Hugh Selwyn Mauberley Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- At the end of the day, "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" is a poem about whether beauty can exist in the modern world. Does Pound think it can? What does he mean when he talks about beauty?
- For Pound, how have money and modern consumerism ruined modern art? How does Mr. Nixon in lines 146-165 relate to this question?
- Why does Pound open the first section of this poem with the French title, "Ode on the Selection of his Tomb"? What is the significance of this title?
- When the speaker keeps repeating the phrase "the age demanded," what age is he talking about and what does it demand?
- What is the greatest temptation that Mauberley must resist if he's going to succeed in bringing beauty into the modern world?
- Why do you think there are so many references to classic art in this poem? Do you think Pound needs them to make his point, or is it overkill?
- If this is a poem about the quest to bring beauty into the modern world, why does the speaker spend lines 61-93 talking about World War I? How is the war related to the rest of his ideas?
- What is the speaker's attitude toward the "stylist" in lines 170-181? Is it anger, joy, pity, etc.? What idea does he express through the figure of the "stylist"?
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