A new voice seems to answer the last speaker
in Canto 18. Cf editing techniques of cinema,
especially Griffith and Welles.
Yes, he took it up to Manhattan,
To the big company, and they said: Impossible.
And he said: I gawt ten thousand dollars tew mak 'em,
And I am a goin' tew mak 'em, and you'll damn well
Have to install 'em, awl over the place.
And they said: Oh, we can't have it.
So he settled for one-half of one million.
And he has a very nice place on the Hudson,
And that invention, patent, is still in their desk.
And the answer to that is: Wa'al he had the ten thousand.
Bernard Shaw and others have cited similar cases
of good inventions stifled by finance capital, but
Ez most likely quoting C.H. Douglas, engineer/economist
who often attacked capitalism for sabotaging
technology that cd benefit all of us. [Ez met
Douglas and read his Economic Democracy
in 1919, about the time he rewrote the early Canti.]
And old Spindler, that put up the 1870 gothick memorial,
He tried to pull me on Marx, and he told me
About the "romance of his business":
How he came to England with something or other,
and sold it.
Only he wanted to talk about Marx, so I sez:
Waal haow is it you're over here, right off the
And how can yew be here? Why don't the fellers at home
Take it all off you? How can you leave your big business?
"Oh," he sez, "I ain't had to rent any money...
"It's a long time since I ain't had tew rent any money."
Interest as the "rent" of money: a basic idea
in Douglas and Benjamin Tucker.
Nawthin' more about Das Kapital,
Or credit, or distribution.
And he "never finished the book,"
That was the other chap, the slender diplomatdentist
Qui se faisait si beau.
So we sat there, with the old kindly professor,
And the stubby little man was up-stairs.
And there was the slick guy in the other
corner reading The Tatler,
Not upside down, but never turning the pages,
The stubby man: Arthur Griffith, founder of
The slick guy: an English agent, keeping watch
And then I went up to the bed-room, and he said,
The stubby fellow: Perfectly true,
"But it's a question of feeling,
"Can't move 'em with a cold thing, like economics."
A longer account of Ez's conversation with Griffith
appears in Pound's ABC of Economics. The Cantos,
in one dimension, attempts to show that readers
can be moved with "a cold thing like economics."
And so we came down stairs and went out,
And the slick guy looked out of the window,
And in came the street "Lemme-at-'em"
like a bull-dog in a mackintosh.
O my Clio!
Then the telephone didn't work for a week.
Beats the hell out of me. Some lines seem to have
gotten into the Cantos the way dust gets into a room.
Ever seen Prishnip, little hunchback,
Couldn't take him for any army.
And he said: I haf a messache from dh' professor,
"There's lots of 'em want to go over,
"But when they try to go over,
"Dh' hRussian boys shoot 'em, and they want to know
"How to go over."
An anecdote which reflects Ez's growing
disillusionment with the Russian revolution,
treated as the possible beginning of a new
age back in Canto 16.
Vlettmann?...was out there, and that was,
Say, two months later, and he said:
"Jolly chaps," he said; "they used to go by
"Under my window, at two o'clock in the morning,
All singing, all singing the He Sloveny!"
Yes, Vlettmann, and the Russian boys didn't shoot'em.
Short story, entitled, the Birth of a Nation.
Ironic comparison with Griffith's film?
And there was that squirt of an Ausstrrian
with a rose in his button hole,
And how the hell he stayed on here,
right through the whole bhloody business,
Cocky as Khristnoze, and enjoying every Boche victory.
More ironies about the war and its aftermath,
Naphtha, or some damn thing for the submarines,
Like they had, just had, to have the hemp
Das thust du nicht, Albert?
That was in the old days, all sitting around in arm-chairs,
And that's gone, like the cake ships in the Nevsky.
"No use telling 'em anything, revolutionaries,
Till they're at the end,
Oh, absolootly, AT the end of their tether.
Quoting Lincoln Stefffens.....these words will recur,
applied to Pound himself, when he felt at the
end of his tether in the DTC at Pisa [Canto 84]
Governed. Governed the place from a train,
Or rather from three trains, on a railway,
And he'd keep about three days ahead of the lobby,
I mean he had his government on the trains,
And the lobby had to get there on horseback;
And he said: Bigod it's damn funny,
Own half the oil in the world, and can't get enough
To run a government engine!"
And then they jawed for two hours,
And finally Steff said: Will you fellows show me a map?
And they brought one, and Steff said:
"Waal what are those lines?" "Yes, those straight lines."
"Those are roads." And "what are those lines,
"The wiggly ones?" "Rivers."
And Steff said: "Government property?"
So two hours later an engine went off with the order:
How to dig without confiscation.
Anecdote told to Ez by Steffens, shows chaos
and revolution as parts of the new age emerging
Yes, one Mexican government did govern from
a train -- so as not to get overthrown by
I guess this belongs with the guys who wanted
to join the Russian revolution but got shot instead......
“parts of the same ideogram" as Ez wd say.
And Tommy Baymont said to Steff one day:
"You think we run it, lemme tell you,
"We bought a coalmine, I mean the mortgage fell in,
"And you'd a' thought we could run it.
"Well I had to go down there meself, and the manager
"Said: "Run it, of course we can run it,
"We can't sell the damn coal."
So I said to the X. and B. Central,
- you'd say we boss the X. and B. Central? -
I said: You buy your damn coal from our mine.
And a year later they hadn't; so I had up the directors,
And they said:...well anyhow, they couldn't
buy the damn coal.
And next week ole Jim came, the big fat one
With the diamonds, and he said: "Mr. Baymont,
You just must charge two dollars more
A ton fer that coal. And the X. and B. will
Take it through us."
Chaos again. Steffens thought J P Morgan owned
and governed U.S. but a junior partner [Lamont,
not Baymont]* told him this story as an example
of a smaller capitalist highjacking a bigger one.....
*EP had to use a lot of disguises to get some of
this stuff past the publishers' lawyers, ever fearful
of libel suits.
Jim: Diamond Jim Brady, who swindled Morgan
and got away with it.
"So there was my ole man sitting,
They were in arm-chairs, according to protocol,
And next him his nephew Mr. Wurmsdorf,
and old Ptierstoff, for purely family reasons,
Personal reasons, was held in great esteem
by his relatives,
And he had his despatches from St. Petersburg,
And Wurmsdorf had his from Vienna,
And he knew, and they knew, and each knew
That the other knew that the other knew he knew,
And Wurmsdorf was just reaching into his pocket,
That was to start things, and then my ole man
Albert, and the rest of it.
Those days are gone by for ever."
Sounds like the CIA under Angleton; nobody trusts
"Ten years gone, ten years of my life,
Never get those ten years back again:
Ten years of my life, ten years in the Indian army;
But anyhow, there was that time in Yash (Jassy):
"Healthy but verminous?" "That's it, healthy but verminous.
Comment on Hindu whores. Cf cummings:
yon cleancut fairfaced lad
going off to war
with trumpets clap and syphilis
And one time in Kashmir,
In the houseboat, with the turquoise,
A pile three feet high on the boat floor,
And they'd be there all day at a bargain
For ten bobs' worth of turquoise."
I see this as a contrast between Oriental mercantilism,
with its ludic basis [game for game's sake]
and Occidental mercantilism with the omni-murderous
consequences documented in previous and upcoming cantos.
The dullest canto so far, but it introduces
important themes treated with more liveliness
as we go along.