1. Poetry, 37 (January 1931): 231
2. Poetry 37 (March 1931): 332-33.
3. Letters to Louis Zukofsky, July 5, 1928 and July 18, 1928, in The Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams, ed. John C. Thirlwall (New York: New Directions, 1957; rpt. 1984), p. 101. Subsequently cited in the text as WCWL.
4. "Memory of V. I. Ulianov" is the first poem in the sequence "29 Poems," first published in All: The Collected Short Poems, 1923-1964 ; see Louis Zukofsky, Complete Short Poetry (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 21-22. This edition is subsequently cited in the text as CPLZ.
5. Ezra Pound, letter to Louis Zukofsky, 24 October , in Pound / Zukofsky: Selected Letters of Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky, ed. Barry Ahearn (New York: New Directions, 1987), pp. 45, 47, 49. Subsequently cited in th text as EPLZ.
6. Ezra Pound, "A Retrospect," Literary Essays of Ezra Pound, ed. T. S. Eliot (London: Faber & Faber, 1954), p. 5.
7. Richard Johns (born Richard Johnson in 1904) was the son of a well-known Boston attorney named Benjamin N Johnson, who had studied with William James at Harvard. The young Johns attended Classical High School in Lynn, MA., but dropped out before graduating and did not go on to college; rather, he travelled with his father to Greece, haunted the Boston bookshops and read voraciously, wrote poems and short stories, and between 1927-29 studied comparative poetry and literary theory at Columbia. Having no regular job, Johns decided in the late twenties to start a literary magazine. For this background and for an excellent scholarly study of the Pagany archive, with selections from the magazine itself, see Stephen Halpert (ed., with Richard Johns), A Return to Pagany: The History, Correspondence, and Selections from a Little Magazine 1929-1932 (Boston: Beacon Press,1969). This book is subsequently cited in the text as ARP.
8. This role is usually thought to have been played by Williams: see Stephen Halbert in ARP, passim. But Peter Quartermain, who has read the unpublished (and currently inaccessible) correspondence between Richard Johns and Louis Zukofsky, has suggested to me in conversation that the poetry selections may well reflect the choices of Zukofsky rather than Williams. This would explain why Zukofsky is never listed under "Contributors' Notes" in Pagany and why Johns published so many of the Objectivists, at a time when they were little known.
9. Richard Johns, "Announcement," Pagany, I, 1 (January-March 1930): 1. Subsequently cited in the text as P, followed by volume number in roman numerals and the issue number in arabic. For Johns's early reading of admiration of Williams, see the correspondence between the two in ARP 3-5, and Halpert's commentary on pp. 6ff.
10. Mary Butts's first husband was the English poet, critic, printer and publisher John Rodker, who befriended Pound in Paris and worked with him on various projects; the Surrealist poet Georges Hugnet, of whose friendship with Stein more below, had written appreciative essays on Virgil Thomson; Atget, virtually unknown at the time of his death except by the Surrealist cenacle and other fellow artists, was rescued from oblivion by the photographer Berenice Abbott, who saved his negatives, printed them, and brought them to the U.S. for exhibition and sale when she returned to her native country from Paris in 1929.
Johns's chief contact with Rodker, Thomson, Hugnet et. al. was Sherry Mangan, Harvard graduate, classicist, and cosmopolitan writer-critic, whom Johns had befriended in Boston; see ARP 17-20. On 28 August 1929, Mangan wrote Johns from Paris that he would round up some of the foreign and expatriate talent. "Djuna [Barnes]," he remarked, "is getting very snooty, but may be approachable" (see ARP 18). As it turned out, Barnes, in contrast to Stein, never published in Pagany.
11. Fredric Jameson,Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1991), p. 17.
12. Mary Butts, "Brightness Falls," From Altar to Chimney-Piece. Selected Stories of Mary Butts, preface by John Ashbery (Kingston, N.Y.: McPherson & Co., 1992), p. 203. Subsequently cited in the text as MB.
13. P1, 1: 39. Johns published Stein on the warm recommendation of Williams, who insisted that his own essay on Stein (see below) be published in the first issue. In response to this issue, Stein wrote Johns (ARP 129-30), "I like you and Pagany, so there we are. Later I will send you a little thing when it gets done, a play in which only contemporaries appear, it will amuse you, and Virgil may later do music for it, anyway, we are all active and pleasant."
14. See Williams, Selected Essays (New York: New Directions, 1954), pp. 113-20; pp. 162-66. In the latter essay, Williams writes, "Stein has gone systematically to work smashing every connotation that words have ever had, in order to get them back clean" (p. 163).
15. Stein met Georges Hugnet, a young surrealist poet through Virgil Thomson in 1927. He admired her work, translated some of her portraits and selections from The Making of Americans , and together they translated Composition as Explanation. She then offered to reciprocate by translating into English his suite of poems called Enfances. But translation was not Stein's game, and as she proceeded, her version became increasingly "free," Hugnet's thirty stanzas being rendered by prose paragraphs as well as brief sentences, and his erotic imagery being almost entirely elided. Hugnet nevertheless planned to publish the two versions in book form, again side by side, but Stein objected to what she saw as her subsidiary position in the venture and broke off all further contact with Hugnet, as her new title Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded suggests. See Richard Bridgman, Gertrude Stein in Pieces (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 201-202; Bruce Kellner (ed.), A Gertrude Stein Companion (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), pp. 24, 207; James R. Mellow, Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein & Company (New York: Avon, 1975), pp. 408-12; Renée Riese Hubert, "Gertrude Stein and the Making of Frenchmen," SubStance, 59 (1989): 71-92.
