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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Daniel Pearlman <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 2 Dec 1998 12:11:04 -0500
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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There IS a little snippet of Spanish somewhere in the Cantos,
Leon, but I can't remember where.
As to EP's fluency in Italian, when I asked Mary de R. about
it in the late 60's, she said that he spoke his own rather
"Dantesque" version of the language.
==Dan Pearlman
At 10:55 AM 12/2/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I can't resist this temptation.
>Tim Redman wrote:
>>I'm not sure that Jonathan Gill is correct when he says "Pound was
>>not a linguist."  His Latin was excellent; he possessed near-native
>>fluency in Italian and close to that in French and Spanish; his
>>Chinese became rather good by the '50s and his Greek and German were
>        All the Italian speaking correspondents who received letters or
>articles from Pound found his Itlian to be "picturesque," "idiosyncratic,"
>or sometimes "incomprehansible." It must be admited that some
>English-speaking correspondents also found his letters incomprehensible, so
>perhaps one shoud discount the last epithet.
>        Tim;s Italian is much better than mine, but what I have heard
>ofPoundspeaking Italian could hardly be described as "near native flueney."
>        I agree with Jonathan Gill that Pound's linguistic aptitude was not
>much better than average--though his motivation and industry in learning
>foregn languages was, of course, muc above average. Pound himself admitted
>in a letter--whose provenance I have forgotten for the moment--that his
>Latin was adequateat best. His Greek was essentially non-existent. His
>comand of French was better than any other language--not surprising given
>his early study of Provencal, and long association with French letters. I
>have not heard any recording of him speaking French, but it is difficult to
>imagie that he had a good accent. I don't know of much that would count as
>evidence for his command of Spanish--though he certainly did study it. That
>language is notable for its absene from the Cantos
>Leon Surette                                    Home: 519-681-7787
>Dept. of English                                Fax:   519-661-3776
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Dan Pearlman                    Office: Department of English
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