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A DRAFT OF CANTOS XXXI–XLI

LONDON: FABER & FABER, 14 MARCH 1935

 

 

 

1934

To T. S. Eliot, 12 January 1934

L/TSE  7: 19

I spose the Cantos XXXI/XLI of the most interest to youze guys ?? wot HO?!

 

To Olga Rudge, 11 January [1934]

YCAL 54, 14/371

Ziao cara amure

[…]

The Possum haz writ/ Fab/Fab/ want collected Essays/ and new cantos fer autumn/ and Collected POMES fer nex sprung.

 

To J. Laughlin, 17 January 1934

L/JL 15

At any rate [T.S. Eliot’s] letter proposes that Faber continue, and get out collected essays/ Cantos to XLI, and collected poems inserting what he fer Victoria’s sake forebore, and ommittin’ his shoehorn.

 

To Olga Rudge, 2 February [1934]

YCAL 54, 15/375

Zia/tsiao

[…]

Possum up in the nek ov th bottle/ ready to reprint Propertius at once/ gettin Essays inter shape/ and sez sooner the be’r fer XXXI/ XLI. 

 

To Olga Rudge, 3 February [1934]

YCAL 54, 15/375

Ziao/

[…]

Possum gettin on with details of ESSAYS/ and wantin 31/ 41 as soon as/// etc.

 

From T. S. Eliot, 9 February 1934

L/TSE 7: 65

Please give approximate date of delivery of CANTOTOES MSS.

 

To T. S. Eliot, 9 February 1934

L/TSE 7: 71

Farrar is said to be paying an advance (damn it) but not getting into print till autumn/ … I spose I’ll have to make you a new typescript…

 

To T. S. Eliot, 11 February 1934

L/TSE 7: 71

Re/ Cantos/ I can deliver ’em in 48 hours/ Virginia [Rice] reported that contract with Farrar [& Rinehart] wuzza bein made, and that they thought they wd/ be unable to bring ’em out till autimn, [sic] and proposed to do so then. 

I don’t propose to keep you wating. My hurry to print was for the American edtn/ and I spose for copyright reasons/ the Brit/ edtn/ shd/ not precede. 

If Farrar had any guts he wd/ have the stuff in print by now/ and I cd/ [give] the Eng/ edtn/ one canto more... possibly … 

I suppose eleven cantos make about 56 pages. if you are thinking of printers costs…

anyhow/ the Essays in early hautumn/ ought to git their reviewes/ and then have the 31/41 [Cantos], late autumn in time for noEL, no hell!! Wot o the XXXXmas cheeUr!!

 

T. S. Eliot to Lawrence Pollinger, 13 February 1934

L/TSE 7: 66

Dear Pollinger

[…]

Furthermore, we are expecting from Pound another ten or more Cantos, to be published by themselves in the autumn. Not yet knowing how many Cantos there will be, nor how long they are, we cannot fix the price of the volume. 

 

From T.S. Eliot, 22 February 1934

L/TSE 7: 71-2

Podesta

[…]

WHAT is your Real Idea about Cantotoes? I mean, if (as seems Prudent in view of the Existing State of Legislation) you bring out Farrar [72] & Max first, WHEN can you get those Boys to Name the Day? Should Morley now in N.Y. try to Rustle them a Bit? If so, answer promptlY for it means sending him a Night Letter. Or wd. you rather we kept them till after Xmas? As for us, we take things as they Come but we could keep ourselves busy selling Select Essats & Proppertius up till then If you Say the Word Brother Say the Word Essays are being Cast Off and results with number of pages, price and contact should reach you before Long

PS […] You never tell me what I want to Know but will write to Harriette nonetheless.

Note: On 9 February 1934, in desperation at Harriet Monroe’s delay in publishing canto 37 in Poetry, Pound, amid an unprecedented effervescence of invectives, suggested to TSE to intervene with her on his behalf and assure her that his esteem of the cantos extended to new ones, so that she would cease blocking and publish the canto. See the affair in more detail in the Calendar to canto 37.

 

T. S. Eliot to Harriet Monroe, 2 March 1934

L/TSE 7: 82

Dear Miss Monroe,

I have had some mysterious correspondence from Pound, from which very little emerges in the form apprehensible to my intelligence: but I gather that you have either declined or held in suspense one of his Cantos, on the ground that I had either not seen it or failed in some way to express my approval.

Whatever the facts may be, let me make clear my own position with regard to future Cantos. Pound has never been enthusiastic about releasing Cantos one or two at a time for the Criterion, and in consequence I have never pressed the matter. Several years ago he gave me the Malatesta Cantos, since included in the volume of Cantos which Farrar and Rinehart published in New York and which we published here. He made an exception in offering these because he considered that they formed a kind of unity within the whole. 

