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Jacket 15 — December 2001   |   # 15  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |

Mark Scroggins

The Piety of Terror:

Ian Hamilton Finlay, the Modernist Fragment, and the Neo-classical Sublime

Perhaps we cannot creatively ruin the great work of time
without having planted bergamots in gardens.
—Balachandra Rajan, on Marvell’s "Horatian Ode"

Classicism is health, Romanticism disease.
— Goethe

This piece is about ten printed pages long.
Endnotes and copyright credits are given at the foot of this page. Click on the note to be taken to it; likewise to return to the text.

Finlay In 1943 the Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote John Lehmann, editor of New Writing, in order to introduce the 18-year-old Ian Hamilton Finlay, whom he described as "A very delightful and most personable young fellow, extremely well read and with excellently developed interests in literature and the arts" (Letters 596). It was an auspicious beginning for a literary relationship that would turn quite sour indeed over the next two decades. Finlay too was a poet, but one who had little patience either for MacDiarmid’s devout socialism or for the "synthetic Scots" literary language that the older poet had pioneered in the early decades of the century.
    Finlay’s first volume of poems, The Dancers Inherit the Party (1960), was written for the most part in English, with occasional gestures towards the Orkney dialect with which Finlay had grown up (it includes, as one of its "Orkney Lyrics," "Mansie Considers the Sea in the Manner of Hugh MacDiarmid," a blunt swipe at MacDiarmid’s tendency to refer all matters to Marx).
    His second volume, however, Glasgow Beasts, an a Burd (1961), was a series of animal metamorphosis poems told in an almost impenetrable working-class Glaswegian dialect. In this volume, Finlay’s poetry was already beginning actively to intersect with the visual — specifically, a series of papercuts by John Picking and Pete McGinn. Glasgow Beasts, along with The Dancers, brought Finlay to the attention of a number of American poets, including Roberts Creeley and Duncan, Louis Zukofsky, and Lorine Niedecker; and his editing of the periodical Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. and of the Wild Hawthorn Press cemented that transatlantic connection, giving those same Americans a Scottish publication venue.
    But MacDiarmid, by this point in his career at that awkward juncture where enfant terrible becomes elder statesman of Scottish letters, vehemently rejected Finlay’s Glaswegian poetry — not primarily on account of its failure as poetry, but because it was written in a Scots vernacular he considered inherently unsuitable for poetry: as he wrote in 1970, this "is not the kind of Scots in which high poetry can be written, and what can be done in it... is qualitatively little, if at all, above Kailyard level" (Letters 687). The Kailyard school, with its unintellectual sentimentalizing of rural life and its rejection of the political implications of writing in Scots, was precisely what MacDiarmid had overthrown back in the 1920s when he called for a return to the standards of the great Makars — "Back to Dunbar" — and when he incited a Scots Renaissance with his own bookish synthetic Scots.
    When in the mid-60s Finlay, following tendencies already evident in his work, turned from poetry in conventional typography to more cross-generic modes of concrete poetry and multimedia, MacDiarmid denied the younger poet’s works the status of poetry altogether. In a 1965 letter to Tom Scott regarding the Oxford Book of Scottish Verse, which Scott was then editing, MacDiarmid wrote: "[Finlay’s work] has nothing in common with what down the centuries, despite all changes, has been termed ‘poetry’ ... I am utterly unwilling to have any poems of mine included in an anthology in which any of Finlay’s productions are also included" (Letters 703). This interdiction held: seventeen years after MacDiarmid’s death, Finlay’s work has yet to appear in Oxford’s anthology of Scottish poetry.

A Rock Rose

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Card poem:
“A Rock Rose”

