Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound


Morrissey named one of his characters in List of the Lost as Ezra Pound.
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Wikipedia Information


Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a collaborator in Fascist Italy and the Salò Republic during World War II. His works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his 800-page epic poem, The Cantos (c. 1917–1962). Pound's contribution to poetry began in the early 20th century with his role in developing Imagism, a movement stressing precision and economy of language. Working in London as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, he helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. He was responsible for the 1914 serialization of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the 1915 publication of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", and the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote in 1932 that, for poets born in the late 19th or early 20th century, not to be influenced by Pound would be "like passing through a great blizzard and not feeling its cold." Angered by the carnage of World War I, Pound blamed the war on finance capitalism, which he called "usury". He moved to Italy in 1924 and through the 1930s and 1940s promoted an economic theory known as social credit, wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, and expressed support for Adolf Hitler. During World War II, Pound recorded hundreds of paid radio propaganda broadcasts for the fascist Italian government and its later incarnation as a German puppet state, in which he attacked the United States federal government, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great Britain, international finance, munitions makers, arms dealers, Jews, and others, as abettors and prolongers of the war. He also praised both Eugenics and the Holocaust in Italy, while urging American GIs to throw down their rifles and surrender. In 1945, Pound was captured by the Italian Resistance and handed over to the U.S. Army's Counterintelligence Corps, who held him pending extradition and prosecution based on an indictment for treason. He spent months in a U.S. military detention camp near Pisa, including three weeks in an outdoor steel cage. Ruled mentally unfit to stand trial, Pound was incarcerated for over 12 years at St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., whose doctors viewed Pound as a narcissist and a psychopath, but otherwise completely sane. While in custody in Italy, Pound began work on sections of The Cantos, which were published as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1949 by the Library of Congress, causing enormous controversy. After a campaign by his fellow writers, he was released from St. Elizabeth's in 1958 and returned to Italy, where he posed for the press giving the Fascist salute and called America "an insane asylum". Pound remained in Italy until his death in 1972. His economic and political views have ensured that his life and literary legacy remain highly controversial.