Ezra Pound- WWII Radio Speeches

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The best reason for publishing Ezra Pound’s Italian broadcasts may be the simplest. Thousands of people
have heard about them, scores have been affected by them, yet but a handful has ever heard or read them.
Here they are.
There are other compelling reasons, the first having to do with the magnitude of their author. No other
Americanâ€â€and only a few individuals throughout the worldâ€â€has left such a strong mark on so many
aspects of the twentieth century: from poetry to economics, from theater to philosophy, from politics to
pedagogy, from Provençal to Chinese. If Pound was not always totally accepted, at least he was
unavoidably there.
Those traits of mind and character that made Pound so inescapable are not only evident in the
broadcasts but also present in ways that make them more fully understandable. Here is that same fearless
plunge toward the heart of the matterâ€â€often heedless of consistenciesâ€â€that marked his study of ancient
and exotic languages and cultures. Here is that same urge to simplify and instruct that marked his
unorthodox textbooks: ABC of Economics, ABC of Reading and the rest. Here is that flair for dramatic
hyperbole which peppered the Cantos and produced such deliberately shocking titles as Jefferson and/or
Mussolini. The broadcasts do not always show these traits at their best, but their blatant presence makes
them useful clues in putting together the puzzle of that powerful enigma at their center.
Even if the shadow of Ezra Pound did not so broadly color this century, these broadcasts might still
command a clinical respect for the way in which they interrelate so vitally with the rise of fascism in
Europe and the accompanying extremes of feelings, with the cause and conduct of World War II as viewed
from this special place by this very special commentator. To the historians who have counted this an almost
anti-ideological war, the broad casts offer considerable counterpoint. Furthermore, they are the starting
point for understanding two major cultural events of the postwar years: the trial of Ezra Pound and the
literary prize controversies. The Bollingen Prize debateâ€â€by itself the politico-literary cause célèbre of the
generationâ€â€while once totally preoccupying has to this day refused to lie at rest. Even this young
Greenwood Press series, begun twenty-five years after the fact, offers two fresh and extensive treatments
of the issue. Such insistent unrest shows clearly the need for this essential evidence now at hand.
The broadcasts do not show Pound at his best. War, bigotry, and totalitarianism are not sunny subjects.
Yet giant figures need their full dimensions, and unpleasant subjects can and should be studied for the best
of reasons. How indeed are we to lessen our chances for future encounters with shrinking horizons if we do
not learn from episodes so recent, so strongly cast, and so richly charted?
We applaud, then, the respect for a complete historic record which has allowed the Pound Literary
Trustees to overcome an understandable reluctance toward seeing these scripts in print. We applaud this
same impulse which has motivated the patience and stamina of Leonard Doob. There are, and there will
always be, more motives behind an act like this than one can chronicle. From our point of view, however,
this work provides a singular and extensive collection of data for the pursuit of that most bewildering of
cultural equations: the balance between the creative force, the individual personality, and the social
context. Seen in this light, Ezra Pound’s texts become a “Contribution in American Studies†at a profound
and essential level. 
Pound_Radio_Speeches.pdf 1.129 MB
Torrent_downloaded_from_Demonoid.com.txt 47 B
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