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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
David Centrone <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 20:55:26 -0500
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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I thought this might be relavent:
I've been doing some reading on Pound in Italy: Hamilton's _The Appeal of
Fascism_ is an intelligent look at the political and philosophical climate
of Europe and the contributions made by various intellectuals and
non-intellectuals alike--philosophers, poets, painters and sculptors
included.  T. S. Eliot spoke favorably of Sir Oswald Mosley, a fascists in
Britain; I believe W. B. Yeats actually declared himself a fascist against
the rising tide of socialism and futurism: two schools of thought and
politics that were focused upon the dismantling of cultural connections with
the past.  One futurist in Italy, Marinetti, wanted to ". . . burn all
gondolas and 'fill the stinking little canals' of Venice 'with the ruins of
crumbling, leprous palaces' [a widely circulating view at the time]."  The
attitude that I get from most intelligent sources tends to characterize the
philosophical climate as obviously threatening to neoclassicists, modernists
like Pound and Wyndham Lewis--its an attitude which seems to be difficult
for ("20/20") hindsight.  Joyce makes an interesting comment: "Not to like
it [Italy] because of Mussolini would be just as absurd as to hate England
because of Henry the Eighth"; which is to say that they had a whole other
attitude over there (in Europe) at all; Americans probably wouldn't fathom
such an idea at the time.