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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 06:23:48 -0500
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Hi all,

I don't think it's too far of a stretch 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 (am 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 represented by the Jew. 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 severe 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, Charles Moyer's
post seems 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 addressed to me -- whether it is in agreement or disagreement
with what I have said here regarding his poem. I have written this email
about Charles Moyer's poem for Dan Pearlman on the E-Pound listserv.

Best wishes,
Louis Cabri