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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Exile 3 Edited by Ezra Pound

I have just received a recent aquistion for my Morley Callaghan collection. It is the third issue of The Exile, an expatriate magazine from the late 1920's. Only four issues of The Exile appeared between the spring of 1927 and the autumn of 1928 while the poet, Ezra Pound, lived in Rapallo, Italy.

This issue, Spring of 1928, has pieces by W.B. Yeats, Louis Zukofsky, 'E.P.', John Rodker, R.C. Dunning, Payson Loomis, Morley Callaghan, Clifford Gessler, Howard Weeks, and Herman Spector. The image below is the actual size the this little magazine. The magazine, more like a chapbook, originally sold for 50 cents and has 109 pages. There are only two ads for Covici's other publications at the end of the magazine: one for Ezra Pound's Antheil [$2.00] and the other for Apples and Madonnas by C.J. Bulliet [$3.50].

It amazes me how a literary magazine such as this can be devoid of any advertising unlike the ad-filled magazines of today. This is a fine example literature for literature's sake I suppose. Issue number one, it is proclaimed at the back of the book by Pound, that "America could absorb 300 copies" (of the total print run of 500). The 'editorial' written by Pound is priceless and concerns the duties levied upon this magazine by the Port of Noo York [sic]. He also wrote a nineteen point manifesto of sorts which helps explain the state of Mr. Pound's political and artistic opinions. "Quite simply", it ends, "I want a new civilization."

Craig Monk explains the situation thus:

The Exile could not be considered a magazine, according to American law, because
it failed to meet the definition of a periodical on two crucial points. First,
it was not considered a precisely dated publication; the customs appraiser
maintained that "Spring 1927" could not be considered a specific date. Second,
the Exile did not contain a declaration of the intervals at which Pound expected
it to appear. Moreover, because he planned to bring forth the magazine only
three times per year, the Exile would not be eligible for the reduced postage
afforded quarterlies, either. Once the shipment cleared customs, Price proposed
to cut Pound a cheque for $37.90; this would equal their agreed rate minus the
duty and penalty. "Now these errors are not your fault," Price assured the poet,
"but they were more clearly not mine; and I can't afford to pay for them....
It's hell, and I sincerely hope it will not cause you to stop publication"
(Price Manscripts 4).

Particularly interesting to me is the contribution of Morley Callaghan. The short story Ancient Lineage is his first entry in Pound's third issue of The Exile. Primarily known for his short stories at the time of this publication, Callaghan was anticipating the publication of his first novel, Strange Fugitive in 1928. Callaghan had already been published with some notoriety in important literary magazines and books of the day: This Quarter Volume 1 Nos. 2 and 3; The Toronto Star Weekly; the first and second American Caravan: A Yearbook in American Literature; and in transition Nos. 3 and 12. He was twenty five at the time of his appearance in The Exile Number 3.

More information, among many other references to Pound and The Exile, can be found by reading Craig Monk's excellent article here. If you are interested in seeing what the cover of issue number one looked like click here.


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