarded the Premio Camaiore, the Premio Flaiano, the Premio Cavour. among others. He is published in Italy by Oscar Mondadori, City Lights Italia, and Minimum Fax. He was instrumental in arranging extensive poetry tours in Italy produced by City Lights Italia in Firenze. He has translated from the Italian Pier Paolo Pasolin’s Poemi Romani, which is published by City Lights Books. In San Francisco, his work can regularly be seen at the George Krevsky Gallery at 77 Geary Street. Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind continues to be the most popular poetry book in the U.S. It has been translated into nine languages, and there are nearly 1,000,000 copies in print. Author of poetry, plays, fiction, art criticism, and essays, he has a dozen books currently in print in the U.S., and his work has been translated in many countries and into many languages. His most recent books are A Far Rockaway of the Heart (1997), How to Paint Sunlight (2001), and Americus Book I (2004) published by New Directions. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Los Angeles Times’ Robert Kirsch Award, the BABRA Award for Lifetime Achievement, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Award for Contribution to American Arts and Letters, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. Ferlinghetti was named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate in August 1998, and he used his post as a bully-pulpit from which he articulated the seldom-heard “voice of the people.” In 2003 he was awarded the Robert Frost Memorial Medal, the Author’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters.
John GIORNO (1936 - ) Born in New York, in 1936, he is one of the best known poets of the American experimental area. In 1968 he founded the Giorno Poetry System Institute, a structure promoting development of communication between poets and the public. In 1969 he started, near the Modern Art Museum in New York and in numerous other centers, a phone service titled Dial-A-Poem, through which, composing certain telephone numbers, it was possible to listen to five minutes of poetry. An interesting parallel initiative to this has been Dial-A-Poem Poets, a real “oral magazine” constituted by a necklace of discs in vinyl that introduced, among other things, the best of the international panorama of Sound Poetry. He has made broadcasts, among which was “WPAX”, transmitted by Radio Hanoi during the war of Vietnam. He has published verses on boxes of matches, shirts, window tendons, chocolate tablets, etc. A performer of notable impact on the public for his stage presence and his vocal qualities. He also developed into an actor. In 1963 he acted in the film of Andy Warhol, Sleep; in 1971, September on Jessore Road, in which he took the part of the poet, Allen Ginsberg, one of the Fathers of the Beat generation. In 1982 he acted in the film of Ron Mann, Poetry in motion. He has published numerous books of poetry. Of Italian origins, his family came from Panevino, a small center in the province of Matera. In 2007 he interpreted the cult film Nine Poems in Basilicata, directed by Antonello Faretta, based on his poetry and filmed entirely in his country of origin.
Jackson Mac Low
Jackson MAC LOW (1922 - ) Born 12 September 1922 in Chicago, poet and composer and writer of performance pieces, essays, plays and radio works (mainly produced at Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne). He is also a painter and multimedia performance artist (often with his wife, Anne Tardos). Author of 26 books, his work has also been published in many anthologies and periodicals and read publicly, exhibited, performed, and broadcast in North and South America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. He has read, performed, and lectured throughout North America, Europe, and New Zealand. He has taught at many schools, notably New York University (1966-73), and in recent years has taught creative writing at SUNY-Albany (1984), SUNY-Binghamton (1989), Temple (Philadelphia, 1989), UC-San Diego (Regents’ Lecturer, 1990), Naropa Institute (Boulder, 1975, 1991, 1994), School for Poetr in Vienna (Austria , 1992, 1993), Bard College (MFA program, 1994), and Brown University (1994). He has received fellowships and grants from CAPS (NY State, 1974, 1977), the NEA (1979), PEN (1974, 1982), the Guggenheim Foundation (1985), the Fulbright Foundation (for New Zealand, 1986), the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council (N.Z., 1986), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1988), and The Fund for Poetry (1988-89, 1991-92). His visual works have been exhibited in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Austria, France, Italy, and Australia, most recently at Galerie 1900-2000 (Paris, 1989); Galleria F. Borghese, (Rome, 1990); the “Ubi Fluxus ibi motus” pavilion, Venice Biennale (1990); Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (1990); Salvatore Ala Gallery (NYC, 1990); Emily Harvey Gallery (NYC, 1990-91, 1991-92); Plug In, Brian Melnychenko, and 1.1.1 galleries (Winnipeg, 1991); Galerie Krinzinger (Innsbruck, 1991); Tapeziererwerkstatt Wolfgang Radeczecki (Vienna, 1991), and in Cork, Ireland (1995). His recent publications include the books Bloomsday (1984), French Sonnets (1984, 2nd ed. 1989), The Virginia Wolf Poems (1985), Eight Drawing-Asymmetries (1985), Representative Works: 19381985 (1986), Words and Ends from Ez (1989), Twenties: 100 Poems (1991), Pieces o’ Six: Thirtythree Poems in Prose (1992), 42 Merzgedichte in Memoriam Kurt Schwitters (1994), and Barnesbook (1995) as well as the compact disc (with Anne Tardos and seven instrumentalists) Open Secrets (1993).
Jerome ROTHENBERG (1931 - ) Rothenberg was born in New York City in 1931 and attended the City College of New York, graduating in 1952. In 1953, he got a Master’s Degree in Literature from the University of Michigan. Rothenberg served in the U.S. Army in Mainz, Germany from 1953 to 1955, after which he did further graduate studies at Columbia University, finishing in 1959. In the late 1950s, he published translations of German poets, including the first English translations of poems by Paul Celan and Günter Grass. He also founded Hawk’s Well Press and the magazine Poems from the Floating World, publishing work by a number of the most important American avant-garde poets of the day and his own first book, White Sun Black Sun, 1960. He published eight more collections during the 1960s. Rothenberg’s interest in tribal poetry resulted in an anthology of poetry from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania called Technicians of the Sacred (1968). This anthology went beyond the standard collection of folk songs to include visual and sound poetry and texts and scenarios for ritual events. He co-edited Alcheringa, the first-ever magazine of ethnopoetics, and edited further anthologies, including Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas (1972), a number of collections of Jewish poetry and Symposium of the Whole: A Range of Discourse Toward An Ethnopoetics, co-edited with Diane Rothenberg. Rothenberg was the theorist of the deep-image group of poets. He has continued to be a prolific poet, publishing around another fifty books since 1971. These include New Selected Poems 1970-1985 (1986), Poems for the Game of Silence (2000) and Collaborations: Livres d’artiste 1968-2003 (2003). He has translated widely from German and Spanish poets. He is co-editor, with Pierre Joris, of Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry (Volume One 1995, Volume Two 1998). He has also edited a number of other anthologies and published a number of plays and essays.
