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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Sarah Graham <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 28 Jul 1999 13:06:44 +0100
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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Dear List members,
Okay, this is absolutely my last comment on this topic (and thanks, again,
for the positive and straightforwardly helpful responses I received):
Charles Jones suggests here that to discuss Pound's family is bad manners,
given that they are still alive, and while I take his point to an extent
(I'm sure no-one wants their family made the business of public speculation,
whether by academics or anyone else) I do think that such intrusion, however
'well-meant' or 'for the purposes of research only', may be the price paid
by the families of the famous. As soon as a biography is written, everyone
who appears in it becomes part of the 'plot' around the author and his/her
work and speculation and disagreement begins. Often the families have to try
to find a balance between having lives of their own and fielding enquiries,
and many of them manage that with warmth and intelligence: HD's daughter,
Perdita Schaffner, is one such in my experience. My interest is not in Omar
but in Pound himself, and I am hardly alone in this interest: to start
protesting that we are all interested in the poetry and not the man is
dissemblance. The poetry leads us to the person, surely, and we cannot help
but be interested in the relationship between the two, even if the secondary
material always stays secondary in importance to the poetry. I would like to
remind Charles Jones that I was only asking a question sparked by a remark
in a review of a volume of letters written between EP & DP and edited by
Omar Pound - presumably this is not a task that Omar Pound would have
undertaken had he wanted to protect the privacy of his parents or, indeed,
his own privacy. However, I am not making a judgement about him based on
that action any more than I am judging him on the basis on his possible
paternity, and I certainly mean no offence. I doubt that any of Pound's
biographers intended to cause offence to his family, even if they may
ultimately have done so - that may be the main pitfall of engaging in such
work. Writing to Omar Pound directly to ask him to confirm or deny
speculation - now, that really would have been an invasion of privacy.
Ultimately, though, I suspect that Omar Pound is far more resilient than
Charles Jones suggests, and his continued involvement in Pound-related
projects would surely back that up.
Sarah Graham
-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Jones <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 27 July 1999 19:42
Subject: Re: a question re. Dorothy Pound
>First, I think Sarah's question was absolutely legitimate: she saw a
>reference to a fairly important event in Pound's life and asked for more
>information. Perfectly reasonable.
To some of us it seems like bad manners in that Omar is living with a wife
and four children + grandchildren.
Crazy Creek Press
Nacogdoches, TX.