I have not, in consequence, seen any of the Cantos which he has written since the first thirty. I believe that one or two have appeared in the New English Weekly, which I seldom see. But Pound knows perfectly well that I should be glad to publish any canto that he cared to have appear in the Criterion. My firm expects to publish in book form all subsequent Cantos in such sections as he wishes, and we expect to bring out a volume containing the next ten or twelve in the autumn. 

The fact of my not having seen etc. a particular Canto in question is, accordingly irrelevant to the whole matter.

 

To Ford Maddox Ford, 11 March [1934]

L/FMF 135

Cantos 31/41 con[t]racted for N.Y. and London (Farrar and Faber)

 

From T. S. Eliot, 30 July 1934

L/TSE 7: 289

Yassur Podesta I gass your bour right, I kno I am Erritatin podesta I cant elp it its something in my natur that just Erritates people exceptin those what is Pure in eart and they are not Erritated only mildly amused but what I have to say is to Ell with Francklin what about a canto for December sein that there is no plausibility of the book before that given date we might have a canto canto canto three cheers for the Headmaster three cheers for the governors three cheers for the Dean hip hip canto cantoo cantooo yrs. etc.

Notes:

“Erritatin” – Frank Morley had given Pound a copy of F. D. Roosevelt’s book On Our Way. Pound wrote a review for the Criterion, but Morley told him it was too long and he should have checked with TSE first. In an undated letter, Pound retorted: “Yerr a niritatin little kuss/ why don’t you say what about that rev/ of Frankie […] if you had said 900 words for Frankie/ you wd/ prob have got 900.” (L/TSE 7: 289n)

“no plausibility of the book” – The Eleven New Cantos were going to be published at Faber, but Eliot had not yet received the typescript, so he still had time to print a canto in the Criterion in advance of the volume. Pound sent Morley a set of spare proofs from Farrar the next day. After reading them, Eliot chose canto XXXVI for the Criterion

 

To Dorothy Pound, 31 July [1934]

Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III

spare set of proofs 31/41 been sent to Morley.

Note. Frank Morley, editor at Faber & Faber.

 

From Frank Morley, 2 August 1934

YCAL 43, 35/1482

Dear Ezro,

Hurrah. Eleven new cantos arrived as promised on post card series No. 4,000,000. Brer Terrapin has kotcht holt of the root and branch and hev some outer sight wiv um. But he peromises on his faith to be writing to you perompt.

 

From Dorothy Pound, 5 August [1934]

Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III

They (T.S. [Eliot] & [Frank] M[orley]) had just recd 31-41 cantos proofs [Farrar & Rinehart] from you.

 

From A. R. Orage, 22 August 1934

YCAL 43, 38/1620; Surette, Purgatory 52

My dear E.P./

[…]

I’m not setting up to give you advice; but the continuation of your Cantos would give me stimulant satisfaction. Say what you like, I’m the better propagandist. 

[…]

With submission again, my dear E.P., your Cantos are your greatest contribution to the cause; & if only you could make them the vehicle of your total being, their effect would be that of artillery. Dont argue with me; still less don’t assume I think I’m right. Take it as my sincere opinion. 

 

From Frank Morley, 12 November 1934

YCAL 43, 35/1482

Dear Ezro,

[…]

Naow we had better get on wiv road-mending. I am telling pretty Pollinger to get up Cantos contract, and we must do some further thinkungs too. Fum present indications it will take britpub a little while to absawb MIN. But I have faith.

Note. MIN is Make It New, the book of Pound’s essays that Faber published in 1934.

 

To Olga Rudge, 15 December [1934]

YCAL 54, 15/397

O vow vow WOW/

Proofs 31/41 frum the Possum// thass a daye’s woik.

 

From Frank Morley, 20 December 1934

L/TSE 7: 430

Proofs of XI Cantos just received…

 

To T. S. Eliot, 20 December 1934

L/TSE 7: 430

CANTOS can’t simply be called XI/, got to be XXXI/XLI otherwise it looks like same old start I/XI all muddled again. 

 

From T. S. Eliot, 28 December 1934

L/TSE 7: 430

[…]

AGREED about title of Cantos yours right on that point too. 

Note: 

The letter did not settle the matter: the Faber version of the Eleven New Cantos had the title: A Draft of Cantos XXXI–XLI

 

1935

To Laurence Pollinger, 27 January XIII [1935]

YCAL 43, 41/1734

To the Rt/ Rev/ Ludoverius Epimimomannidass Polinger

Sorr:

I have never yet run over my correction allowance. So the point might be academic.

BUTT in the present case 31/41 I shd/ NOT in nanny case be penalized, even were the corrections likely to overswat/

FOR

I TOLD Faber I was preparing a CORRECT text. I told them to ask me for it when ready/

I spent time going thru a copy of Farrar’s edtn/ with mikkyscope, fixing it for printed.

AND then Faber goes and sends the Farrar galleys to press room. I sent him the galleys to compute the necessary amount of printing etc.

ALSO, I thought it was agreed AS SYSTEM, that my stuff shd/ be handled by Morely, as I can do NOTHING via De la Mare.