LA LIVRE IX Augusto De Campos Haroldo De Campos Klaus Peter Dencker Decio Pignatari
Augusto De Campos
Augusto de CAMPOS (1931-
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, poet, translator, critic. In 1952, with his brother Haroldo and Décio Pignatari, he launched the literary magazine “Noigandres”, which introduced the international movement of concrete poetry in Brazil. The 2nd issue (1955) contained his series of color–poems “Poetamenos”,1953. In 1956 he participated in the first National Exhibition of Concrete Art in the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo. His work has since been included in many international exhibitions and anthologies like Concrete Poetry: an International Anthology, ed. Stephen Bann (London, 1967), Concrete Poetry: a World View, ed. Mary Ellen Solt (Bloomington, Indiana, 1968), Anthology of Concrete Poetry, ed. Emmet Williams (NY, 1968). Most of his poetry is assembled in Viva Vaia (1979), Despoesia (1994) and Não (2003). Other poetical works are Poemobiles (1974) and Caixa Preta (1975), collections of object–poems in collaboration with the graphic artist, Julio Plaza. He was co–author of Teoria da Poesia Concreta with his brother and Pignatari, 1965. As a translator, he rendered the works of Mallarmé, Joyce, Pound, Gertrude Stein. Cummings, Mayakovsky, Khlebnikov and others. He also translated “inventors” of the past like Arnaut Daniel. Dante, Cavalcanti, Donne, Emily Dickinson, Hopkins, Mallarmé, Rimbaud. A French anthology of his poetry appeared in 2001, Anthologie Despoesia , translated by Jacques Donguy.
Haroldo De Campos
Haroldo de CAMPOS (1929 - 2003) Born in São Paulo, Brazil, he was a poet, translator, and essayist. With his brother Augusto and Decio Pignatari, he founded the “Noigandres” group in 1952. He participated in the first National Exhibition of Concrete Art in the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, 1956; Poems included in many international exhibitions and anthologies. He was the co–author of Teoria da Poesia Concreta with his brother and Pignatari, 1965. Principal books of poetry: Auto do Possesso, 1950, Xadrez de Estrelas, 1976, Signantia: Quasi Coelum, 1979, Galáxias, 1984, 2ª ed. 2004. [Galaxies, translated into French by Inês Oseki-Dépré, 1998]. A Educação dos Cinco Sentidos, 1985, [L’Educazione dei Cinque Sensi, transl. Daniella Ferioli, 2005]. Finismundo: A Última Viagem, 1990, Crisantempo, 1998 [Crisantiempo, transl. into Spanish by Andrés Sanchez Robayna, 2006]. A Máquina do Mundo Repensada, 2000. Haroldo de Campos, Une Anthologie, Inês Oseki-Depré, 2005. Among his many essays: ReVisão de Sousândradre (with Augusto de Campos), 1964/2002, A Operação do Texto, 1976, A Arte no Horizonte do Provável, 1969. Metalinguagem, 1976/1992, Some of his numerous books of translations: Cantares of Ezra Pound, with A. de Campos and D.Pignatari (1960), Poesia Russa Moderna (with his brother and Boris Schnaiderman), 1968, Dante, 6 Cantos do Paradiso, 1976, Qohelet and Bere’shit, l990 and 1993, Hagoromo, 1994, Iliada, 2002.
Klaus Peter Dencker
Klaus Peter DENCKER (1941 - ) Born 1941 in Lübeck, Germany. He studied German and Japanese literature. Dr. Phil, 1970. Professor of Media-Theory and Media-Practice at the University of Trier, 1985 – 2000. Worked as editor/filmdirector/TV-producer for German Television, 1971 – 1986. 1985 – 2002 working also at the Ministry of Culture Hamburg. Filmmaker (around 100 TV-films), Visual Poet : since 1970 international exhibitions. Important: Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2001 (60th birthday) and Städtische Galerie, Erlangen, 2006 (65th birthday). He produced the first German TV-film (ARD/HR) and published the first German anthology (TextGilder) about Visual Poetry. Publications ado.: Text-Gilder. Visuelle Poesie international, Köln, 1972; Deutsche Unisinnspoesie, Stuttgart, 1978; Visuelle Poesie, Dillingen, 1984; Poetische Sprachspiele, Stuttgart, 2003. Preparation: Am Anfang war das Bild. Optische Poesie – von den frühen Bilderschriften bis zu den digitalen Experimenten der Gegenwart. Edition Text+Kritik, München, 2008. Collected works: Klaus Peter Dencker, Visuelle Poesie 1965-2005. Ed. Kunstbibliotehk, Berlin. Bibliothek der Provinz,Weitra (Austria), 2006 (with bibliography of all Radio, TV, CD, printworks and exhibitions 1960-2005). Works in collections: Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive, Miami Beach; The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (Jean Brown Collection and Dick Higgins Collection); Archivio Carlo Palli, Prato; Ohio State University Libraries (William S. Burroughs Collection); Stanford University Libraries (German Collection); Visual Poetry Center, Oxford; Tanka and Haiku, Kitakami; Hokkaido Museum of Literature, Sapporo; Institut für moderne Kunst / Neues Museum-Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, Nürnberg; Museum Weserburg, Bremen; Städtische Galerie, Erlangen; Modern Art Museum, Hünfeld; Museen der Stadt, Lüdenscheid; Pop-Sammlung Beck, Düsseldorf. Dencker-Archive at the Kunstbibliothek Berlin / Berlin Museen / Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz: originals (more then 700 pages) and books (more then 500). Art-Prizes a.o. City of Erlagen 1972, Academy of Art, City of Berlin 1982.
