POUND (EZRA) Two typed letters signed ("Ezra Pound"), to Lytton Strachey ("Dear Lytton Strachey" and "Dear Strachey"), about Eminent Victorians: Holland Place Chambers, 12 July and 30 October 1918

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Lot 180
POUND (EZRA)
Two typed letters signed ("Ezra Pound"), to Lytton Strachey ("Dear Lytton Strachey" and "Dear Strachey"), about Eminent Victorians: Holland Place Chambers, 12 July and 30 October 1918

Sold for £ 2,750 (US$ 3,473) inc. premium
The Remaining Papers of Giles Lytton Strachey
Sold by order of the Strachey Trust
POUND (EZRA)
Two typed letters signed ("Ezra Pound"), to Lytton Strachey ("Dear Lytton Strachey" and "Dear Strachey"), about Eminent Victorians: in the first letter asking for a review copy ("...I should be very glad to devote the greater part of my next monthly article on Books Current (in a paper called The Future) to your book on Eminent Victorians, if you can persuade your publishers to send me a review copy..."), adding that this copy of the book would also serve him for a review in the Little Review; warning him in an autograph postscript on the envelope: "I announced the book in article sent off yesterday. If you come on a 3 line notice don't take it for the review"; in the second letter, apologising for the review ("...a lamentable performance, even so the editor has ʻmodified' a certain number of passages, adjectives etc, which he said would finish off the remaining subscribers..."); with autograph envelope ("Lytton Strachey Esq/ 6 Belsize Park Gdns/ N.W.3.") for the first letter, 2 pages, the first on printed heading of The Little Review, 4to and oblong 8vo, Holland Place Chambers, 12 July and 30 October 1918

Footnotes

  • ʻYOUR BOOK ON EMINENT VICTORIANS' – EZRA POUND TO HIS FELLOW ICONOCLAST, LYTTON STRACHEY. Eminent Victorians had appeared on 9 May 1918. It helped mark the break between the wartime generation and their Victorian predecessors and is widely seen as a precursor to the modernism of Eliot, Joyce and Pound himself (whose own essay in the genre, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, was to appear two years later: ʻThere died a myriad,/ And of the best, among them,/ For an old bitch gone in the teeth,/ For a botched civilization... For two gross of broken statues,/ For a few thousand battered books').

    Pound's long and admiring review was published in the New Review in October 1918, and opens: ʻMr. Strachey, acting as funeral director for a group of bloated reputations, is a welcome addition to the small group of men who continue what Samuel Butler began. The howls going up in the Times Lit. Sup. from the descendants of the ossements are but one curl more of incense to the new author... For most of us, the odor of defunct Victoriania is so unpleasant and the personal benefits to be derived from a study of the period so small that we are content to leave the past where we find it, or to groan at its leavings as they are, week by week, tossed up in the Conservative papers. The Victorian era is like a stuffy alley-way which we can, for the most part, avoid... Mr. Strachey, with perhaps the onus of feeling that the "Spectator" was somewhere in his immediate family, has been driven into patient exposition. The heavy gas of the past decades cannot be dispersed by mere "BLASTS" and explosions. Mr. Strachey has undertaken a chemical dispersal of residues' (ʻAn Historical Essayist: Lytton Strachey on Left-Over Celebrity', collected in Instigations of Ezra Pound, 1920).
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