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bob scheetz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 23 Sep 1999 08:07:56 -0400
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Jonathon Gill writes:
>...William Jennings Bryan, whose "Cross of Gold"
>speech is a virtual lexicon of Populist judeophobia.
this seems rather an unconscionable stretch
...like how they're presently hatcheting patrick buchanan,
our latter-day golden-tongued populist
-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan P. Gill <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 1999 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: Coded Language
By poetry, I mean all the poetry Pound wrote, not just the Cantos, but the
early poetry, which is certainly free of anti-semitism, but which is so
concerned with Jewish textuality.  Pound did, after all, write his very
first published poem to mourn the defeat of one of the most notorious
anti-semites of the age, William Jennings Bryan, whose "Cross of Gold"
speech is a virtual lexicon of Populist judeophobia.
By Jewish textuality, I mean both what Pound means (the supposedly Jewish
tendency towards written abstraction and literalness) as well as the
actual traditions promulgated by Jewish writers since forever
(the multilingual discursiveness of the Talmud, which is commonly
attributed, as Pound knew, to his namesake, the biblical Ezra the
To be more specific, I'm thinking of what Pound inherits from the figure I
consider his first great influence, the first great comparatist, the
stubborn Judeophile Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
That's a start, anyway.
Jonathan Gill
Columbia University
On Mon, 13 Sep 1999, R.Gancie/C.Parcelli wrote:
> Jonathan. Sorry. I'm coming to this discussion late. Is 'the poetry' you
> refer to below primarily the Cantos? Also, what does 'Jewish textuality'
> mean. And how connected 'formally'?-Carlo Parcelli
> Jonathan P. Gill wrote:
> >
> > Tim Romano and Everybody:
> >
> > Perhaps "coded" is the wrong word--it suggests that Pound was somehow
> > hiding something in wartime propaganda.  If there is anything that
> > distinguishes Pound from the Eliot, Heidegger, and de Man, it is Pound's
> > honesty (I think he never apologized because he never really understood
> > his own misdeeds as anything more than personal).
> >
> > As for his eccentric way with the anti-semitic register and lexicon, I
> > guess I mean something more like using condensed and suggestive language
> > in a playful way--that is, with a great deal of play.  Something like
> > shorthand, I guess.  So that the mere mention of the date 1873 suggests
> > vast global conspiracy of international bankers in New York and London
> > working to manipulate monetary policies on behalf of the Jew and
> > Jewish...well, this is the kind of condensed thought that Pound's
> > condensed language can lead to.
> >
> > Perhaps we now have enough to go back to the poetry, which I am
> > is intimately involved, thematically and formally, to Pound's ideas
> > Jews and Jewish textuality.
> >
> > Incidentally, in this context, Pound's "sub-Jew" is a person, Jewish or
> > non-Jewish, who exhibits those qualities that are below even a
> > Jew--whatever Pound thinks those are.  Roosevelt and Churchill, for
> > example, both of whose gentile ancestry Pound doubted ("Rosenstein" and
> > "Kirschenberg").
> >
> > Jonathan Gill
> > Columbia University
> --
> PO `!1 a