semi-popular novelist in her own right.nMrs. Shakespear was stately and stunning;nPound thought her “undoubtedlynthe most charming woman in London.”nFrom the start, Pound was alsonattracted to Mrs. Shakespear’s daughternDorothy, a beautiful and well-educatednbut markedly reserved young womannwho, like her mother, was more than anlittle intrigued by matters mystical andnoccult. Certainly, as her private notebooknjottings show, Dorothy was utterlynenchanted with the handsome and audaciousnPound, who in those days—asnFord Madox Ford later rememberedn—sported “trousers made of green billiardncloth, a pink coat, a blue shirt, antie hand-painted by a Japanese friend,nan immense sombrero, a flaming beardncut to a point and a single, large bluenear-ring.” “Ezra,” Dorothy told herndiary soon after meeting Pound, “is notnas other men are; he has found thenCentre—TRUTH.” “Ezra! Ezra!” shenwrote, “beautiful face! . . . You are allna dream—your ideas, your knowledge,nyour bluey eyes. . . . All things younhandle have a veil drawn round them,nthat draws them towards yourself,nbrings them to your dream land, yournwonderful land of discovered Truth.”nBetween the time of their meetingnand their marriage in April 1914, EzranPound and Dorothy Shakespear conductedna rather irregular and often epistolaryncourtship, since Pound, ever restless,ntraveled frequently from Londonnto the Continent, and he once returnedn—for an eight-month stretch—to thenUnited States. The Pounds remainednmarried until Ezra’s death in Novembern1972. But during that time. Pound’snincreasing self-absorption and contentiousnessnundoubtedly caused the quietlyndevoted Dorothy considerable pain.nIn the early 1920’s, for example. Poundnopenly entered into what would provento be a lifelong affair with Olga Rudge,na young and attractive violinist. In 1925nMiss Rudge gave birth to Pound’sndaughter, Mary—several months beforenDorothy bore Pound a son, Omar.nAs Omar Pound and Walton Litznsuggest, the letters that Ezra andnDorothy sent each other between 1909nand 1914 have “all the appeal of anynprivate correspondence between two intelligentnpeople who have not yet enterednwhat Henry James called ‘thencountry of the general lost freshness.'”nReaders may also sense “a bittersweetnquality which comes from our knowledgenof what was to follow”: Pound’sn”increasing isolation and obsessions ofnthe 1920s and 1930s”; his grotesquenwartime broadcasts; his postwar imprisonmentnin a Washington, DC, hospitalnfor the mentally unbalanced and thencriminally insane; his final “penitentialnsilence.”nEzra Pound and Dorothy Shakespearncontains 235 items, including early entriesnfrom Dorothy’s notebook and lettersnthat Pound exchanged withnDorothy’s father, a practical and judiciousnman who obviously did not greatlynrelish the idea of his only childnbecoming the wife of a brash, selfemployednpoet who favored green feltntrousers and hand-painted ties. Thisnvolume tells us much about the attitudesnand customs that prevailed amongnBritain’s bohemians and its bourgeoisienin the post-Victorian era. It is also ofnconsiderable literary importance, sincenmost of the more than 200 letters thatnPound and Dorothy exchanged beforenmarriage have not been previously published.nIn many of these letters. Poundndiscusses the works and the activities ofna wide variety of his contemporaries,nincluding Yeats, Wyndham Lewis, andnRichard Aldington. The range of thesendiscussions will make this collection ofninterest not only to Pound scholars, butnalso to all readers who seek to understandnmore clearly the intellectual andnaesthetic milieu in which modernnAmerican and British literature begannto take shape. ccnBrian Murray is professor of Englishnat Youngstown State University.nThreepennynMarxistnby John MoellernRonald Hayman: Brecht: A Biography;nOxford University Press; NewnYork.nThe Marxist and the artist view humannexistence in fundamentally differentnways. Marxism regards human existencenas absolutely knowable becausenscientific laws govern history and becausenmaterialism underlies all of existence.nIt is not so simple for the artist.nAlthough the artist may study history,nhe knows that nature is not a closedncircle within our grasp, and he regardsnthe human condition as an incrediblenmystery.nDespite the inherent tension betweennartistic endeavor and Marxist thought,nmany have tried to combine the two.nOn one extreme are the writers, poets,nand playwrights whose Marxist inclinationsnprevail. They end up producingnthinly disguised propaganda and arennnartists in name only. On the othernextreme are Marxists who follow theirnart to its frontiers only to discover that itnchallenges the first principles of theirnpolitical beliefs. Eventually, they mustnforsake their Marxism if they intend tonbe faithful to their art. Such were thensix writers who narrate their fall fromnMarxism in Crossman’s The God ThatnFailed.nThe third pattern — the middlenway — is to temper the artistic andnMarxist elements until they can coexist.nFor many, that means becoming a middlingnartist and a middling Marxist. Anfew escape such mediocrity, includingnBertolt Brecht, here depicted by RonaldnHayman.nBrecht frequently envisioned hisnplays as being like trials in which thenaudience could judge the charactersnand their actions. He relied extensivelynon the use of narrative, placed greatnemphasis on the objective, externalnfacts, and always wanted the audiencento remember that they were, in fact,nwatching a play. Hayman’s biographynprovides a similar drama of externals,nwith a year-by-year (and sometimesnday-by-day) account of the objectivenfacts of Brecht’s life. Hayman doesnintersperse Brecht’s poems throughoutnthe text to illustrate Brecht’s thoughts,nand he dips into psychoanalysis to explainnBrecht’s relationships with hisnwife and various mistresses and intoncritical theory to assess Brecht’s dramaticntheories and productions. But generallynHayman simply provides evidencenand lets the reader himself judgenBrecht.nAnd what should that judgment be?nWas Brecht somehow capable of combiningnart with a commitment to Marxism?nThe answer, based on Hayman’snevidence, is a qualified yes. But thenqualifications are serious enough tonsuggest that artistic achievement owesnnothing to ideological purity.nBrecht did actively participate innMarxist causes, and he did present himselfnto the world as a good Marxist. Butnwhen one studies the life, it is apparentnthat his wife, Helene Weigel, was hisnreal political conscience. She was thenone with a “quasi-religious faith inncommunism,” whereas Brecht was preoccupiednwith improving his artistry.nBrecht’s professed Marxism may explainnwhy he lived the last years of hisnlife in East Germany, but it hardly tellsnus why he deviously maneuvered tongain Austrian citizenship. The problemnwas that Brecht wanted to move aboutnand practice his art with the freedomnthat only such citizenship afforded.nFor Brecht was an artist long beforenOCTOBER 1985/Z5n