Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley?

I get that he's a failure, but not if the modernist Pound thought that Mauberley was "wrong from the start". Should he, Mauberley or people like him, not have been bent "resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn".

  • It is not a persona, a mask for the author. See Cambr.Companion to E.P., Ch.3 Early Poetry:"Mauberley is an extended case study of what happens when, as Eliot put it, the doctrine of “Art for Art's sake” is challenged by the demand that art “be instrumental to social purposes.” [...] Mauberley is not modelled upon any identifiable, historical individual. Rather, he is a type of the aesthete. Mauberley begins as an Imagist poet but declines, under the pressures of the age, into hedonistic impressionism." Oct 10, 2023 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


I'm guessing it was an attack on impressionists. From The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia, p. 123:

Wanting to preserve the salutary effects of Ford's "French Flaubertian tradition" from being distorted, Pound joined Lewis in attacking Impressionism in BLAST as rightly superceded by Vorticism: "As to the lean belated Impressionism at present attempting to eke out a little life on these islands: Our vortex is fed up with your dispersals, reasonable chicken-men. . . . Our vortex rushes out like an angry dog at your Impressionistic fuss" (Lewis and Pound 149). In 1922, Pound named Joyce, whom he no longer identified with Impressionism, as Flaubert's true successor:

  • Please also add the author(s) and year of publication of the Ezra Pound Encylopedia.
    – Tsundoku
    Jul 1, 2020 at 10:05

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