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First edition: Paris: Hours Press, August 1930.

Pocket edition with capitals designed by Dorothy Shakespear Pound.
Publisher: Nancy Cunard.
Printer: François Bernouard, La Belle Edition, Paris. 

 

 

 

1929

From Horace Liveright, 23 September 1929
YCAL 43, 30/1266

Dear Ezra:

No, I don’t think the time has come yet to bring out the Cantos. Let us take it up again next year.

 

From Nancy Cunard, 12 December 1929 
YCAL 43, 10/493; Gallup 451.

Ezra Darlint

For reasons that are none or everything I have decided to print again, and that immediately, and with vigour. Only the “modern”. AND in Paris you’ll be glad to hear. With help. Lots of things. 

Now, DO I GET THE CANTO? I can’t remember if the end of the summer said yes or no to that/ If I do I’d much like to start with it in the NEW Year, maybe before, no, New Year will do. Answer me on this I take it I can do something of yours, not the poor Beowulf I suppose?

Note. Pound and Nancy initially aimed at printing one canto and a prose work, “The Probable Music of Beowulf.” See Gallup 450-2. 

 

To Olga Rudge, 25 December 1929
YCAL 54, 8/207

Ziao, cara.

[…]

Note from Nancy that she cant print the cantos on hand press as there is more of em than she cd. get thru. but (with various ambiguities) seems disposed to publish them in pocket edtn. which wd. be puffikly sa’sfakory and probably quicker IF … etc. she gits on with it.

 

To Olga Rudge, 30 December 1929
YCAL 54, 8/207

Ziao, cara.

[…]

Nancy was very ambiguous I dunno whether pocket edtn. is in state of polite wish or definite intention.

 

1930

To Olga Rudge, 11 January 1930
YCAL 54, 9/211

Ziao

[…]

Nancy writes that she is definitely going to do the cantos in one vol.

 

To Olga Rudge, 23 January 1930
YCAL 54, 9/214

Ziao, cara, amure

He has he thinks cleared up that line in Viith. Canto that she said was oscuro. Has she any more suggestions while he is getting ready for a noo edtn;?

[…]

anyhow he has got over point he wuz stuck AT. in his poema.

 

From Nancy Cunard, 16 March [1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Dear Ezra

back from London. How about this size (see over)? it is a format of paper – Proposed size of type: 11-point. (same as Bill Bird’s series of [1]6) D’s capitals size of HOURS PRESS (that printed other side or larger?) Which justification do you prefer, 25 or 22?

Advance sales in London going well. Work in Paris under usual (and some unusual) difficulties. I note the special announcement of Cantos to be sent aforehand will be: A Draft of 30 Cantos. Will try and have them started (done on) April-May. 

If you don’t like size suggest one in drawing – i.e. long and narrow in q-point?

Terms: 50% once all costs paid.

Had better send little contract. Will.

Love to Dorothy

 

From Nancy Cunard, 23 March [1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Dear Ezra.

Very well. Agreed as to size and shape paper. Will go to my out-printer as soon as you send on sufficient matter for him to make up a complete sample page – as you say, Caps should be designed on sample page. So send on a little.

I’ll have your letter by me at out-printer’s and we’ll typometer the print-area, and I’ll post immediately. 

But, as aforesaid, book can’t be done (out) till June – as it must be singly, specially advertized “to subscribers” – How the deffil can the traveler pilot the “condom full of black beetles” etc.?

Note. “condom of black beetles” – Nancy is quoting from canto XIV: l.87.

 

From Nancy Cunard, Tues 25 [March 1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Darlin.

I handed over the subject of your letter à qui de droit – but also your letter – and I wanted Aragon to answer it himself for clarity as it was all not very clear to me – but I suppose you have heard nothing. You shall, though.

Do you approve of Cantos and yourself thus placed (on circular)? Circular making make the man (me) mad. We also have a fair poster. Bill (d’Oiseau) thinks £2 too dear for 200 unsigned. You no doubt persist in the stamp comparison, a damn good one! We’ll do some “grand papiers”; all this for summer. Tascabile. 

Notes.

Bill (d’Oiseau) - Bill Bird had published A Draft of XVI Cantos in 1925 and sold his press to Nancy.

tascabile – It."pocket-size."

 

To Olga Rudge, 26 March 1930
YCAL 54, 9/218

Ziao

Recd. Bill’s new nuvvle and a vol. on Sordello to be swallowed before mss. of Cantos goes orf. Etbloodycetera. and no time.