In the very public conflict between these two poets,[Note 1] high modernism — the poetic revolution represented in England and America by Eliot, Pound, and Moore — comes face to face with a postmodernism that presents itself as nemesis or critique, rather than as fulfillment or continuation. That MacDiarmid, a modernist poet of the stature of an Eliot or a Pound — not to mention the unquestioned progenitor of Scots poetry in the twentieth century — would completely bar Finlay’s work from the very category of poetry, is indicative of the extent to which Anglo-American (though not French or Russian) literary modernism, even as it destabilizes the generic boundaries between prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction, nonetheless jealously guards the boundaries between the literary and the visual arts. The visual arts, far from being the favored site of cross-generic experimentation — as they are for such continental poets as Apollinaire — represent for MacDiarmid and other Anglophone modernists a transgression beyond the limits of the literary, beyond the bounds of a "tradition" that, however it might be altered and expanded, remains a fundamentally verbal one.
    But Finlay’s work, I would argue, is more than a digression from the mainstream of Anglophone modernist poetry; its particular postmodernism (a term that Finlay, I am sure, would vehemently reject, preferring to categorize his art as "neo-classical") represents a sustained "revolutionary" critique of the whole project of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Western thought, including the literary ideologies of both Romanticism and Modernism. MacDiarmid’s attack on Finlay is an episode in literary politics, a falling-out motivated by both personal and aesthetic considerations: but it is oddly proleptic on MacDiarmid’s part, for Finlay’s work has in the last two decades proven to be a singularly compelling assault on the fundamental tenets of the Modernism and rationality with which MacDiarmid so strongly identifies.
    The extent to which important Anglophone modernist writers have attempted to break down the boundaries between the verbal and the visual is a well-kept secret in canonical histories of poetic modernism, and in perpetuating this misrepresentation — this repression — contemporary critics are simply following the lead of the poetic-critical establishment nominally headed by T.S. Eliot. Eliot, as evidenced best in his "Burnt Norton," is consumingly interested in the Word made flesh — but only in the flesh of divine incarnation: his orthodoxy does not stretch to encompass the word made flesh in visual and material shapes. For poetry criticism after Eliot, (and indeed until quite recently)[Note 2] the American concrete poet Bob Brown does not exist; Blake and David Jones, despite the evidence of their incomparable composite arts, are primarily verbal artists; and if such poets as Charles Olson and Susan Howe disrupt and deform the conventions of typography, such deformations are mere disturbing static, and do not really nudge these writers’ poetry from the realm of the verbal into some more ambiguous space.
    MacDiarmid, of course, subscribes wholly to the ideology I perhaps parody here. While even Pound, in the decorated capitals of the first publications of his early Cantos, ventured into the ambiguous space between visual and verbal representation, MacDiarmid’s work early and late is irreducibly linguistic, with no tincture of the visual, plastic, or musical arts.
    I would imagine that MacDiarmid’s critique of Finlay’s later work, if perhaps a trifle outraged, is essentially identical to what Eliot or Pound would have offered, given the extent to which Finlay has ruptured with traditional modes of poem-making, both Modernist and earlier. In sharp contrast to most of the British poets of his generation, Finlay has in the three decades since his break with MacDiarmid pursued a complex and both aesthetically and ethically difficult course, navigating between the realms of poetry, the plastic arts, gardening, and cultural criticism. Since his turn from strictly verbal to more concrete modes of poetry, he has created "poems" in a variety of media: stone, plaster, bronze, neon, embroidery, and, most ambitiously, the medium of a full-scale garden, his Little Sparta, in progress since 1967.
    These poems, especially to the extent that they situate the semantic properties of their words within a visual and conceptual field, thereby displacing the purely verbal, simultaneously return poetry to its etymological roots as poeisis — "making" — and propose a radical redefinition of the relationship of reader to poem, a radical renegotiation of the meaning-making contract implied in the poetic act: the act of reading a poem is no longer a matter of making sense of a given string of verbal signifiers, but now includes more importantly the puzzling out of the relationship among a given set of words (sometimes, a single word), the medium in which it is instantiated, and the surroundings that form its context.

Poster poem: Midway (1977)

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Poster poem:
Midway (1977)

