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Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

by Ezra Pound

Respect and Reputation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Gladstone was still respected,
When John Ruskin produced
'Kings' Treasuries'; Swinburne
And Rossetti still abused (94-97)

Pound isn't a big fan of someone like William Gladstone, former prime minister of England. Gladstone is pretty much the ultimate symbol of your crusty, respectable British-type, and Pound sees him as a symbol of what's wrong with modern writers. Everyone seems so concerned about what others think of them. But for Pound, people need to get over themselves.

Quote #2

Foetid Buchanan lifted up his voice
When that faun's head of hers
Became a pastime for
Painters and adulterers (98-101)

Robert Buchanan was a dude who didn't like poems about prostitutes or paintings with nudity in them. But Pound is all like: "Pssshtt… Come on man. Don't be such a sourpuss." It's kind of funny for Pound to say this, since he also accuses America of not being respectable enough for his liking. It seems like he's looking for something between American rudeness and British politeness.

Quote #3

Some quick to arm,
some for adventure,
some from fear of weakness,
some from fear of censure (63-66)

When it came time for young men to enlist for World War I, many of them actually signed up for the army because they were worried about the "censure" of their neighbors. In other words, they were worried that people would call them weak or irresponsible if they didn't sign up. So tens of millions of people ended up getting killed because they were worried about their reputations. Was the trade-off worth it? Pound doesn't seem to think so.

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