Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Eye in the Pyramid, The Illuminatus! Trilogy

Sam Three Arrows drew on the pipe, then raised his dark eyes to Hagbard's. "You mean that justice is not known like a dog who barks in the night? That it is more like the unexpected sound in the woods that must be identified cautiously after hard thinking?"

There it was again: Hagbard had heard the same concreteness of imagery in the speech of the Shoshone at the opposite end of the continent. He wondered, idly, if Ezra Pound's poetry might have been influenced by habits of speech his father acquired from the IndiansHomer Pound had been the first white man born in Idaho. It certainly went beyond the Chinese. And it came, not from books on rhetoric, but from listening to the heartthe Indian metaphor he had himself used a minute ago.

He took his time about answering: he was beginning to acquire the Indian habit of thinking a long while before speaking. 


  1. Rodolfo Kusch, Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América: The indigenous person comes to intuit the mechanism peculiar to his conception of the world through a criterion that must not be very far from what is expressed by the term chamakani, "owner of the darkness." It is the term he uses to name the highest witch doctors. Behind the faculty of seeing clearly and distinctly lies the background of darkness. The demonic margin that conditions the world is surely deposited in that background. The indigenous vision does not become concrete, then, in the simple tree, but in the numinous margin which surrounds the tree. The anti-object frame makes the existence of the tree relative to it. The faculty of seeing is made possible by absence, like an immersion of the existent in the nonexistent, as if reality were viewed in the negative.

  2. Jaime de Angulo, Letter to Ezra Pound, July 10, 1949:

    /// Yes, Ezra, Injun him wise, no try educate
    /// p.s. injun kid very bright, too
    him can feel water wet no ask WHY water wet
    him burn hand no ask WHY fire burn
    injun kid never asked to believe 3 is 1
    injun no like that kind of mathematik
    injun kid never beaten /// parent think life beat enuf
    injun not think lie bad /// lie good when useful
    all same white man
    injun seldom lie to himself /// because not useful
    whiteman big fool lie to himself all time

  3. John Wieners, "Monday AM," The Journal of John Wieners is to be called Scott Street for Billie Holiday 1959: "For Ezra Pound//The accent of a coming foot/the opening of a door//doer//upper//plate//with 500 peyote buttons on/it."