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Tim Romano <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Jan 1998 23:40:02 -0500
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The description of this baby-type politician seems to
draw upon ideas put forth by Wyndham Lewis in his
various essays on "youth culture": the elimination of
anything to do with adulthood and old age and the
promotion everywhere -- especially in advertising and
the media -- of childhood and youth, so that politician
and citizen become mirror images of the hyped type.
Compare, for example, this excerpt from the foreword of
THE DOOM OF YOUTH (1932) [where words are emphasized,
the emphasis is not mine but Lewis's]:
"But the method of government here, just as it is
elsewhere in openly socialized states, is
pedagogic--the politics are intensively
'Youth-politics'. Mr. and Mrs. Everyman live in a
_nursery_...  It is, in fact, a sort of
_male-matriarchy_ -- if one can describe a thing in
that unnatural way.
The term 'Youth-politics' signifies the management of
this system of education and propaganda-politics, in
which Ma and Pa Everyman are two childlike persons, of
course.  But the _Everymans_, as a family, are very
decadent--they in fact do become more infantile every
... the Everymans, in their present condition (they
have reached the stage of dribbling and babbling, and
scarcely are to be trusted any more to attend to their
domestic slops and flush the drains of their natural
Tim Romano
Jonathan Morse wrote:
> At 11:23 AM 1/29/98 -0800, Bill Freind wrote:
> >A few days ago, someone (sorry, forgot who) mentioned Michael Lind's book
> >_Up from Conservatism_, which suggests Pound financed some of Mullins'
> >work. I was surprised it wasn't mentioned *why* Lind talks about Mullins.
> >
> >Briefly, Lind is showing the sources for televangelist and erstwhile
> >presidential candidate Pat Robertson's book _The New World Order_.
> Right, and _Up from Conservatism_ is a good book. But my concern on this
> list was with Pound.
> However, as long as we're talking politics, here's a quote from Mullins,
> pp. 320-21:
> "During the 1956 elections, [Pound] called to my attention the commissar or
> foetus type of public official that seems to have been produced by the
> modern state. It is characterized by a round head, usually bald, a petulant
> mouth, and the formless features of a new-born baby. In July, 1959, he
> wrote to me,
> "'Look up Lavater, 1745-1801, "inventor of physiognomic studies," esp.
> criminal TYPES.
> "'my impression that he set almost at lowest level the foetus type . . .'.
> "I promptly did some research, and found, to my surprise, that a number of
> great leaders in recent years could be classified as the foetus type, or
> those who have not been fully formed in the womb. Such people seem capable,
> indeed fated, to cause great harm to others. These atavistic types are
> characterized by slight development of the pilar system, low cranial
> capacity, great frequency of Wormian bones, early closing of the cranial
> sutures, and a lemurine appendix. The type is round-faced, with slightly
> protruding eyes and a vacant grin."
> The pictures in _This Difficult Individual, Ezra Pound_ demonstrate that
> Mullins' own pilar system was in fine shape; he was quite a hairy young
> man. How he got clearance to dissect the bodies of great leaders he doesn't
> say. But one does wonder whether Pound kept in touch with Dr. Mengele after
> the war.
> --
> Jonathan Morse
> Department of English
> University of Hawaii at Manoa
> [log in to unmask]