One key to the complex balance of verbal and extraverbal elements that makes up Finlay’s work, and perhaps an indication of why MacDiarmid rejected that work so vehemently, lies in the notion of the textual fragment, both as it is originally theorized by the Romantics, and as it is appropriated and altered by the high modernists. Without monolithizing either of these disparate groups, I would like to compare Finlay’s use of ostensibly fragmentary, linguistic structures with what I see as representative uses and theorizations of the fragment by poets before him. The continuities and contrasts cast light upon Finlay’s overall project and upon the relationship of that project — critical, destructive, and simultaneously retrospective — to the cultural projects of earlier eras and artists. The fragment, that is, so often fetishized and nearly glorified in Romantic and Modernist practice, becomes a crucial index of the distance between Finlay’s postmodernism/neo-classicism and the cultural moments upon which his praxis is built.
    Consider, for instance, Finlay’s proposed inscription for a tree-seat, in his 1979 Monteviot Proposal, a two line "poem" that reads "of flutes / & wild roses." In the first place, this "Proposal" as a whole seems a somewhat anomalous project for a late twentieth-century poet, modeled as it is upon the eighteenth-century English garden designer Humphry Repton’s "Red Books," "in which he proposed ‘improvements’ to the country estates of his clients "(Abrioux 121). For what it’s worth, the relationship Finlay is proposing between the artwork and its audience, or between the artwork and its patron, is radically different from the somewhat unreflective post-Whitmanian democracy the American postmodernist takes for granted.
    The apparatus accompanying the Proposal notes in regards to the tree-seat inscription (and it is unclear to me to what extent this text is by Finlay’s collaborator Nicholas Sloan and to what extent by the poet himself), "Clearly this inscription is not a ‘poem’ as we know it, but equally short fragments appear in recent translations of Archilocus, Alkman & Sappho" (Abrioux 123). The writer here clearly has in mind Guy Davenport’s translations of these three archaic Greek poets; Davenport translates every extant syllable of these poets’ work; in contrast however to translators who would fill out these fragmentary texts into "complete" poems, he declines to speculate what words might have intervened between the meager scraps that remain to us of many of, say, Sappho’s poems.
    Two of his translations, chosen pretty much at random from his Sappho, read "[ ] / around / you, Atthis / clouds / [ ]" (104), and "] him [ / [ ] / ] becomes [" (116). There is behind these translations a complex history of the modernist appropriation of the fragment, one outlined in detail in Hugh Kenner’s The Pound Era (54-75). Kenner dates the modernist renaissance of the fragment to such works as Pound’s "Papyrus" (1916), where the poet, instead of worrying over what might be missing from the poem at hand (a mere three words, a few stray letters, and three lines from a Papyrus deciphered in Berlin in 1907), translates and presents the scrap as it stands, asserting the status of the poetic, not merely for the poem itself, but for the fragment of the poem.
    It is just as useful in approaching Finlay — who is nothing if not a backwards-looking artist — to look not only to high modernism, but to the dawn of European Romanticism: the Jena Athenaeum group and its leader, Friedrich Schlegel, who himself theorized and perfected the fragment as literary form. In his Athenaeum Fragments, Schlegel notes, "Many of the works of the ancients have become fragments. Many modern works are fragments as soon as they are written" (21). This dictum makes a crucial distinction between the work that time or mischance has made a fragment, and the work composed as fragment.
    As Davenport puts it in the introduction to his translations from the Greek, "Many of [these] fragments are mere words and phrases, but they were once a poem, and, like broken statuary, are strangely articulate in their ruin" (14); such a fragment, then, is much like the "colossal Wreck" of Shelley’s "Ozymandias," the eloquent but fundamentally incomplete remainder of a "shattered" whole. (The implied equation of fragment and ruin is not coincidental here; as Philipe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy point out in their study of the Athenaeum group, "The philological fragment, especially in the tradition of Diderot, takes on the value of the ruin" (42).)