Décio PIGNATARI (1927-
Born in São Paulo, Brazil), poet, translator, critic. semioticist. One of the founders of Concrete Poetry, he created in 1952, with the brothers Campos, the group “Noigandres”, which would lead to the international movement of concrete poetry. In 1956 he participated in the 1st National Exhibition of Concrete Art launched at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo. Some of his most known poems were included in Concrete Poetry: an International Anthology, ed. Stephen Bann (London, 1967), Concrete Poetry: a World View, ed. Mary Ellen Solt (Bloomington, Indiana, 1968), Anthology of Concrete Poetry, ed. Emmet Williams (NY, 1968). Starting with O Carrossel (1950), his poetry is now collected in Poesia Pois É Poesia (2002, 4th ed., S.Paulo, Ateliê Editorial). Co–author of Teoria da Poesia Concreta, with Augusto and Haroldo de Campos , 1965 (4th ed, 2006). Selected translations: 31 Poetas 214 Poemas-do Rigveda a Safo a Apollinaire (2007). Co-author of the translation of 17 Pound’s Cantos, first published in Ezra Pound Cantares (1960), later in Ezra Pound - Poesia, edited by Augusto de Campos 1985/1993). Main books on semiotics and literature: Informação, Linguagem E Comunicação (1968/2002). Semiotica e Literatura (1974/2004). Contracomunicação (1977-2004). Other works, O Rosto da Memória (short-stories), 1986. Panteros (novel). 1994, Errâncias (memories), 2000.
LA LIVRE X Demosthenes Agrafiotis Fernando Aguiar Dmitr y Bulatov Bartolomé Ferrando
Demosthenes AGRAFIOTIS (1946 - ) Active in the fields of poetry/painting/photography/intermedia and their interactions, with books of poetry and essays, and exhibitions of photography paintings-drawings and installations, both in Greece and abroad. He has a special interest in the relation between art and new technologies, in multimedia or intermedia projects and also in performances. His essays are dedicated to the analysis of different forms of art as cultural phenomena. He has participated in different types of artistic activities : publications, small press initiatives and mail-art/ alternative-art projects. His anthology-formatted magazine “Clinamen” (1980-94), has been active for over a decade as an amalgam of Greek poetry and art, with work from Europe and America. Seven artists’ books were published based on “Clinamen” (1980-1995). After 1996, “Clinamen” has centred on the production of artists books (18). “Clinamen” on the web (2001- ).
Fernando AGUIAR (1956 - ) Born in Lisbon, in 1956. Since 1972 he has dedicated himself to experimental and visual poetry, using the most diversified techniques and supports such as photography, painting, objects, artist’s books, installations, electrography, performance, video and computer. He has published 17 books of poetry, and anthologies of Portuguese and international visual poetry in Portugal, Germany, Spain and Italy. He was included in 57 anthologies of contemporary literature and collective books in 15 countries. He has made 37 solo exhibitions of visual poetry and painting and participated in more than 500 collective exhibitions. Since 1983 he has participated in about 90 International festivals of performance and poetry in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Holland, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, China, U.S.A., Hong Kong, Iceland and Macau. He also organized several exhibitions of visual poetry in Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil, and festivals of poetry and performance in Portugal since 1985
Dmitry BULATOV (1968 - ) Dmitry Bulatob is a lingo-artist and Curator of the National Center of Contemporary Art (NCCA), Kaliningrad Branch. He lives in Kaliningrad where he is Curator of network programs of the NCCA, Kallingrad Branch where he is the organizer of a series of international publishing and exhibition projects to create anthologies of marginal forms of literature. Bulatov is the author of the following anthologies: “Point of View:Visual Poetry in 90s” (Olsztyn, Simplicius, 1998); “Homo Sonorus. International Anthology of Sound-poetry” (Kaliningrad, NCCA, 2001). He has published articles in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, and Yugoslavia about inter-disciplinary art media such as visual, sound, and biological art. He took part in international conferences about contemporary literature and art, and has lectured in universities in Russia, Canada and Netherlands. He received a professional laureate diploma. “Confession” (1998) won the prize for small press prize in Literature (short-list, 2000), and he received a grant from the Union of Russian Writers in 2001. Bulatov has contributed to about 100 international exhibitions and multimedia-projects in 24 states, and his visual and sound poems are published in international compilations. Works by Bulatov are in the following collections: The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete Poetry (Miami), Accademia d’Arte di Pisa (Pisa), Centrum Bildende Kunst (Groningen), Musée d’Art Modern (Paris), Vasarely Museum (Budapest), Modern Realism Gallery (Dallas), Museum of Visual Art (Nizhnij Tagil), Palazina delle Arti “Lucio R. Rosia”(La Spezia) and the Signalist Documentation Center (Belgrade).
