Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vain Repetitions

I started reading "A"-10 this morning, which deals with the Nazi occupation of Paris. So far I have completed each section on the corresponding day. Friday looks like a challenge, with the long section 12. I remember the first time I tried to read the "A" 1 - 23 during Advent two years ago. I didn't finish section 12 on 12/12/12/ as I recall. I do remember that I had a cold.

Two years ago I read Barry Ahearn's book on "A" while reading the poem, and that helped me understand it. Last year the memory of the Ahearn book still seemed fresh. This year the poem makes less sense to me. You might say, why not reread the Ahearn? Well, I don't want to rely on his interpretations too much. I want to confront the poem on its own terms. I remember that Roland McHugh devoted a few years to Finnegans Wake before reading any of the secondary materials. Hugh Kenner said of Peter Makin's wonderful book Pound's Cantos that Makin never lost sight of the Cantos' difficulties.

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