    Schlegel’s own fragments, however, are not the result of time and decay but a purposeful gesture towards a new conception of genre, of the literary itself. Schlegel describes his conception of the literary fragment: "A fragment, like a miniature work of art, has to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world and be complete in itself like a porcupine" (45). As Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy comment, "the detachment or isolation of fragmentation is understood to correspond exactly to completion and totality" (43). On the one hand, Romanticism’s reading of the historical, preexisting fragment or ruin works forcefully to suggest a lost totality; the fragment gestures back towards Coleridge’s "pleasure dome," or Goethe’s "Land wo die Zitronen blühn." At the same time, however, the Romantic fragment per se — that is, the work composed as fragment, rather than the abandoned or defaced work — is intended to be paradoxically both self-contained, autonomous — and, simultaneously, patently fragmentary. This is again in line with Schlegel, who characterizes Romantic poetry as essentially incomplete: "it should forever be becoming and never be perfected" (32).[Note 3]
    But what are we to make of Finlay, and his purportedly fragmentary inscription? The text of The Monteviot Proposal quotes Robert Kennedy, who claims that Finlay "creates poetry by providing words with a rigorously controlled & potently significant environment" (Abrioux 123). It is in Finlay’s manipulation of words’ environments, or contextual frames, that he breaks with the traditions of both the Romantic and the modernist fragment. The Romantic fragment is a world unto itself, "isolated from the surrounding world," but simultaneously the indicator of a desired but unreachable ideal wholeness; the modernist fragment — Davenport’s Sappho, Pound’s "Papyrus" — like the Romantic ruin, is an index that points back towards a lost historical totality.
    Finlay’s tree-seat inscription occurs in a proposal for an entire garden, and its brief text — "of flutes / & wild roses" — rather than standing alone, refers outwards to a number of other elements of the garden. "Flutes," for example, is to be associated with the fluted columns that Finlay would place at intervals in the garden, with the pan-pipes of Mallarmé’s "L’Après-Midi D’un Faune," whose first line — "Ces nymphes, je les veux perpétuer" — appears in the garden, and with "the sound of the breeze" (Primer 123). The "wild roses" are real wild roses, planted throughout the garden, twining around the columns. The Mallarmé line — in English, "These nymphs, I would perpetuate them" — refers to the trees planted in the garden: "the nymphs are to be understood as the trees, and the need to ‘perpetuate’ them is explained by the setting of the inscription — on a felled or fallen tree."
    The inscription on the tree-seat, then — "of flutes / & wild roses" — is a fragment in neither the Romantic nor the Modernist sense: it serves neither as the occasion to meditate on a lost spiritual whole, nor as the surviving index of a historical moment now fallen into desuetude: formally speaking, it is in no way detachable from its context, "complete in itself like a porcupine." Rather, the tree-seat "poem" is an element of the larger garden as a whole. It is a syntagm in the larger signifying complex of the entire piece, and seems fragmentary and abbreviated only when read out of context.
    When read in context, either in the garden itself or in the voluminous documentation and commentary of Finlay and Sloan’s proposal for the garden, the inscription becomes replete with meaning, replete with resonances and echoes both to earlier texts — literary, visual, historical — and to other elements in the garden itself. Finlay regards such documentation and commentary, by the way, as an essential element of his work; they serve the necessary purpose of "connect[ing] the reader with the tissue of tradition" (Abrioux 192) out of which the works proceed: such citational practice, one might argue, is akin to Pound’s deployment of textual fragments, "luminous details," in The Cantos. But Finlay’s aim, unlike Pound’s, is not to gesture back towards a lost historical unity, or some previous state of wholeness before the intervention of philistinism, or usura, or whatever: it is rather literally to create that scene of aesthetic and moral plenitude, to reinstate for the garden’s "reader" the classical wholeness towards which Keats’ "Ode on a Grecian Urn," for instance, looks backward.

