BC. Laurence Binyon

34. †Unpublished materials.

a. The Renaissance in Europe and Japan. Lecture. 17 March 1909, location of manuscript unknown. Pound’s interest in and respect for Binyon’s understanding of Japanese art is well documented (see especially BK18, 59, 140, and 148), and information may be pieced together from three sources to demonstrate that this lecture would have played a role in its genesis. The lecture itself is described by Hatcher (43). It was the second of four that Binyon delivered on the subject of ‘Art & Thought in East & West’ at the Small Theatre of the Albert Hall in March 1909, featuring discussion of the aesthetic interests of the Ashikaga shogunate (1338-1573) and the ‘spirit . . . of Zen Buddhism’. Hatcher notes as well that the previous month Binyon had invited Pound to visit the Print Room of the British Museum, that the Visitor’s Book records his first visit on 9 February, and that ‘for several months thereafter he dropped in about once a month’. That this occurred early in Pound’s friendship with Binyon in ascertainable from Wilhelm (BK188), who from unpublishd sources places Pound’s meeting with Binyon in early February of the same year. Finally, Stock (BK126), also from unpublished sources, places Pound at a Binyon lecture on this date, and notes that Pound found the presentation ‘intensely interesting’. Pound continued visiting the Print Room and talking with Binyon there at least into 1913, and remembers ‘Bin-Bin’ at that location twice in The Cantos. See also BK77b and g, BK86, and BK105.

b. Laurence Binyon Archive. British Library, Uncatalogued Loan Collection 103. Includes according to Hatcher ‘a great many manuscripts, including fair copies and drafts of published and unpublished poems, plays, translations, and lectures’, along with ‘a large cache’ of letters to Binyon and from Binyon to various correspondents, including Bottomley (see CA3). In addition to Binyon’s letters noted in 33, the archive contains letters from several correspondents in Japan congratulating Binyon on the success of his lectures at Tokyo (see 23). At least one poem Binyon wrote in Japan about the country did not see publication (see A20). If the manuscript still exists, this archive is its most likely location.

c. Other materials. Binyon’s letters are widely scattered in libraries in Britain and the United States, and many remain in private hands. Significant collections may be found at the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the London University Library (including ‘about 100’ letters to Sturge Moore), the India Office Library in London, and the Central Archives and Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. In 1995 many letters to family members were in the possession of Harriet Proudfoot (see 33); his letters to Yashiro Yukio (Ap) were in the possession of Yashiro Wakaba in Tokyo; letters from Binyon to others of significance to this study may be found in the Pound Papers at Yale (BK90) and the Freer Papers at the Smithsonian Institution; other collections in Britain and the United States are noted in Hatcher’s acknowledgements and notes in 43.





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