Sunday, August 30, 2015

ezra pound |draft

Admittedly Pound, did, to some extent, from what I have studied, express regrets about the wrongs he had carried thru into his poetry_I mean his bigotry tout court across the length and breadth of his work There's quite a touching interview with him and Pasolini (it can be seen in youtube), in which, if memory serves me rightly, he speaks of his wrong ideas, and there is the better known encounter, with Allen Ginsberg. American Big Daddy poet Charles Olsen wrote a diary journal of the time he spent corresponding with Pound and of his meetings with him at St. Elizabeth's , the hospital Pound was confined after WW2. This was the hospital he was sent instead of being hung, for treason. Had he been tried as a simple war criminal and not been found insane, he was bound for the gallows, in one shape or another. Pound was not merely a bigot and racist in his poetry, but he was an active radio broadcaster during the course of the War. He broadcasted on Italian radio a regular progrramme supporting Mussolini and the Fascist State, and he was attempting to persuade G.I's to abandon their posts, and join the Fascist cause.

Yet still neither Pound or Eliot made public statements about the Shoah, after WW2.

This was also the case with the German thinker, Heidegger. He too never spoke of this crime , and his silence greatly troubled Rumainian Jewish poet, Paul Celan.

E Pound "that difficult individual" as one of his contemporaries called him, was also the man responsible for ediing The Waste Land, and connecting dozens of individuals to either patrons or publication or both. He was also a friend to many painters and sculptors, Gaudier-brzeska being one of them.
He was also instrumental in getting Joyce's Portrait of the Artist published, and he played an important role in securing patronage for Joyce.

Im not suggesting his work, and achievements be reduced to his bigotry, but that it be taken account of when reading him and considering his achievement. In the same way one ought to consider Tzara's Marxism and the question of the Parti . Communiste ( France) relations to Stalinist ideas of the time... After all, Tzara said poetry was a way of life, so it is fair to ask, what way is it?

That idea of a way of life, was certainly not Pound or Eliot's. And I am not suggesting that Pound and Eliot were "bad" people in compared to Tzara the 'good' that would be too simplisitic, and not fair to any of the parties, nor to the richness of their poetry.

One could enlarge the discussion consider the career of Louis Aragon, a life long member of the French Communist Party. I am certain there is controversy there, and food for thought. What was Aragon's position on the Gulag? Did he take a stand against the Stalinist and post Stalinist Breshnev continuation of Gulag policies? etcetera. For instance, did Aragon go out of his way to defend Russian poets living in the Brezhnev regime, which in fact, extended the policies of the Gulag? Indeed, we know now, from historians, among Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's that the Gulag was enlarged undere the Breshnev years. More than this, did Aragon denounce the policies of an oppresive totalitarian State of Russia during the years he was a member of the Communist Party of France?

My recent posts about Pound and Tzara _ were polemical and meant to provoke discussion not to reduced any area of a man's life to one thing.

There is more, as always, than what meets the eye.