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charles moyer <[log in to unmask]>
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 28 May 2000 09:54:06 -0700
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Mr. Wei asks "Is there anything in his writings to show that he questioned,
rather than advocated, the notion of a new facist empire ruled by a superior
race, as a solution to humankinds' woes?"
In answering I would like to draw his attention to Pound's statement in
"Kulchur". He writes (p.242), "Race prejudice is red herring. The tool of
the man defeated intellectually, and of the cheap politician. No one will
deny that the jews have racial characteristics, better and worse ones.
'Every Polish nobleman had his jew.' The use, and more than use, the NEED of
Frobenius' dissociations shows at this juncture. Whatever one think of his
lists of symptoms, Hammite, Shemite, etc. he rhymes with Dante 'che'l giudeo
fra voi di voi non ride'. It is nonsense for the anglo-saxon to revile the
jew for beating him at his own game. The nomad in search of cattle, the
romantic tradition. Happy is the man who inherits a rich field and a strong
house and can take up a classic 'Anschauung' with no inconvenience (to
and I'll say amen to that. I get the impression that Mr. Wei's argument is
as much with Confucius as it is with Pound. I have always enjoyed an irony
from Snow's "Red Star Over China" in which the author relates an incident
where Mao quotes Kung to his father to prove the old man incorrect, not,
however, in the best Chinese tradition of filial piety. But it seems that
Pound found something in Kung which  he also found in John Adams - Wisdom.
What better guide to get us through the "halls of hell" iin a "botched
And then Mr. Wei asks  a very good question. "Why is America's greatest epic
to date, an authoritarian epic poem (and not a democratic one)?" I find this
question dumbfounding. In the "land of Abraham Lincoln and Lydia E. Pinkham"
what would a "democratic epic" be other than perhaps Whitman's "Leaves of
Grass"? And has this country lived up to the poet's vision? The truth is no
authority now exists in the world greater than democracy even though her
eyes are bandaged and her mouth is speaking in tongues and she she gets
pulled down in China. But perhaps Mr. Wei would benefit from revisiting
Pound's poem  "A Pact". It is reminiscent of Mao quoting Kung Fu Tze to his
"pig-headed father. Mr. Wei's trees also, I am sure, have "one sap and one
root-". Something in this world has to observe and transcend polyticks or we
are left with a sorrowful itching lot. Pound, the great idealist, should
have had to spend some time as a village councilman then his perspective
might not have been so Olympian. But today a "democratic-hoi polloi epic
poem" would have to be written for a Cretan by a Cretan and expertly
marketed. Still I agree with Pound, and we share the frustration. " That
one's roots are not a disease but parts of a vital organism is worth
feeling." (Kulchur, p.244) But because Pound was a public figure and
outspoken he got put in a mental hospital for saying the same things that
every Republican in every Rotary Club in every town in the USA was saying
about Roosevelt, at least up to Dec. 1941. An irony again- there wasn't one
out of a thousand of them who ever heard of Ezra Pound. Pound should have
gone to trial  and he wanted to at one point. That would have been