Archive for the ‘Paideuma Terrell’ Category

Carroll F. Terrell Obit

December 27, 2008

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/carroll-f-terrell-549027.html

Carroll F. Terrell founder of the Ezra Pound journal ‘Paideuma’

Wednesday, 3 December 2003

Within less than a week Poundians have lost two of their most prolific fellow workers: on 24 November the author of The Pound Era (1971), Hugh Kenner, and on 29 November Carroll F. Terrell, founder of the Pound journal Paideuma and compiler of the two-volume A Companion to the Cantos of Ezra Pound (1980).

Carroll Franklin Terrell, teacher, editor and publisher: born Richmond, Maine 17 February 1917; instructor, then Professor of English, University of Maine at Orono 1948-82, part-time 1982-88 (Professor Emeritus); Editor, Paideuma 1972-98; died Orono, Maine 29 November 2003.

Within less than a week Poundians have lost two of their most prolific fellow workers: on 24 November the author of The Pound Era (1971), Hugh Kenner, and on 29 November Carroll F. Terrell, founder of the Pound journal Paideuma and compiler of the two-volume A Companion to the Cantos of Ezra Pound (1980).

In the 1970s and 1980s Terry, as we all called him, was a regular attender at the British Ezra Pound Conferences, which were started in 1976 by Philip Grover of Sheffield University. Unlike ordinary academics, Terry delighted in abrupt, provocative revelations such as “I used to hate that guy in Washington!” and “The Cantos is the greatest religious poem of all time”.

When I was invited to teach summer school at his institution in Maine in 1977, I was privileged to be able to watch Carroll Terrell hard at work on his Cantos companion, writing furiously in longhand on those lined yellow sheets and pulling book after book from the trolleys surrounding him. Though the Companion is not perfect, it is a magnificent monument to Terrell’s demonic energy and dedication.

Carroll Franklin Terrell was born in 1917 in Richmond, Maine. His father was a shoe cutter and part-time farmer, his mother a schoolteacher. He lovingly recalled his youth in Growing Up Kennebec: a downeast boyhood (1993), a marvellous read which nevertheless has a few touches of the Gothic which brought fame to that other Mainer, Stephen King, who was a student in Terrell’s department and now gives financial support to his creation, the National Poetry Foundation. (In 1990 Terrell was the author of a book about his pupil, Stephen King: man and artist.)

After graduating from Bowdoin College, the Alma Mater of Longfellow and Hawthorne, in 1940, Terrell served in the armed forces from 1941 to 1946, becoming an aide-de-camp to Major-General Edwin Forrest Harding, a stickler for punctuality who seems to have taught him everything about efficiency, as evidenced in the conferences he organised at Orono – always with a Maine lobster dinner.

Having received an MA from the University of Maine in 1950, Terrell gained a PhD from New York University for a dissertation on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. His examiner was another Poundian, M.L. Rosenthal, who was apparently overwhelmed by the plethora of footnotes. In the 1960s Terrell’s interest shifted increasingly to Ezra Pound, which led in 1971 to his nominating Pound for an honorary Doctor of Literature degree; this was turned down by the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine when Pound had already agreed to travel to the US to accept it.

Pound was still alive when the first issue of Paideuma: a journal devoted to Ezra Pound scholarship came out (dated Spring and Summer 1972), but the second left the printers just after his death. Apart from conference papers and reports the journal has published items, including pictures, on every imaginable aspect of Pound’s world, so no Pound scholar can afford to ignore it.

Terrell’s publishing activities also include the launching in 1982 of Sagetrieb: a journal devoted to poets in the Pound-Williams tradition and two collections of books, the Man/Woman and Poet series (in which he edited Louis Zukofsky: man and poet, 1979, Basil Bunting: man and poet, 1980, and William Carlos Williams: man and poet, 1983) and the Ezra Pound Scholarship series. Finally, when he moved into the house designed for him by his friend and landlord Richard Hill, he brought out books under the imprint Northern Lights, including his childhood memoir and his collected Pound essays, Ideas in Reaction: byways to the Pound arcana (1991).

Though he held on to the editorship of Paideuma until 1998, Terrell’s legendary energy had started to leave him a few years before. To see him just sitting there, maybe doing a crossword, was an unbearable sight to me, but then, as his beloved Ezra Pound once wrote (Canto 113), “No man can see his own end.”

Walter Baumann