EPOUND-L Archives

- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Everett Lee Lady <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 14:23:04 -1000
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (50 lines)
>Date:  Fri, 22 Oct 1999 06:29:36 -1000
>From:  Tim Bray <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Re: Racial or cultural?
>There is a secondary issue: how someone so deeply consumed by nasty, trivial,
>idiotic views can at the same time be a deep well of pure poetic beauty.
It's a fact of the world that decent honest people can often hold
opinions about groups of people which are very different than the way
they relate to individuals.  Opinions which can be very vicious and
have extremely harmful consequences.
Many good decent Irish immigrants in the United States have made
financial sacrifices to donate money which was used to finance terrorism
in Northern Ireland.  Good decent young Americans flew B-52 missions
in which massive numbers of bombs were dropped on peasants in Vietnam,
Laos, and Cambodia who were essentially random targets and who were not
even visible to the bomber pilots.  (The reason Lt. William Calley's
action in Vietnam caused such an outrage was apparently the fact that
he lined his victims up and had them shot at close range instead of
bombing them from a distance.) Good decent people decided that the only
answer was to drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nakasaki because the
Japanese, although willing to surrender, were not yet ready to accept
the terms of unconditional surrender which we demanded.
One thing that everyone who ever knew Pound in the later period of his
life (starting with his time in Italy) seems agreed on was that Pound
was a decent, kind, generous, and gracious man.  There doesn't seem to
be anyone who knew him casually when he was in his fifties, sixties, and
seventies who didn't like him.  (I can't speak for the feelings of his
family and others who were really close to him.)  There seemed to be
something about him that people responded to positively.  The guards at
the Pisan prison camp were under orders not to talk to him or have any
interaction with him, and he had been described to them as a despicable
traitor, but some of them soon started showing kindness toward him in
various ways.  The townspeople where he had lived in Italy remembered
him kindly and did not identify him with the Fascists, and when he
returned to Italy, some of them still remembered him and were glad to
see him back.
And yet some of the things he writes in the Agresti letters and said in
his radio broadcasts were inhuman in their viciousness.  (As I've
mentioned, I don't recall his conversations at St. Elizabeths ever
containing this sort of viciousness.  He just calmly and quietly
and with complete confidence expressed his belief that Jews were
treacherous people who could never be trusted and who deformed and
distorted everything they touched.  I think that my language here in
summarizing his statements was much harsher than the language he actually
used, but that was the overall message.)