In The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (in Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, ed. Carl Van Vechten [New York: Vintage, 1972], p. 218) "Alice" recalls "In the meantime, Georges Hugnet wrote a poem called 'Enfance.' Gertrude Stein offered to translate it for him, but instead wrote a poem about it. This at first pleased Georges Hugnet too much and then did not please him at all. Gertrude Stein then called the poem 'Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded."
16. Stephen Halpert reproduces Stein's telegram (22 December 1930) to Johns, which reads: "TITLE MY POEM IS POEM PRITTEN ON PFANCES OF GEORGES HUGNET IMPERATIVE (see ARP 216).
17. Marianne DeKoven, A Different Language. Gertrude Stein's Experimental Writing (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983), pp. 105-06.
18. Peter Quartermain, "'The Tattle of Tongueplay: Mina Loy's Love Songs," unpublished ms., delivered at the Modern Language Association meeting, December 1992.
19. The allusion is to Eliot's "The Hollow Men," Part V: "Between the idea / And the reality / Between the motion / And the Act / Falls the Shadow. . . . Between the desire / and the spasm / Between the potency / And the existence / Between the essence / And the descent / Falls the Shadow / For Thine is the Kingdom." See The Complete Poems and Plays 1909-1950 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1962), pp. 58-59.
20. James E. Devlin, Erskine Caldwell (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1984), p. 139.
21. Johns was introduced to Caldwell's work by Charles Henri Ford, who was then editing Blues, A Magazine of New Rhythms, a journal which went through nine issues in 1929-30 and shared many of Pagany's predilections, including a taste for Williams, Rexroth, and the Objectivist poets Caldwell was a willing contributor because he was, at this moment, involved in a censorship suit over his first novel The Bastard and Hound and Horn turned down "Hours of Eternity," evidently for fear of obscenity charges, so that this and the earlier "The Strawberry Season" (printed in the first issue) fell into Johns's lap; see ARP 25-31, 219-21.
22. Kenneth Burke, "Caldwell: Maker of Grotesques," The New Republic 82 (1935): 232-35; rpt. in The Philosophy of Literary Form. Studies in Symbolic Action, 3d. ed. (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1973), pp. 350-60, 350-51. Subsequently cited in the text as KB.
23. See Paul Christensen (ed.), In Love, in Sorrow: The Complete Correspondence of Charles Olson and Edward Dahlberg (New York: Paragon House, 1990). Dahlberg is not mentioned in Cary Nelson's Repression and Recovery: Modern American Poetry and the Politics of Cultural Memory 1910-45 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989). Subsequently cited in the text as CNRR.
24. See CPLZ 23-24, 27, 36.
25. Burton Hatlen, "Zukofsky, Wittgenstein, and the Poetics of Absence," Sagetrieb, 1, 1 (Winter 1982): 66, 76. I am greatly indebted to this important discussion, which first suggested to me that thirties poetics was "different," not just in degree but in kind, from its Modernist forbear.
26. See, for example, Joseph M. Conte, Unending Design: The Forms of Postmodern Poetry (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 142-54. "Virtually all the poems of All are songs," says Conte (p. 151).
27. For the details, which are interesting in that Johns's case is not at all untypical of young men who saw their trust funds and inheritances shrink to almost nothing as a result of the Depression, see ARP 423-24, 445-46, 476-80.
28. CNRR 114. Cf. Nelson's Preface and Introduction to Edwin Rolfe: Collected Poems, ed. Cary Nelson and Jefferson Hendricks (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993). Nelson calls Rolfe "one of the more inventive political poets of the Great Depression . . . the writer Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War regard as their poet laureate" (p. 13).
29. For another good example of Rolfe's poetic (at least before he wrote his Spanish Civil War poems which use somewhat more concrete vocabulary), see "Eventualities" in P III, 1: 45-46:
when I shall laughing find the giddy spring receiving me aware of lunacy in the bestowal raptly hung upon a threat When both of us quite dead declare the cleaving done for both of us quite dead when laughter loses resonance and grates upon the raucous wheel still turning swiftly then no more the blending will demand our fealty no more the sugar in the cup be stirred against its chemistry no more the listless villified no more defied the murdering of many moments built of sun (though shades be drawn from dawn to darkening) no more the thou cupped close. . . .
Here the spacing is evidently designed to look "modernist" but the well-worn Poetic Diction--"giddy /spring," "bestowal raptly hung," "cleaving," "fealty," "the listless villified"--belies this modernism at every turn.
30. Partisan Review 1, no. 1: 32; the poem is reprinted in Nelson and Hendricks, Edwin Rolfe, Collected Poems, pp. 89-91.
31. Henri Meschonnic, Theorie du Rythme (Paris: Editions Verdier, 1982) ; Anthony Easthope, Poetry as Discourse (London: Methuen: New Accent Series, 1983).