New Scholarship: John Beall on Pound and Hemingway

January 29, 2017

By Nancy Kuhl

Announcing new scholarship by John Beall from the Ezra Pound collections at Beinecke Library. Beall referred to the Beinecke’s Ezra Pound collections in his essay “Ernest Hemingway’s Reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses,” in The James Joyce Quarterly 51.4; and in his January 7, 2017, presentation at the MLA Conference: “A Tale of Two Books.” About his research in Ezra Pound Papers (YCAL MSS 43)and the William Bird Ezra Pound Papers (YCAL MSS 178), John Beall wrote:

“During the past year, I had the opportunity to spend several days working with the archives of Ezra Pound and William Bird at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection of Yale University.  Pound needs no introduction.  William Bird was the founder in Paris of the Three Mountains Press, which published both Hemingway’s in our time and Pound’s Draft of XVI Cantos.  Pound left substantial drafts of some of his sixteen cantos with Bill Bird in Paris.  Those drafts are now part of the William Bird/Ezra Pound Archives at the Beinecke.”

“During the course of my research, I discovered (through the Beinecke Library’s ‘Finding Aid,’ I believe) a little-known pair of unpublished pieces that Pound wrote about his editing of the ‘Inquest’ series for Bill Bird’s Three Mountains Press.  In one of those pieces, the ‘Essay on Inquest,’ Pound wrote about purpose of the series: an exploration of the state of English prose after Joyce’s Ulysses.  The ‘Inquest’ series included the chapters of Hemingway’s in our time (Three Mountains Press, Paris, 1924), later part of the collection of stories interlaced with chapters, In Our Time (Boni and Liveright, 1925).  Discussing Pound’s purpose in editing the ‘Inquest’ series enabled me to explore the direct connection between Joyce’s Ulysses, Hemingway’s in our time, and Pound (who edited both works).  I quoted from Pound’s ‘Essay on Inquest’ in footnote 7 of my essay ‘Ernest Hemingway’s Reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses’ recently published in The James Joyce Quarterly (Volume 51, number 4, footnote 7).”

“More recently, my work with the papers of Pound and Bird at the Beinecke formed the backbone of my presentation on January 7 at the MLA Conference.  Titled ‘A Tale of Two Books,’ my presentation focused on Bird’s publication by Bird’s of both Hemingway’s in our time and Pound’s A Draft of XVI Cantos (1925).  My presentation included slides from the copy of Pound’s Draft owned by William Carlos Williams, now preserved at the Beinecke.”

JOHN BEALL is chair of the English Department at the Collegiate School in New York City. At the 2014 Hemingway Conference in Venice, he presented a paper on “The Presence of Stein and Joyce in Hemingway’s ‘Cat in the Rain,’” an expanded version of which appeared in MidAmerica. His essay on “Hemingway’s Formation of In Our Time” was published by The Hemingway Review. He gave a presentation on “Imagism, Pound, and Hemingway’s in our time” at the Fifth International Imagism Conference in June 2016 and has essays forthcoming in The Hemingway Review and MidAmerica. He can be reached at: