The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Robert Anton Wilson commentary on The Cantos of Ezra Pound

Posted by invizweb on July 23, 2008

commentary Copyright: Robert Anton Wilson

CANTO II

Ez told his father, Homer[!] Pound, that
the theme of metamorphoses dominates this canto
[I think Ez has multiple realities, not just mutltiple fathers.
He walks an uneasy waltz between Method Acting and Multiple
Personality Disorder, like some nitwit “channeling,”
but instead of producing their horsesht he somehow
produces great poetry. Robert Graves, oddly, said
all first-rate poetry emerges in semi-trance.
And Batty Billy Blake said a buncha naked angles
dictated his poems to him.]
This Canto seems psychedelic……..

HANG it all, Robert Browning,

a] Emphatic departure from
archaic style & subject of Canto I —
metamorphosis of English language/paideuma
over centuries
b] parody of the typical Browning opening
–abrupt, colloquial and definitely somebody
speaking to somebody else
c] parody of Ez’s own frequent use of that
style of opening in his early poems
(1907-1912)

there can be but the one “Sordello.”
But Sordello, and my Sordello?

The central “problems” of the Cantos–
can we know historic truth? And even
if we do, can we transmute it into
poetry without distorting it?
Which Sordello means more or has
the most accuracy — Browning’s?
Pound’s? The academic historian’s?
Metamorphosis of Sordello from
live man to dead man to man living
again in 3 forms: Browning’s
poetic imagination; Pound’s poetic
imagination; academic history…

Read more.

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