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Today in Literature

January 30, 2009

30 January 1933: Ezra Pound, poet, met with Benito Mussolini. Many consider this the source of Pound’s greatness and his demise. After meeting Mussolini, Pound was an avid follower of Mussolini’s regime and, after WWII, found himself in an Italian prison convicted of treason. While in prison and mental health facilities, Pound composed his famous The Pisan Cantos and published it to international praise.

Genius… is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2009 4:30 pm

    Pound is what happens when you mix a great mind with a perverse nature. Genius does not excuse bigotry nor explain some of the errant nonsense Pound spouted in person and in public forums (radio broadcasts, etc.). He was very fortunate to escape the death penalty after the war–if he hadn’t had influential friends and admirers willing to overlook his shortcomings and flaws, he would have come to a far uglier (and perhaps deserved) end…

  2. tub53778 permalink
    January 31, 2009 9:06 pm

    Pound was not perverse by nature, but rather immersed in ideas of impeccability. He ventured into bigoted territory, yes. His political views were skewed, yes. And as a result, his writing suffered. He aimed to create epical works that defied the foremost views of the 20th century; and by that accord, he had to separate himself from the other English poets. By no means though was he “perverse by nature.” Character is not inherited but learned, especially something as potent as perversity.

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