This essay was originally published in Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, Volume 11.2 (October 2007) pp. 61-84
Essay Topics and Keywords
Ezra Pound, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Vorticism, the Fourth Dimension, Claude Bragdon, Four-Dimensional Vistas
An extract from this essay
“Vorticism needed to advertise itself in different ways (and we should not forget that Vorticism was very much a matter of publicity). Pictographically, Blast chose for its logo an image of a cone penetrated by a straight line rather than the spiral celebrated by Hinton and Bragdon, the spiral that was obviously more suited to vortical action. Visually, the cone operates as a flattened version of the spiral, emphasises the two-dimensionality that is not only the inevitable feature of a figure on a plane surface, but is also the plastic effect of fourth-dimensional thought. This was a strategy which enabled the new materiality of such thought to match that of the Vorticist enterprise; allowing us to see the shared projective element of the material spaces in Bragdon's ornament, Antheil's “solid” music, and Gaudier-Brzeska's “arrangements” through Pound's Vorticist vocabulary and its fourth-dimensional assumptions.“
About the author
Ian Bell is Professor of American Studies, University of Keele and one of the most distinguished interopreters of Ezra Pound.