Also after a nasty experience with Farrar/ I shall look very carefully at any correction clause. As one has no controll over a pubr/ and has no way of examining his dealings with a printer.

There are I. alterations of text

2. corrections due to author’s errors in mss/

3. corrections due to print being an ape.

My contract with Farrar, reads “alterations”.

this dont concern YOU. I merely state that I shall from now on read all such clauses with great attention. Morely and Eliot I trust. Delamare is such a complete idiot, that I have been unable to ascertain from the most unprejudiced sources available whether he is honest or not. Probably dont KNOW his left buttock from his right ear.

Anyway, in future I dont want to hear from him or his sekkertary. 

They have taken five weeks between galleys and pages, which has I admit permitted me to express THREE corrections to Morley, this morning. corrections of one letter each/ entirely MY bloody fault.

//

BUT on the other hand/ SUGGESTIONS for ameliorating alignment etc/ or for example putting a decent pyramid instead of a sloppy one/ are OPTIONAL. IF the firm has a printer or a supervisor of production who is worth a brass farden, these details do not fall on the author.

is author penalized for interest.??

ONE MUST BE entirely clear on such points.

If they want me to desist from interest of this kind, I want WARNING first, and will then take it that sloppy production is part of the contract.

 

From T. S. Eliot, 8 February 1935

L/TSE 7: 507

Now look here, Podesta, to begin with I am just recoverin from a acute coryza & my secretary [is ill] and I aint got time to deal with much until next Week but […] the immediate point is this that me and also Faber who ought to know some more Greek than I do bein a 1st in Greats have been tryin to emend your greek qootations Podesta why dont you ever read your proofs and verify your references and Podesta why dont you adopt some SYSTEM of transliteration if you got to transliterate at all But he as well as I is handichapped by not knowing the sources and perhaps less familiarity I might say indeed on your part Gross familiarity Podesta with the Yomeric Ymns dont know where ALL the dambed things come from, can you give exact refs. those two big quotes especial they are certainly Meaty when it comes to errors of one Kind or another Do you want the proof back or what damb your eyes liver lights etc. so will close.

 

To T. S. Eliot, 10 February 1935

L/TSE 7: 507

Gordamm that greek/ I putt the line numbers on fht margint, thinking anybody that cd/ reed it at all cd/ tell wot buk it cum from, namely the Circe or Kirke book K. of the O/dishy. and I putt the numbers of the lines from which the small quotes are taken, on some set of proofs…

I don’t quote in full, I leave out woidz that don’t comport with wot I’ma driving at.

[…]

NO, I dont want to see any MORE proofs/ the bdy/ thing orter bin out befo/ noo yearz… only for Xtzache don’t send any MORE proofs.

Notes.

Fht margint – right margin. The numbers are there (ll.490-5) but indicate six lines where only five were printed.

Book K. – Book X of the Odyssey. Pound’s edition numbered the chapters using the Greek alphabet. See it in Sources. 

 

To T. S. Eliot, 16 February 1935

L/TSE 7: 513 n.2; Redman, Italian Fascism 156.

Waal naow, Possum my Wunkas, Dew yew XXXpekk me to be pracTical AWL th time? Aint it enuff thet I write a nice practical XI Cantos to inskrukk the reader in hist/ and econ/ even if I do leave out a greek hack/cent, which most of the readers wd/ learn to copulate WITHOUT, almost as soon/ unless impeded...Whereas as a kneelection doggymint, thet buk OUGHT to be gittin’ circulated.

 

A Draft of Cantos XXXI–XLI is published by Faber & Faber on 14 March 1935.

 

 To Frank Morley, 24 March [1935]

YCAL 43, 35/1483

Dilectus mihi inter cetibus/

XXXI-XLI recd/, looks better printed than XXX.

[…]

Only comment on the set up of 41/ iz that Mordecai’s pyramid is a bit acute/ my eider izza iSo Kaleez. But I admit I didn’t see the damn thing fer meself.

 

From Frank Morley, 24 March [1935]

YCAL 43, 35/1483

Dear Ezro,

Yus, glad to see you been noticing my artistic efforts to improve lingerie. Give us a chanct and we’ll improve the colour range. Geometrical figgers and coives is acknowledged my meat, but nobody is too proud to appreciate appreciation. Speaking of figgers, your Greek is wonkier than I suspected if you identify Isokaleez wiv equiangular as in your latest communication on Mordecai’s Pyramid. I noticed the acquity myself, but on the whole thought it hartistic. You got to let a publisher ruin something somewhere, otherwise the bastid is unhappy.

 

From T. S. Eliot to Homer Pound, 4 April 1935

L/TSE 7: 588

My dear Mr Pound

[…]

I hope you like the production of the cantos as well as Make It New. I feel a certain personal pride in the Cantos too, because it was my giving Ezra a set of the Complete Works of Thomas Jefferson that started him off studying American history.