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Louis Cabri <[log in to unmask]>
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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 5 Dec 2000 06:06:47 -0500
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I don't think it's too far of a stretch, at all, to read Moyer's "parody"
as implicating its reader in anti-Semitic discourse, regardless of whether
or not one agrees with Dan Pearlman. I don't mind in the least rousing
myself from lurkerdom to address this issue, either, since it is of deep
concern to Dan Pearlman. I'm glad I caught the email, which was by sheer
accident (completely out of the loop, not having read posts on this
listserv since early September).

Browning's lines invoke Nature, the natural world, a natural order.
Charles Moyer's "parody" reverses the idea of a natural order, with the
idea of a social order. More specifically, the implication - here lies the
force of the parody - is that this is a world fallen from grace, a social
dis-order. Moyer transports us to contemporary US of A politics. Instead
of "God," we have Greenspan in his office regulating finance. Instead of
"dew," a pure emanation from Nature after night and after sleep,
suggesting refreshment, rejuvenation, etc., we have "Jew-pearled." Etc.

Given that Charles Moyer chooses to post such a parody on a Pound
listserv, a listserv whose members one would think would be
extra-sensitive to ways that texts are, or become, racialized, only
confirms, to his discredit, the implication of anti-Semitic discourse that
goes unchallenged in his parody. Imagine if he had posted his poem to a
Browning listserv. There it would appear, I think, as palpably
incongruous, as drawing (perhaps disingenuously, perhaps naively, etc.) on
a negative history of racialization of the Jew. By a curious denial,
however, or by habit, or by sleepy-headedness, it would seem that Charles
Moyer's post is acceptable, "in tune" with Pound, here on the Pound
listserv. Yes, it is in tune with Pound. It is in tune with his legacy of

Let me just preemptively add as a last comment that while I am compelled
to respond directly and seriously to Dan Pearlman's request, I am not
in the least inclined to respond to any future post from Charles Moyer
that is directly addressed to me -- whether it is in agreement or
disagreement with what I have said here regarding his poem, it doesn't

Louis Cabri