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.
 
Second, I haven't met anyone who doesn't enjoy what is being called
literary gossip, but might more accurately be called biography. Foucault
might have undermined the status of the author, but his biography sold
pretty well, too.
 
Third, this is starting to remind me of the heated debates that still
surround the question of Wallace Stevens' deathbed conversion. Neither
that nor Pound's (non-) paternity has any real bearing on the poetry. Yet
in the face of what seems to be pretty substantial evidence that Pound was
not Omar's father, and that Stevens did in fact convert (or return) some
readers continue to insist that neither is true. Says a lot about the
investments we bring to our purportedly disinterested readings.
 
 
Bill Freind
 
On Tue, 27 Jul 1999, Sarah Graham wrote:
 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cameron McWhirter <[log in to unmask]>
> >Carpenter certainly never "settled" the matter and it remains very much an
> >open, if essentially vacuous, question. Those who could settle the matter
> are
> >dead.
>
>
> Well, Listmembers, excuse me for troubling you all with my essentially
> vacuous question. I would be more than happy to discuss matters more
> directly related to the poetry, though I'm not sure that raising issues
> simply for the purpose of having something to discuss is really the most
> effective (or, dare I say, relaxed)way of using the email forum.  I
> certainly had no desire to get everyone all worked up about whether or not
> discussing a biographical question is a covert form of gossiping. The
> comment in the review simply caught my eye so I asked the question - I won't
> do that again in a hurry, you can be sure about that.
>
> Thanks to those who did help with my original question - I can only assume
> that those others who found it irritating will be making a point of not
> reading the two new biographies promised in the next couple of years.....
>
> Sarah Graham
>