Garden Pond

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Garden Pond

Photo: Philip Hunter, 1995

What such a quest for such classical — or more accurately, neoclassical — wholeness would indicate is that there is in Finlay’s work an ethical element that can be obscured by no amount of postmodernist irony (though such irony, often in the form of outright humor or sarcasm, is everywhere present in his poetry). His restless experimentation in form and media, his avant-gardism, coexists with a severe, almost puritanical classicism and a moral traditionalism: this is clearest in his decades-long and consistent valorization, against the grain of everything that postmodernist poetry and art seems to stand for, of the aesthetic — the beautiful — as the aim of the artist/poet. The Monteviot Proposal, for instance, clearly aims to create a garden that is beautiful in the balance of its proportions, the harmony of its elements — beautiful in a quite traditionally classical sense.
    Finlay is thoroughly aware that he can no longer be a classical artist; but being aneo-classical artist, however fraught with postmodernist doubt and ironizing self-division that position might be, is a stance no less morally responsible.
    Indeed, neo-classicism, given the catastrophic history that has intervened between the ancients and ourselves, is if anything a position of greater ethical weight than the painfully sincere moralism of such Modernists as Pound and MacDiarmid. As Finlay writes, "Neo-classicism emulates the classical while at the same time withholding itself. Classicism aims at Beauty, neo-classicism at Virtue" (Inter Artes n.p.).
    Finlay, as the sternness of these aphorisms might imply, is also a poet of the sublime, the aesthetic that terrifies or transfixes; he is concerned, not merely with reinstantiating a classical aesthetic and moral order, but with uncovering a set of paradoxes at the heart of Western enlightenment, oppositions that he places under the sign of terror. This is clearest in his valorization of the visual iconography of the French Revolution. Finlay is intensely attracted to the neoclassicism of Revolutionary imagery, the manner in which French artists and intelligentsia, like the Americans before them, adopted the slogans, images, and characters of the Roman Republic to represent their own enterprise;[Note 4] and even as Finlay evidences considerable fascination with (and, it seems at times, admiration for) the terrorism of Robespierre and Saint-Just, he makes clear that the worship of nature and the Utopianism of such pre-Revolutionary philosophes as Rousseau and Diderot cannot be extricated from the violence of the axe and the guillotine.
    His deployment of the image of the guillotine is clearest evidence of this, especially in the 1984 "Terror/Virtue" medal, on one face a guillotine with the inscription "Terror," on the other a visual "rhyme," a pair of corinthian columns with the inscription "Virtue" (Abrioux 259). Note as well as the 1989 print, "Two Landscapes of the Sublime," which "rhymes" a guillotine and a waterfall (Abrioux 273), and the 1987 "Both the garden style...": the latter print pictures a guillotine overgrown with blooming honeysuckle, and has as text, "Both the garden style called ‘sentimental,’ and the French Revolution, grew from Rousseau. The garden trellis, and the guillotine are alike entwined with the honeysuckle of the new ‘sensibility’" (Abrioux 275).
    But — and I cannot emphasize this too much — Finlay’s recognition of the symbiosis of terror and virtue is no facile deconstruction, no predictable New Historicist archaeology of the intertwined roots of the political and the aesthetic. As his most persistent commentator Stephen Bann notes, "nothing could be further from the truth... Finlay is concerned, on the contrary, to place as much emphasis as he can on the didactic aspect of the neoclassical reference [in the "Terror/Virtue" medal]. With regard to the present-day ideology that would like to dispense at one and the same time with Terror and Virtue, Finlay affirms their interdependence. They are two sides of the same medal" (Inter Artes n.p.). Nor, despite the irony that pervades Finlay’s work, is it a variation on familiar postmodern motifs of incongruity. Rather, Finlay would have us recognize, as did the ancients who saw their most pastoral scenes inhabited by deities capable of stunning violence and capricious cruelty, that any experience of nature, Rousseauvian, Romantic, or otherwise, must include a recognition of that violence that makes such peace possible. Where Poussin placed a skull in his grove — "Et in Arcadia Ego" — Finlay, neoclassically, finds there a camouflaged Nazi tank.
    Finlay’s more recent fascination with the iconography and architecture of Nazi Germany is simply a further exploration of the dual nature of the project of Enlightenment rationality. In the 1970s, Finlay carried out a correspondence with Albert Speer, Hitler’s foremost architect, imprisoned since the Nuremberg Trials. The result of that was Finlay’s 1979 series of watercolors, A Walled Garden, based on the garden that Speer cultivated within the walls of Spandau Prison in Berlin.
    Finlay’s 1982 project, "The Third Reich Revisited," is based on the grandiose neo-classical construction projects that the Nazi architects were never able to bring to completion and acts as ironic commentary upon the pallid public art and architecture that postwar European democracies have produced. As Finlay comments, "It was — is — an attempt to raise (in a necessarily round-about way) the questions which our culture does not want to put in idea-form" (Abrioux 141).
    And most recently, Finlay’s 1987 work Osso, which raised a firestorm of protest when it was first exhibited in Paris, interpolates the Runic lightning bolts of the Nazi SS into the Italian word "bone," emphasizing how the horror of the Third Reich has, in our century, insinuated itself into the most fundamental of natural substances. Nature has lost its innocence; we can no longer confront any element of our phenomenological world without acknowledging that the irrationality of Nazism has always already been there.[Note 5]
    Like Pound, with his physiocratic faith in the agricultural basis of wealth, MacDiarmid, perennial believer in the efficacy of the scientific method and the inevitable Dictatorship of the Proletariat, is as clear an uncritical child of the Enlightenment as one could ask for; one can only note that his rejection of Finlay’s work, though certainly unsustainable on aesthetic grounds, seems uncommonly prescient in regards to the implications of that work for his own cherished shibboleths.
    Finlay’s tutelary deity is both classical Greek and Jacobin, "Apollon Terroriste" — depicted in a bronzed bust that is itself a visual poem, the name engraved on the figure’s forehead — and Finlay’s poetry is essentially a terrorist act: in the first place, as it breaks down the boundaries between the verbal and the visual in a manner that Anglo-American modernism had proved far too timid to essay; and, perhaps more importantly, as it uncovers and lays bare the foundations of rational modernity, foundations laid in terror and arbitrary violence. Finlay’s generic transgressions, ostensibly classical in their ordered restraint, mime the violence (however deceptively restrained) that lies at the heart of that order. What is sublime in his work — both terrifying and beautiful — is the manner in which Finlay accepts the necessity of that violence, accepting as well the moral responsibility implicit in the adoption of a virtue whose obverse is necessarily terror, an Apollo whose profession is "terrorist."
    Finlay is fond of the aphorism of Saint-Just’s, "Terror is the Piety of the Revolution:" in Finlay’s poetry of the verbal, visual, concrete, and conceptual, Terror and Piety are ultimately inextricable, and ultimately point towards Revolution.

