A mixture of excitement and anxiety as I begin to try to glimpse the mysteries of Joyce’s pal Ezra Pound’s chief work, the Cantos. I didn’t get to the end of this when I was younger because, I’m realizing now, it simply wasn’t written for young people. It isn’t a surprise at all that there isn’t much recent scholarship, or much scholarship at all for that matter, on this. Pound is the American who broadcast for the fascists during WW2, who they threw in a nuthouse for over a decade after the war. “Maiiii nigga!” A pure Anglo too, what got into that guy anyway?
This feeling of sublimity when I approach Pound
Okay bird’s-eye-view bird’s-eye-view. He wrote this over a 50 year period. If they don’t teach him at the academy at all anymore I wouldn’t be shocked, I already saw signs of that years ago before cancel culture really took off.
Remember this idea?
Pound saw high culture as a system in which the influence of writers and artists upon each other is comparable to a system of flowing electric currents.
It will be a good start to see precisely whom he is in “conversation” with.
Give you an idea
How happy I am I’m not living in your democracy.
There are ten languages found in this poem which runs 800 pages and begins with allusions to Homer. Look, we wouldn’t even know if he was in league with Milton because his politics are seen to be so repugnant that no one would admit it even if it were true. That’s for us, who are free from institutions, to judge.
Laughing noticing I’m doing the Ovid thing I mentioned in my previous post without even thinking about it. This is how everyone should approach things.
Why he is marginalized
the Middle Cantos, which give us a montage of good rulers and good banks juxtaposed with less sustained images of bad rulers and bad banks
He’s frequently likened to Dante in having written an “epic of judgment”.
Needless to say, in Bloom’s kabbalistic Genius book Pound is consigned to a realm of hell. He quotes his “favorite” line of Pound’s from one of his letters
All the Jew part of the Bible is black evil.
He can get away with this blatant bias of course.
Why is Pound not for young people? Because he’s as erudite as Bloom, and he puts that erudition into art. You can read about the differences between the two about the canon here.
This is only the beginning. I’m probably going to make more posts on Pound. (Speaking of forming a counter-canon.)
If you think back to Horace writing hymns that celebrate Augustus, while the dissident Ovid gets exiled, Pound is a lot closer to Ovid. Which one are you, anon?
Mussolini is the ideal reader of the poem in a number of crucial respects.
They can’t help it, they still refer to him as a “major epic poet”.
It’s eerie who they juxtapose him with on the cover of this
The Dante of Fascism – that would be too good to be true, wouldn’t it?
Another book on him, this one on him as an occultist
A bird’s-eye-view is going to take some time, especially since so few of the titles I see are on z-library. They want this guy buried more than most. This level of aesthetic splendor plus this level of nonconformist politics is rare for the 20th century, if not the rarest.