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The Paris Years
Ezra Pound settled in Paris in 1921, and was to remain there for several years. He quickly met the nascent Surrealists (including Man Ray and Jean Cocteau), Gertrude Stein (neither Pound nor Stein were much impressed by the other), and a couple of young American writers, Ernest Hemingway and E.E. Cummings. He mingled at the salon of the American exile Natalie Barney, where he met some of the older French intellectuals, such as André Gide and Paul Valéry, and expatriate American writers such as Mina Loy. He continued his support of Joyce as Ulysses was eventually published in 1922, but their friendship cooled after Pound expressed his dislike for the first parts of “Work in Progress” (later Finnegans Wake). His first year in Paris also saw Pound working closely with T.S. Eliot on the poem that would soon be published as The Waste Land.
Ernest Hemingway met Pound late in 1921, and was soon teaching him how to box. Pound arranged for Hemingway’s short prose vignettes to be published by William Bird and edited by Pound at Three Mountains Press as in our time. The book was issued in New York a year later in expanded form. in our time was noticed and reviewed, and Hemingway soon had a contract for his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, published in 1926.
The young E.E. Cummings was introduced to Pound in 1921, having published several poems in The Dial. Pound praised Cummings’s work, calling it “bright inimitable,” and Cummings later referred to Pound as “the true trailblazer of an epoch.” Pound had met Marianne Moore in London in the previous decade, and recommended her work for publication in Poetry and The Little Review, but it was not until 1921 that her first book, Poems, was published. Pound included poems by Cummings and Moore in Active Anthology.
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