Bartolomé FERRANDO (1951 - ) .-Born in Valencia, Spain, 1951 .-Performer and visual poet .-Full lecturer in performance and intermedia art at Valencia Faculty of Fine Arts .-Founder of the magazine Texto Poético .-As a performer, takes part in festivals and encounters held in Europe, Belarus, Canada, EEUU, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Argentine and Chile .-Exhibits his visual and concrete poetry in different cities in Spain, France and Italy .-Forms part of the groups Flatus Vocis Trio, Taller de Música Mundana and Rojo, which undertake creative practices half way between music, poetry and action art .-Apart from Texto Poético he has published the essays Hacia una poesía del hacer (Towards a Poetry of Doing), El arte intermedia and La mirada móvil (The Mobile Gaze) different recordings on MC, LP and CD and several videos and dvd of performances PUBLICACIONES -TEXTO POÉTICO (poesía visual, objeto y de acción) (Núms: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 y 9) (1977-1989, Valéncia) -HACIA UNA POESÍA DEL HACER (ensayo)(1980, Valéncia) -LIBRO DE POESÍA VISUAL Y OBJETO Edit. Euskal Bidea, 1979, Pamplona -PERFORMANCES POÉTICAS 1988, Valencia -POEMA VISUAL-PROCESO La Factoría Valenciana, 1993, Valencia -FULL 21 RSalvo Edicions, 1996, Barcelona -EN EL ÁNGULO (libro de artista) Edit.Eos, 1997, Roma, Italia -TRAZOS (poesía discursiva) Edit Rialla, 2000, Valencia -LA MIRADA MÓVIL. A FAVOR DE UN ARTE INTERMEDIA (ensayo) Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 2000, Santiago -POESÍA VISUAL VALENCIANA Edit.Rialla, 2001, Valencia -PROPUESTAS POÉTICAS. Edit. Rialla, 2002, Valencia -EL ARTE INTERMEDIA. CONFLUENCIAS Y PUNTOS DE CRUCE (ensayo). Edit. Upv, Valencia, 2003 -JOCS. (Poesía visual). Edit. Rialla, 2006 -LATIDOS. (Poesía discursiva). Edit. Huerga y Fierro. Madrid MONOGRÁFICO -TEXTURAS núm. 6 1996, Vitoria, Álava - GRABACIONES (disco) -VOOXING POOOETRE. International record of sound poetry (poesia sonora). 1982, Ferrara, Italia -SPAGNA, MESSICO, ITALIA. Dischi di poesia POLYPOETRY 3-vi-tre edic.1988, Ferrara, Italia (FLATUS VOCIS TRIO) -GROSSO MODO (música hablada) (poesia fonética) Xiu-xiu records, Castellón, 1989. (FLATUS VOCIS TRIO) GRABACIONES (Cassette) -POLIPOESÍA, PRIMERA ANTOLOGÍA (poesia fonética) Sabater edicions, Barcelona, 1992. -BAOBAB N:22. VOCI ISPANO-PORTOGHESI (poesia fonética) Edizioni Elytra, Reggio Emilia, Italia, 1992 -MOMO VOL. 1. VOCI, SUONI & RUMORI DELLA POESIA (poesia fonética i sonora), Frosinone, Italia, 1996 GRABACIONES (CD) -ROJO (poesia fonética y música improvisada) Unit records, Zürich, Suiza, 1996 -OPERETTE D’ARTISTES (poesia fonética) Francia, 1997 -DOC(K)S ,série 3, nº 17,18,19,20, Ajaccio, Francia, 1998 -ANTHOLOGY OF SOUND POETRY (poesía fonética y Sonora), Kaliningrad, Rusia, 2001-FÜMMS BÖ WÖ TÄÄ ZÄÄ Uu. Stimmen und Klange der Lautpoesie. Basel/Weil a. Rhein/Wien, 2002 -IL VERRI nº25. Milano, 2004 GRABACIONES (Vídeo y dvd) -VIDEOR núm 5-6, VIDEORIVISTA DI POESÍA, La Camera Blu, Roma, 1990. -FRAGMENTOS. Vídeo-catálogo de la instalación realizada en la Sala de Exposiciones de la Universidad de Valencia, junio 1993. -PERFORMANCES POÈTIQUES I. Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 1996. -PERFORMANCES POÈTIQUES II. Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 1998. -PERFORMANCES POÈTIQUES III. Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 2000 -PERFORMANCES POÈTIQUES IV. Universidad politécnica de Valencia, 2002 -PERFORMANCES POÉTICAS I & IV. Comboi Records. Valencia, 2006 -PERORMANCES POÉTICAS II & III. Comboi Records. Valencia, 2007
LA LIVRE XI Giovanni Fontana Bohumila Grögerová Josef Hirsšal Konrad Balder Schäuf felen
Giovanni FONTANA (1946 - ) Born in Frosinone in 1946. Poet and performer, binds his activity as a writer to searches in sonorous and visual field. His production in the sectors of sonorous poetry and the visual poetry is particularly ample. He has theorized her/it “pre-textual poetry”, poetic form of writing open to the multimedia. The “pre-textual poetry” is set, in fact, as a project of performance to be integrated, during the action, with the most disparate visual languages, sonorous, action, etc. He is author of sonorous novels, where the prose is sustained by rhythmic structures particularly accent. Among these: Tarocco Meccanico (1990) and Chorus (2000). He was responsible for the editing of Tam Tam the magazine founded in 1972 by Adriano Spatola and Julia Niccolai. With them and with Arrigo Lora Totino, Milli Graffi, Sergio Cena and other sonorous poets, has constituted in 1979 the group “Il Dolce Stil Suono.” In 1987 he founded the magazine of multimedia poetry La Taverna di Auerbach and subsequently the audiomagzine Momo. He has contributed to the editings of Altri Termini and the audio magazine Baobab (after the death of its founder Adriano Spatola). Currently he is editor of the international magazines Doc(k)s (France) and Inter (Canada). He also directs Territori, a magazine of architecture and other languages. He has proposed performance of sonorous poetry in Italian festivals and abroad, touching the most important capitals of the world: from Paris to New York, from Tokyo to Shanghai. He has taken part in numerous international exhibitions of visual poetry, among which XVI Bienal de São Paulo (1981), XI Quadriennale in Rome (1986).
Bohumila GRÖGEROVÁ (1921 - ) Poet, prose-writer, translator of German, French and English. She completed her secondary education in 1940 at the Charlotte Masaryk Municipal Girls’ Grammar School in Prague and took an annual course for secretaries. In 1942 she began work as a foreignlanguage correspondent in the Social Aid for Bohemia and Moravia Society. In 1945 –1951 she was employed in the press section of the Ministry for National Defense. In 1951 she started working as a publicity editor in the Naše Vojsko publishing house. In 1972 – 1979 she was a professional editor in the Centre for Scientific, Technical and Economic Information. In the ‘60s, together with Josef Hiršal (1920-2003), she devoted her attention to Concrete, Visual and Sound Poetry. She began to publish her own texts and especially translations from German literature (mostly in cooperation with Josef Hiršal) from the end of the ‘50s in a number of Czech and foreign periodicals, as well as writing experimental plays for foreign radio studios; later she published in samizdat. She is the author of several poetry anthologies, two books of prose, and with Josef Hiršal she wrote two small books for children; also a joint work are the memories “Let let” (1st part 1993, 2nd and 3rd parts 1994), for which she received the Tom Stoppard Award in 1986. Also among her most significant translations is that of the work of E.A.Poe.
