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akiyoshi miyake <[log in to unmask]>
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 28 Jan 1998 06:12:51 +0900
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I have a question on Nesta Webster. Leon Surette, in his _The Birth of
Modernism_, conjectures that Pound read her_ Secret Societies and
Subversive Movements_(pulshd in 1924) around 1940(Surette, 23, 47).
But I am afraid his reasoning for the dating is not so persuasive.
He points out that she identifies in an appendix the source of the
_Protocols_ but that she asserts the plausibility of the forgery book,
which the poet read in 1940. That is to say, Surette's dating is based
on the assumption that reading Webster led to the immediate reading the
The assumption premises that Pound read Webster's book with interest.
But her book finds(of course erroneously) in Pan-Germanic Movement one
of the instruments "conspiratorial Jews" are maneuvering from behind the
scenes. And around 1940 Social Nationalism was explicitly and fatally
cruel to Jews and Jewish people, and Pound knew that. If the poet had
read the book around that time, he would have believed that the book was
a mere ridiculous fantasy. If he thought Webster was trustworthy,as
he did, Pound had to read her earlier, when he was not interested in
German policy against Jews.
Is there someone who have evidence enough to fix the date of when the
poet read Webster? I ask this question because the book is very important
in its influence on the formation of Pound's anti-semitic thought.
akiyoshi miyake
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