 

From Nancy Cunard, Sun 8th [April 1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Darlint

I’ve had a very pleasant day with the Cantos – and am posting proofs and originals tomorrow (if Mon be Mon and not only Whitsuntide, god rot it, rot both). Very little to do to proofs – maybe I’ve done the spaces and wrong at that – you’ll erase pencil where fit. Bernouard seems to have put initials alright – but wants to know where the 3- Chinese goes. Also he owes the greek words – suppose he can be let do these on his own? It looks well, doesn’t it? Please send back to him direct. (71 Rue St. Ps.) Paper being ordered this week. Still no answer re Vellums; he thinks about 500-600 fcs. Wot ells?

Ha – the printer has just “gone off” for length of time indeterminate – we have another Tuesday – this re the circulars and postals of Cantos – of which you shall receive provision – also Dad – where, Dad? Rapallo, 12 Marsala I suppose.

* Don’t you think “Initials by D.S.” might have a better, (i.e. no) bedfellow than Maitre-Imp B? Put this legend then where you will. I like these initials better even than at first, and size is perfect. Publicity via the traveler with circulars, cards. And it all out by end of month?

Note. Maitre-Imp B – Fr. “Maitre-Imprimeur Bernouard”

 

From Nancy Cunard, 10 April [1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Dear

Sample page in yr’ ole Didot (as you see copied down too, is that!) And looks very well – but surely not quite as much on page as is here? Well, probably there’s a break in most, of one line’s width? You see they’ve got the type into square of your letter, though the paper is bigger – and let it remain size of the proof – pocketable, and befitting to type – area – Not?

Dorothy now drawing the capitals on one or both of these? And the making of the caps where? If you come about the 20th let me know in advance because easter itself (that is Fri – to Mon) I have to go to the Touquet to Her L. We’ll decide on cover perhaps (for Cantos) and certainly on paper, papers. Make a date fixe if you can.

Note. Her L. - Her Ladyship, Nancy Cunard’s mother, Maud.

 

From Nancy Cunard, Tues [17 June 1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Darlin.

Getting at Bernouard today (if he is in) will make him do a full set of Proofs on the real paper with greek in – he wrote he had not the greek and was ordering the composition of it from the foundery – will have the capitals straightened on pages and the 3 chinese put at Kung. I hope you wrote or will write to Bernouard at once and explicitly on typewriter – there are 3 of us at this production which is a little more complicated than 2 – I mean you have to pass through me – but we shall get it in the end. More when I’ve seen Bernouard.

 

From Nancy Cunard, Friday [27 June 1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Darlint

Last, thanks for grand list! (just come) & will send circulars to all at once putting date of publication at July 20 – the binder can’t finish the lot till then – we’ve worked it out – as he has to do me 3 previously – but the orders will be filled between then and end of month – or Aug 2-5 at latest. To date 88 copies sold (dont l’un a £5.5/.)

straddle-wise, your letters re Cantos all gone through with B and proofs en main (I mean, what concerns him, not other observations!) glad the greek is alright. Once more I impressed urgency of Chinese and K’s to their urgent places; he understood the pages à soigner. I keep that last important list of errors of yours to go through the page proofs next week and have told him to send you 16 pages on page proof on its paper and the same to me – after which I will read through the entire page proofs (if I can get them all together, if not, 16 by 16) before the bon à tirer. 

Title page I think he has now understood – we’ll both get proofs of that. As you say, looks more of a muddle that t’is, but……! I hope the initials will now be definitely straight.

Notes

en main – Fr. “in hand.”

K’s – Bernouard had considerable difficulty with Dorothy’s more elaborate Chinese heading to canto XIII.

à soigner – Fr. “to be taken care of.”

bon à tirer – Fr. “good to print.”

 

From Nancy Cunard, Friday 4th [July 1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Darlin

Here’s page-proofs of 16 on the paper – Still find “A Draft of” too big so am asking for italics also same for “By”. Also just noted no numbers to pages! We’ll have these in left and right hand corners selon les pages.

They came today only. Can we trust him to pull the lot once the “bon à tirer” given? I mean as I’m going to London the 15th– I will however try and see all of it at his printer at Vincennes; shall go there unless he absolutely refuses; I have your last list of “attention aux pages…” by me permanently now – will see to Kung’s 3 Chinese letters (probably in order now) and check up all the rest. 