Josef HIRŠAL (1920 - 2003) Writer, poet, experimental poetry theorist and translator. He came from a farming family, studied at the teachers’ institute in Jičín (taking the school-leaving examination in 1940), worked as a teacher for one year and afterward, until 1945, he was a forester. In the years 1945–1949 he was an editor, first in the daily paper Svobodné Slovo and then in the Orbis publishing house. At the beginning of the ‘40s he kept in contact with the poet Kamil Bednář and the 42 Group. In 1949–1950 he worked in the ČKD ; in 1950 –1962 he held editorial posts in various publishing houses (Brázda, Naše vojsko, Československý spisovatel) and in publicity for the Laterna Magika. After that, apart from the years 1964–1965 when he worked as Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the periodical Knižní kultura (Book Culture), he was a freelancer and devoted himself to his career as a writer and translator. He started publishing verses in 1937, and together with works for children and young adults issued at the turn of the ‘40s and ‘50s, his poetry and small prose works excelled, collected in the middle of the ‘50s in the breakthrough “Private Gallery” anthology. In children’s prose he co-operated with the painter Jiří Kolář, whose programmed experimentation appealed to him. From the ‘50s he worked together with Bohumila Grögerová; in the ‘60s he made numerous contacts abroad in the sphere of experimental poetry and avant-garde art; in the ‘70s and ‘80s he was not permitted to publish and therefore published his texts in samizdat. He was the author of a number of anthologies and several prose works. Translations form a significant part of his artistic work.
Konrad Balder Schäuffelen
Konrad Balder SCHÄUFFELEN (1929 - ) Born in 1929 at Ulm on the Danube. Studied philosophy and medicine in Dillingen, Mainz, Tübingen, Paris, Munich and Frankfurt-on-the-Main. Studied at the Academy of the Fine Arts in Munich. In 1957 - in 1958 journied to the mid-Orient. Longer stays in Rome and Prague. MD, nerve specialist. 1966 - 1970 stayed at the Max-Plank Institute of Psychiatry in Munich. Afterwards psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. Since the middle of the ‘50s literary activity, experimental issues, concrete and visual poetry, translations, particularly from Czech. Since the beginning of the ‘60s “linguistic objects”, audiovisual installations (“consulting room”, “Lautpendel”, “runner”), book objects and object books, photographic and emblematic works, objects and sculptures. Numerous individual exhibitions at home and abroad as well as participation in international exhibitions like the Documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977, and the Venice Biennale in 1969 and 1986. Teacher at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg.
LA LIVRE XII Enzo Minarelli Bern Porter Michel Seuphour S h o h a c h i r o Ta k a h a s h i
Enzo MINARELLI (1951 - ) Enzo Minarelli obtained his university degree at Cà Foscari. Venice, discussing a thesis about psycholinguistics. Since the early ‘70s he has been developing his multiple activities, starting from the written word which would become oral, visual and televisive. He has issued about ten books of linear poetry, the latest O’ grande ventre dell’onda, poems 2002-2006 (Lecce, 2006). He has been and still is the theorist of Poly poetry (its manifesto came out in Valencia in 1986), starting a spectacular event of sound poetry. He has performed abroad, his poly-poetical events are especially appreciated because of their impact on the audiences. He has published the vinyl series 3ViTre Records, producing about twenty records in both 45 rpm and LP. He founded the 3Vitre Archive of Poly poetry which has been collecting verbo-voco-visual works at an international level, and these can be listened to at important institutions in Bologna, the Italian Department at the local University, and at Sala Borsa Library. Scholar and researcher on these items, he has issued many books about the phenomenon of orality and vocality applied to poetry, the most recent being La Voce Regina (Lecce, 2006) and The Voice of Poetry (Udine, 2008). His sound, visual and video works are kept in several international archives and museums. As video-poet, he has produced many video-poems since the early ‘80s ( as a visual poet he started his research enquiring into the concept of phonography.) He has run many one-man shows, and mention must be made of a total show at Zaragoza Modern Art Museum (Spain). For more information, his website is http://www.3vitre.it
Bernard Harden PORTER (1911 - 2004) Porter was born in Maine in 1911 and died there 93 years later. He is best known for his books of Found Poetry, including The Wastemaker, The Book of Do’s, Sweet End and Found Poems. The latter was published by Dick Higgins’ artist book imprint,The Something Else Press in 1972, which also published Porter’s, I’ve Left a Year Prior. Porter himself was the publisher of a literary magazine called Circle, and books by Henry Miller and the fabulous Kenneth Patchen. As a scientist he contributed to the invention of television and worked on the Saturn V rocket and the Manhattan Project (which he promptly resigned from after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki). He spent three weeks in a mental institution in 1967 and ran for Governor of Maine two years later. He’s authored more than 80 books, was the subject of a massive FBI file, and knew Gertrude Stein, Anaïs Nin, Allen Ginsberg and Albert Einstein. Highly revered in experimental poetry and mail-art communities, he is the subject of a fascinating biography titled, Where to Go, What to Do When You Are Bern Porter: A Personal Biography, written by James Schevill and published in 1992. It’s long out-ofprint, but second-hand copies can be found fairly easily. Porter died penniless in Belfast, Maine in 2004, having survived his last few years eating at soup kitchens and art openings.
Michel Seuphor (1901 – 1999) Michel Seuphor (Seuphor is an amalgam of Orpheus) was born March 10th, 1901 in Antwerp and died in Paris on February 12th, 1999. Contemporary painter, poet, novelist and theorist of modern art. He published in Antwerp in 1921, with Joseph Peeters and Geert Pijnenburg, the magazine Het Overzicht (Le Panorama). He gradually became bound to the avantgarde international movement and more particularly with Mondrian, and would create in 1972 the decorations for his play L’éphémère est éternel. Installed in Paris in 1925, he created in 1929 the group Cercle et Carré with the Uruguayan painter Torrès-Garcia, in reaction to the omnipresence of surrealist painting. The group, besides its founders, gathered Mondrian, Arp, Kandinsky, Vantongerloo. Three numbers of the magazine of the same name appeared. Seuphor also organized exhibitions of the group in the ‘30s in which notable participants were Mondrian, Arp, Sophie Teuber, Léger, Schwitters, Kandinsky, Corbusier and Pevsner. He became French in 1954 and famously published a monograph on Mondrian in 1956, as well as a Dictionnaire de la Peinture abstraite in 1957. He continued to organize numerous exhibitions, in 1958, Les Premiers Maîtres de l’Art Abstrait and in 1959 in the United States, Construction and Geometry Painting, as well as in the same year the retrospective exhibition of Mondrian at the Museum of the Orangery in Paris. As a plastics technician, he began to create neo-plastic works from 1926, that were exhibited at the gallery Denise René in 1959 and at Centre Pompidou in 1981. At the end of his life, he produced multiples with the publisher Francesco Conz of Verona. Finally, let us not forget him as a poet and his famous Tableau-Poème with Mondrian.
