At 03:54 PM 6/10/00 -0400, Burt Hatlen wrote:
>Hugh Kenner (no "New Critic" he) really did open up the question of
>what makes this poem unique. Unfortunately, at the same time, his own
>political/social predelictions made him unwilling to talk abour Pound's
>fascism and anti-semitism. The critical debate will be banal and
>unproductive until we can talk about the retrograde social and
>political views AND the astonishing inventiveness of the poetry, AT
>THE SAME TIME.
I cheer. And while I'm cheering, I wonder whether anyone can verify my
memory of an appearance by Kenner on William F. Buckley's _Firing Line_
some time around 1974. After a quarter of a century my memory must have
slipped, but I must say the memory of one exchange is indelible. It went
something like this.
BUCKLEY: Was Pound a Fascist?
BUCKLEY: Henri Peyre says he was a Fascist.
KENNER: Henri Peyre writes for _The New York Times Book Review_.
That was vintage Kenner: devastatingly witty, deeply sensitive to value,
and as evasive as an F-117. But do I have the words right?