(Note 1) One can see the transatlantic repercussions of the clash in Lorine Niedecker’s correspondence with Louis Zukofsky; in 1962 she transcribes a letter from Finlay in which he recounts MacDiarmid’s attack on Finlay’s periodical Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. (Penberthy, Niedecker 313). See also Penberthy, "A Posse of Two."
(Note 2) Jerome McGann (Black Riders) and Cary Nelson have drawn attention to the works of Bob Brown; McGann (The Textual Condition) and Lawrence Rainey have studied the universally ignored visual dimensions of the early publications of Pound’s Cantos.
(Note 3) For a voluminous and perspicacious survey of the theme of fragmentation and ruin in Romantic thought, see the introduction of Thomas McFarland’s Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin (pp. 3-55).
(Note 4) Robert Rosenblum’s Transformations in Late Eighteenth Century Art is the single most complete examination of the manner in which the French Revolution adopts neoclassical imagery and techniques. A useful study of Revolutionary neoclassicism as it impinges upon Romanticism is Starobinski’s 1789: The Emblems of Reason.
(Note 5) Finlay, of course, as the public reaction to this piece showed, lays himself open to misreading. As recently as the spring of 1995, an extremely prominent American L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet — someone known for the sophistication of his political analyses — would in conversation with me dismiss Finlay’s work altogether, insinuating that Finlay’s examination of the iconography of the Third Reich rendered his work as a whole somehow suspect. Finlay’s use of Nazi iconography, according to him, was of a piece with a more generalized swing to the right in Great Britain during the 1970s; it had no deeper analytic quality, and was quite as reprehensible, as the adoption of Nazi paraphernalia by late-seventies right-wing punk bands. The poet, I now realize, was simply replicating MacDiarmid’s earlier gesture.

Works Cited
Abrioux, Yves, Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Visual Primer. Introduction and Commentaries. Stephen Bann. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992.
Davenport, Guy, trans., Archilochus, Sappho, Alkman: Three Lyric Poets of the Seventh Century B.C., Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
Finlay, Ian Hamilton, Inter Artes et Naturam. Paris: ARC, 1987.
Kenner, Hugh, The Pound Era. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971.
Lacoue-Labarthe, Philippe, and Nancy, Jean-Luc, The Literary Absolute: The Theory of Literature in German Romanticism. Trans. Philip Barnard and Cheryl Lester. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988.
MacDiarmid, Hugh, Letters. Ed. Alan Bold. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984.
McFarland, Thomas, Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Modalities of Fragmentation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.
McGann, Jerome J., Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.
___, The Textual Condition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.
Nelson, Cary, Repression and Recovery: Modern American Poetry and the Politics of Cultural Memory 1910-1945. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
Penberthy, Jenny, Niedecker and the Correspondence with Zukofsky, 1931-1970. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
___, A Posse of Two: Lorine Niedecker and Ian Hamilton Finlay. Chapman 78-79 (1994): 17-22.
Rainey, Lawrence S., Ezra Pound and the Monument of Culture: Text, History, and the Malatesta Cantos. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
Rosenblum, Robert, Transformations in Late Eighteenth Century Art. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.
Schlegel, Friedrich,Philosophical Fragments. Trans. Peter Firchow. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.
Starobinski, Jean, 1789: The Emblems of Reason. Trans. Barbara Bray. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1982.
Mark Scroggins

Mark Scroggins (left) is coeditor of Diæresis Chapbooks, and his life of Louis Zukofsky will be published by Wesleyan University Press.

Thanks to the editors of FlashPoint, where this piece first appeared in 1997. You can read FlashPoint magazine at

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