Shohachiro TAKAHASHI (1933 - ) Born in Kitakami in 1933. Now lives in Karatsu, Japan. Collaborated and contributed to international exhibitions, anthologies, magazines of Visual Poetry in Japan, Italy, France, Germany and other many countries. 1957 – 1978 member of the VOU (leader Kitasono Katué). 1971: 29th VOU exhibition organized by Takahashi at Centro Tool, Milano. Personal exhibitions: 1961 Gallery Yamagoya, Kitakami. 1971 Centro Tool, Milano. Galerie Senatore, Stuttgart. 1995 Harvard Yenching Library, Cambridge, 2004 Keiyuudo, Tokyo. Edge in Gallery #1 on Sundays, Tokyo. Published: Poésieanimation 1. Oiseaux. 2. Vent. 3.Ombre (1968) 4.Terred’eax terre de feu (1969), 5.Domaine de < a-i > (1972). The First Word’s Dark Box (2004)
LA LIVRE XIII Shutaro Mukai Rea Nikonova Clemente Padin Wolf Wezel
Shutaro MUKAI (1932 - ) Born in Tokyo in 1932. Designer, writer and professor at the department of Science and Design, Musashino University of Art, Tokyo. In 1956 after graduating (certificate) at Waseda University, Tokyo, he studied in Germany at the College of Design, Ulm, and there he got to know Max Bill, Max Bense, Otl Aicher and Eugen Gomringer Lehrer. Since then he began to close in on design wherewith his studies of Concrete Poetry since the ‘60s has involved him in numerous exhibitions and colloquiums at home and abroad. He began to make the development of Industrial Design and Design Science his field, as well as Concrete Poetry. Foremost, in 1963 when he stopped as research assistant (Fellow) in the College of Design/Form and at the University of Hanover, Germany, he actively began to publish concrete and experimental poetry with the Stuttgart school of Max Bense. In 1972 he became a member of the ASA group, after the recommendation of Seiichi Niikuni . In 1978 he organized the touring exhibition, “ Japanese Concrete and Visual Poetry “, for an international colloquium on the same theme as that which S.J. Schmidt had organized in the University of Bielefeld. In 1993 a retrospective one-man-show: Mukai Shutaro, concrete / visual poetry, Tokyo Designer’s Space. Publications (selected): Semiosis Form, Shichoche, Tokyo; The Empire of Signs (collaboration), J. Benjamin Pub. Co., Amsterdam; circle and quadrangle (collaboration), Ushiwakamura, Tokyo.
Rea NIKONOVA (1942 - ) Rea Nikonova (b. Anna Aleksandrovna Tarshis, Yeisk, 1942) began writing in 1959, painting in 1962, and is a professional music teacher, therefore combining these three fundamental art-forms from the beginning of her career. In 1964 she began a series of “absurdist and quantum” plays and soon incorporated innumerable experimental forms and genres which were created essentially in isolation from contact with Western trends. In Sverdlovsk, she and several other local associates founded the Uktus School (1964 – 74), the second wave of Conceptualism in Russia, the first being A. N. Chicherin’s Constructivism of the 1920s, and the third being Moscow Conceptualism of the ‘70s to ‘80s. In 1974, she and her husband Sergei Sigov (Serge Segay) took up residence in Yeisk. The movement ended there when the local KGB confiscated all the issues of the journal, Nomer, which had been the focal point of the group’s activities. Nikonova and Segay began the second major phase of their activities with the journal, Transponans, and a movement they called Transfurism. Thirty-six issues of this multimedia journal were published by hand, in five copies, from 1979 to 1987. Nikonova and Segay have contributed to avantgarde and printed in Russia, Epigraph to Emptiness. Vacuum Poetry appeared only in 1997. In 1998 Nikonova and Segay emigrated to Germany.
Clemente PADIN (1939 - ) Born in Lascano, Rocha, Uruguay (1939). Experimental poet, graphic artist, performer, video maker, multimedia and net worker. Graduated in Hispanic Literature. Edited the magazines Los Huevos del Plata (The Silver´s Eggs), 1965-1969; OVUM 10 and OVUM, 1969 -1975, Participación (Participation) 1984 -1986 and Correo del Sur (Southern Post), 2000-2003. Has shown his works in several one-man-exhibitions in the United States of America, Italy, Korea, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Belgium and Japan. Among other distinctions, he was invited personally to the XVI Biennial of São Paulo (1984), to the Biennial of Havana (2000) and Cuenca, Ecuador (2002). Scholar of the Academy of Arts and Letters of Germany (1984), he’s dictated seminaries in the four corners of the world. Since “ Poetry should Be made for All,” Montevideo, 1970, has carried out countless performances in many parts of the world. He is author of 18 books and hundred of notes and articles published in many countries of the world as well. He has participated in multiple events on the Internet since 1992 and has published two CD ROMs with Net Art. In 2008, after his presentation at the Art Museum Reyna Sofia in Madrid, Spain, he’s exhibited his visual poems at the Joan Brossa Foundation of Barcelona, Spain.
