First edition, first impression. A major association copy with the author’s presentation inscription to the front free endpaper, “Ez from O. Possum 6. iii. 50.”
This remarkable survival from the chaotic years of Pound’s incarceration at St Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington DC was part of a small group of books which passed through the hands of Eileen Lane Kinney, a member of the inner circle of modernist artists and writers based in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s.
Kinney had been Brancusi’s lover before returning to America just as the Second World War loomed. She settled in Washington DC and worked on a number of translations of political studies from French into English. When in 1946 her old acquaintance Ezra Pound was moved to St Elizabeth’s, she spared little time in contacting him and arranging visits.
The correspondence seems to indicate that contact more or less ceased in 1950, but from the sequence of inscriptions by Pound in her copy of Pisan Cantos it is clear that he made one final and telling gesture of gratitude and friendship at the very point of his departure for Italy in June 1958. It was at this latter date we believe this book to have been given to Lane Kinney.
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