puzzle piece 75

From the Preface of “Objectivists” 1927-1934

A Critical History of the Work and Association of Louis Zukofsky, William Carlos Williams, Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, Ezra Pound, George Oppen (1982)

“Objectivism” promoted the health of language as a prerequisite for the health of human beings and, therefore, for the health of their societies and cultures. It fostered a metaphysical association of existence, expression, and experience by restoring emotions, words, and ideas to the particulars of the shared world. Zukofsky defined the fundamental criteria of “Objectivism.” Sincerity is the presentation in writing of "particulars," the presentation of words and phrases that register with exactitude details whose specificity and concreteness make them unquestionably true, thereby objectifying the writer’s personal sincerity or, as Oppen said, his “curiosity” or “joy”—“that emotion which causes to see.” In the sincerity of his writing, the writer relies on his personality and personal experiences, relations, concerns, preferences, principles, and poetic influences and confluences, but presents his object in terms whose significance is not merely personal. History is the sincerity of a life and its locale, the presentation of particulars focused to give a sense of the energy and ethical consciousness of a human being. In history the writer represents his political stance against conditions that hinder happiness and creativity. Objectification is the achievement of the necessary form by which the details of sincerity and history cohere in what Pound called the Image, so that the architectonics makes the poem not just a thing about a world of things but a thing in the world of things.