Wolf WEZEL (1935 - ) Born in 1935 in Ludwigsburg. Lawyer. PhD in Munich. Co-founder of the studio AND, Munich (1964-1970) and publisher of the edition AND, Munich (1966-1984). Publications of visual texts from 1961 in anthologies and exhibitions. Books: sandkerbern (Stuttgart in 1961), meinsein (Munich in 1968), ONE (Munich in 1972), WORDS (Munich in 1977), 96/96 (Munich in 1978), YELLOW RED BLUE (Aachen in 1986), SEQUENCES (Piesport in 1988), EINHALBTEXTE (Berlin in1992)
LA LIVRE XIV Motoyuki Ito Richard Kostelanet z Rober t Lax Rodolfo Vitone
Motoyuki ITO (1953 - ) Born in 1935 in Kitakami. Member of the Grouppe VOU. Since then he’s participated in different visual exhibitions in his home as well as foreign countries. Published works in magazines and anthologies. Member of the Planning Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Japanese Poetry, Tanka and Haiku. Publications: Ear Celebration, 1971
Richard KOSTELANETZ ( 1940 - ) Individual entries on Richard Kostelanetz’s work in several fields appear in various editions of Readers Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers, Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Contemporary Poets, Contemporary Novelists, Postmodern Fiction, Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers, The Harper Collins Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Directory of American Scholars, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Art, NNDB.com, and the Encyclopedia Britannica, among other distinguished directories. Otherwise, he survives in New York, where he was born, unemployed and thus overworked.
Robert LAX (1915 - 2000) Was as much a contemplater as he was a poet. The hallmarks of his style were simplicity of look and content, along with a deep spirituality that tended towards humor. He was born and raised in Olean, NY, but for the last 35 years he lived in the natural surroundings of the Greek Islands of Kalymnos and Patmos. The list of Lax’s published writings, and works based on those writings, runs to well over 500 items, ranging from single poems, to pamphlets, to books, and includes graphic art, film, video, photography and performance art. He has been at times better known in Europe than America, and at least as well known in art circles as he has been in literary ones. His most prominent U.S. publications have been 33 Poems (New Directions 1988), Love Had a Compass (Grove 1996), A Thing That Is (Overlook 1997) and Circus Days & Night (Overlook 2000).
Rodolfo VITONE (1927 - ) Born in Genoa in the 1927. Since his debut he was interested in the problems of psychology of the image as a vehicle of verb-visual communication. From 1947 to 1950 he experimented on the original possibility of movie expression and he elaborated, as a friend of Man Ray and of surrealist movies, new photographic techniques, with which he participated in international contests of experimental cinematography. In 1948 he realized his first sonorous and color experiment “Luna Park” followed by “E’ possibile vivere” (8 mm b/n) and “Il Manichino” (8 mm color, 100 minutes). In 1950 his first media-metraggio in 16 sonorous mm, white and black “La farina del diavolo”, filmed outdoor, on the beach of Sturla in Genova, with a technical detail which directly gets the assemblage into a car without following elaborations. He realized a brief experimental film on the life of the small Genovese suburb of Boccadasse, and then began his first contact with painting. In this period he worked at studying the expressionists and the futurists and he prepared his exhibition held in Genova in 1957. In 1958 founded the “Gruppo Studio” of Genova in which he participated for several years, participating in numerous group shows and engaging in intense cultural battles. They are the years of great maturation and his definitively undisputed formation. In the first months of 1963 he changed radically his figurative vision, completely eliminating chromatism and rigidly staying bound to the use of black and white. This began the series of the Anacenòsis. In the Summer of the same year he moved to Paris to study. On his return he gave life to the “Marcatrè”, a magazine of contemporary culture, enlisting Eugene Battisti to direct it, as well as emergent and young intellectual critics of art like Umberto Eco, Edouardo Sanguinetti, Paolo Portoghesi, Germano Celant and Achille Bonito Oliva to serve as collaborators. In 1965 he began with Ugo Carrega the publications of “Tool, quaderni di scrittura simbiotica” ,exhibited at the 36th Venice Bienniale in the section called: “The book as the Place of Search.” From this moment he became the propagator of an unusual image, and he organized a series of signs in an original and unrepeatable way, in a such way that, while proposing some problems that are partly common to visual operators, the stamp of his searching remains without any doubt among the operators of Visual Poetry. In February 1971 he prepared in Genoa, at the Gallery “Pourquoi Pas?”, a Proposal of Accidence to which all the experiences of the most recent experimentations of the aesthetical operators were added. In 1975 he realized a “video tape” in black and white of 12 minutes, for which he also composed the sonorous column, as he had done for the Proposta di incidente sulla piazza. From January of 1966 to that of 1972 he was art critic of the “Corriere Mercantile”. He collaborated in numerous magazines and specialized publications and he fed an intense activity as painter and advertising graphics. From 1973 to 1992 he taught sketch and chromatics at the Civico Liceo Artistico “Nicolò Barabino” of Genoa. In 1985 he prepared “Space Paradigm”, inside the cultural center of Levante, in Genoa-Quarto, a great Wood-Labyrinth of Rose painted on a bridal veil, four meters long, and spread on a surface of 20 square meters. Operation proposed as the “evocation” to the 1993 Sarzana show, at the ex-Biscottificio Falcinelli, for the opera “The Presence of Virtuality: Art as Pre-”, organized by the ContemporaryArt Laboratory of Lower Lunigiana. Again on the theme of the Rosa, for the Gallery Pinta in Genoa in 1989 he elaborated a flash-show of 24 hours with a space-involvement that from “Rosa Linda Rosa Pinta” leads to nothing.