I propose pulling slightly towards centre the “Paris” and “1930” of the title page unless he says you designed them so I also find the text starts a bit too high on pages 2, 6, 8, 12 and no doubt on all pages whereto the Canto ends – Have ordered the pages for you to sign, after which please return to him. Still no answer re price of vellums, I enquire twice a week. Binder will finish both edns by Aug 1, he goes away for 2 weeks mid July, so… orders will be filled Aug 1 and 2.

 

From Nancy Cunard, Sun. July 13 [1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Binding will be done by Aug 1-

Ezra Darling,

Have told B to send you the 12 or 15 pages to sign – after which please register these to the binder:

Regereau
                    37 Rue Damesme
                              Paris-

Will be getting maquettes of both cloth and leather binding sent over to London within 10 days or so. What of the two Vellums re binding? Both in the cuir vermeil or what? Am telling binder to “hold” till you advise me.

Here is B’s vellum bill – will you send him the 550 fcs owing – shall I deduct the 600 advanced from our general account? B said printing it all this week. 

 

From Lincoln Kirstein, 9 August 1930
YCAL 54, 9/227

Dear Mr. Pound,

[…]

Are you doing any new cantos? Are you suggesting anyone to review the 30 – of the Hours Press – for us.

Note. Lincoln Kirstein was the editor of Hound and Horn, a New York literary magazine. He had published cantos 28-30 in April 1930.

 

To Olga Rudge, 10 August 1930 
YCAL 54, 9/224; AC17

At last, sheets of XXX to sign. It has at any rate got to the binder. He is plugging along with Adams letters.

 

To Olga Rudge, 11 August 1930
YCAL 54, 9/224

Ziao,

[…]

Sheets of XXX look very well despite W still cockeyed. A good deal of it very nicely printed.

 

To Olga Rudge, 19 August 1930
YCAL 54, 9/226

Ziao.

Copies of the ornary edtn. XXX. arrived. looks vurry well. 

[…]

Is there anyone who ought to receive FREE copy of XXX? Am sending one to Carnevali, and Zuk gets free opt.

 

To Olga Rudge, 22 August, 1930
YCAL 54 9/227

Ziao cara:

[…]

To BUY XXX merely means giving one quid to Nancy minus attritions and overhead. Much better retain £2 as N. needs it less than we do. She gets a copy when she gets here. Only he is not sending her a ordinary one and the other havent come yet. Capish?

 

From Nancy Cunard, Sept 1 [1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Ezra Darlin

Lovely – I will with joy take the extra vellum parts and as you say have bound up other sheets to make the whole. Thanks. Have written binder to register you immediately the 2 vellums and 2 extra leathers. Can’t think why he hasnt done so days ago. You see, even for that small expeditiousness one would have to be on the spot. I say 2 leathers because cant remember how many extras there are – may be more. 101 ‘regular’ sold now. The I being to Dr Slominski!!! Warmly (i.e. lengthily) pleased you are content with book. Hope the vermeils will be beautiful – the maquette was excellent; had to leave before binder could get these done. 

Thank you for sending to Zuk and to Steve. Sorry not to have had Zuk’s address in time. I sent Eliot a free for himself. Re Ford, by chance I saw him in a doorway and he said he was going to USA mid Sept (I think); but will now write him Rue Vaugirard and say there’s a copy on ice. Richard has a review copy.

Have been out of touch with everything since Aug 16 – now sending out this address. FOR, alas, the aftermath of production is long. Payment, too slow. Four more books have to be done before I really can close the Press (close its publicity that is – will always keep premises for you and me). […] Thank god the Cantos are out. Am sending circulars of cantos to yo dad’s addresses.

[…]

Will send some royalties as soon as I can get some payments – a campaign of bills goes out from here! 

Her L. wrote “Ezra’s mind terrifies me – it is full of explosions”.! (re Cantos)

 

From Nancy Cunard, [undated 1930]
YCAL 43, 11/494

Well, well, Smell now it is! The vellums were carried in like a royal baby and held high above my head at which moment the binder distracted my attention and they were spirited back to mature so that I hardly saw them and got no inkle of smell – next time in Rapallo I will acquaint myself with it as it “sounds most interesting”

[…]

Deep in calculation of what Zwemmer calls your Collected Canter – there appears some 4,000 fcs coming to you.

The Fifth Decad

rsz toscana siena3 tango7174

Cantos in periodicals

Three Cantos (Ur-Cantos)

A Draft of XXX Cantos

A Draft of XVI Cantos

A Draft of the Cantos 17-27

Cantos XXVIII-XXX

Eleven New Cantos

rsz guido cavalcanti