LA LIVRE XV Costis Klaus Groh Steve MacCaffery K a r e l Tr i n k e w i t z
COSTIS (1950 - ) Costis ( Athens, 1950 ) is a poet, a performer and a visual artist, with one-man shows in Museums and Galleries in Europe. He’s participated in more than 150 international group shows. His first book of poetr, Fragments 1967-1974, was published in Athens, February 1974, and his first book of drawings, Dreamdrome, in Athens, October 1977, and the digital edition http://www.costis.org/books . Since 1987 he has focused his whole work on his research about the presence of thunder. With poetry, his Electropoems have been exhibited in many group exhibitions, and so have his electronic lightning installations. Works by Costis are found in museums and private collections in Greece, France, Belgium, Germany andItaly. Internet Archive : http://www.artopos.org/artists/costis
Klaus GROH (1936 - ) Born in 1936 in Neisse (today Nysa), Pl; studied Art History and Art Education, promotion about Dada for his PhD; numerous book issued on current art movements; since 1960 exhibitions, readings, performances, installations, visual and concrete poetry. Lives in Edewecht Exhibitions since 1968 /( very small selection): 1969, Liberté de Parole, Galerie Denise Davy, Paris (F) * 1974, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (Nl) * 1976, Papel y Lapis, Museum of Modern Art, Bogota (Kolumbien) * 1981, Biennale Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (Brazil) * 1986, Goethe Institut, Marseille (France) * 1987, international cultural center, Tokyo (Japan) * 1991, Centro de estudios linguisticos, Santiago (Guatemala) * 1992, Labyrinth,studio ekwinski, Stockholm (Sweden) * 1993, IV. Biennale of visual/experimental poetry, Mexico City, Mexico (Mexico) * 1995, V. Biennale of experimental poetry, Mexico-City * 1997, “EyE Rhymes”, international visual poetry, Calgary und Edmonton (Canada) * 2000, experimental poetry: Galeria Albert, Krakow (Pl) * 2001 “poetry against power“, c/o Venice Biennale, (Italy) * “VII. Biennal visual experimental poesia”, Mexico-City (Mexico) * 2002, „Europa-Konkret-Reduktiv“, Museum Modern Art, Hünfeld (Gernaby) * 2003, “BrainAcademyApartment” Venice Biennale, Sezione “extra 50” (Italy) * 2004, “6th small engraving international exhibition”, Maramures (Romania) * 2005, “Island Poetry” c/o 51. Venice Biennal (Italy) * 2006,“Positions” , Vienna, (Austria) * 2007, “Intelligible “Powerful Art, Kunststation Kleinsassen (Germany).
Karel TRINKEWITZ (1931 - ) Was born on the 23rd August, 1931 in the Czech Meceriz. He has been a draftsman, collagist, writer, prose writer and essayist. He learned the occupation of ceramist. In the years 1949-1951 he studied in the ceramic technical school in Teplice and went on from there to secondary school and took the school-leaving exam in1951. In the same year he began to study in the law school of the Karlsuniversität in Prague, but in 1954 he was expelled from the University because of his German and Jewish origins and because of his attention to western art and philosophy. He carried out several different jobs (construction worker, bookkeeper, writer, commercial artist). From 1961 he worked as an editor with the magazine IM HERZEN EUROPAS. For his participation in the Prague spring he was expelled from the journalist’s association. He became unemployed during the first years after the Soviet occupation and wrote numerous political aphorisms and chanson texts. As a ghostwriter he wrote three musical librettos. Two years after signing the CHARTER 77 he was forced to emigrate .He became a member of the central committee of the social democrats in exile and member of the PEN Club. Lived in Essen and Hamburg, worked in Ticino, went to Berlin. From 1989 he entered into his old Prague studio and became involved in politics. He was a cultural agent in Hamburg and received a medal for his cultural work. Published three poem books, illustrated books and wrote for the German and Czech press. Surrealism, Dadaism, existentialism, experimental poetry---all affected his artistic career. He was a co-founder of the Konkretisten Club. From 1965 he worked in the group around Jirí Kolar. In Germany he made contact with the circle of Max Bense. He worked on the theory of the collage and the experimental novel. Worked on the libretto of the musical Mont Blanik (on a political subject), and a film draft for the film of the same. Wrote Love and Death in Marienbad. Up to his 67th year he had written 200 volumes of his diary. Now his interest is applied to computer graphics.
Contents La Livre An homage to Ezra Pound Patrizio Peterlini
OL’ EZ IN BRAZIL Augusto De Campos
Under the sign of great poet Wieland Schmied
Homage for a great spirit Eugen Gomringer
Cronology La Livre I
Arrigo Lora Totino; Stelio Martini; Eugenio Miccini
La Livre II
Henri Chopin; Jean Dupuy; John Furnival; Dick Higgins
La Livre III
Franz Mon; Pierre Garnier; Ladislav Novak; Jacques Spacagna
La Livre IV
Ilse Garnier; Eugen Gomringer; Gerard Rühm; Emmett Williams
La Livre V
Heinz Gappmayr; Bernard Heidsieck; Anna Oberto; Martino Oberto
La Livre VI
Alain Arias-Misson; Julien Blaine; Jean-François Bory
La Livre VII
Ugo Carrega; Luigi Tola; Lamberto Pignotti; Sarenco
La Livre VIII
Lawrence Ferlinghetti; John Giorno; Jackson Mac Low; Jerome Rothenberg
La Livre IX
Augudto De Campos; Haroldo De Campos; Klaus peter Dencker; Decio Pignatari
La Livre X
Demosthenes Agrafiotis; Fernando Aguiar; Dmitry Bulatob; Bartolomé Ferrando
La Livre XI
Giovanni Fontana; Bohumila Grögerová; Josef Hiršal; Konrad Balder Schäuffelen
La Livre XII
Enzo Minarelli; Bern Porter; Michel Seuphor; Shohachiro Takahashi
La Livre XIII
Shutaro Mukai; Rea Nikoniva; Clemente Padin; Wolf Wezel
La Livre XIV
Motoyuki Ito; Richard Kostelanetz; Robert Lax; Rodolfo Vitone
La Livre XV
Costis; Klaus Groh; Karel Trinkewitz; Steve McCaffery
Interviews on DVD Henri Chopin 1989 Augusto De Campos 1991 Haroldo De Campos 1991 Jean Dupuy 1989 John Furnival 1989 Heinz Gappmayr 1992 Ilse Garnier 1989 Eugen Gomringer 1989 Bohumila Grögerová 1992 Bernard Heidsieck 1988 Dick Higgins 1989 Josef Hiršal 1992 Arrigo Lora Totino 1988 Franz Mon 1992 Anna Oberto 2008 Martino Oberto 2008 Decio Pignatari 1991 Olga Rudge 1989 Gerard Rühm 1989 Konrad Balder Schäuffelen 1992 Wolf Wezel 1992 Emmett Williams 1989
© 2014 Patrizio Peterlini All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or trasmitted by any means, electronic or mechanical, mow known or hereafter invented, including photocopy, recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, withoout prior permission in writing from the publisher.
BOOK Editing: Patrizio Peterlini Graphic design: Patrizio Peterlini Translations: Scott Thompson
DVD Editing: Piero Matarrese Translations and subtitlies: Alain Arias Misson