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Ezra Pound Speaking - Radio Speeches of World War II

Ezra Pound Speaking - Radio Speeches of World War II

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Published by Ionut Dobrinescu
Series Foreword

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 American—and only a few individuals throughout the world—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 matter—often heedless of consistencies—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 debate—by itself the politico-literary cause célèbre of the generation—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.

ROBERT H. WALKER
February 1975
Series Foreword

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 American—and only a few individuals throughout the world—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 matter—often heedless of consistencies—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 debate—by itself the politico-literary cause célèbre of the generation—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.

ROBERT H. WALKER
February 1975

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Published by: Ionut Dobrinescu on Apr 24, 2011
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02/07/2013

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Don’t go for the little Jews, go for the big Jews, and study KAHAL organization. Fry says
you can start with the betrayal of Jews: the sell out of Maccabaeus or whoever to the Romans.

Barral goes back to the split between Judah and Israel. Fry states that he was attemptin’ to
present a study of the “inner structure of a system that has produced and still foments racial
enmity,” and has “even” undermined certain civilizations and overthrown established national
governments.

That was printed at least ten years ago. He seems to [have] been moved by the Balfour
Declaration. The Russian steamroller was to have crushed Europe, and then it exploded. The
English exploited the Arabs. Dear Lord Rothschild, yours sincerely Arthur James Balfour.
Certain Jews, not all Jews wanted a national home. And you all remember Mr. Wilson, most
of you forget if you ever knew the Balfour Declaration took the form of a letter to dear Lord
Rothschild, signed, as I have just quoted, “Yours very sincerely A. J. Balfour.”

235

It was of course a lie as was pretty much the whole life of Balfour. It being clearly understood
that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-
Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in other
countries. Six weeks later Allenby entered Jerusalem He had been loafing about in the desert
for four months before that according to some accounts Colonel Lawrence was not wholly
satisfied by his country’s role in or rather subsequent to, the adventure.

I don’t know that Rothschild shed a tear when speaking to Balfour. But either he or some
subsequent series of events aroused Monsieur Fry’s curiosity, so he concluded that in
studying the Jewish people, special attention should be given to Jewish community. Peculiar
secret order that for 20 centuries had got itself disliked and talked of, administrated its own
laws, often in defiance of the laws of the land it was lodged in.

Jewish history doesn’t STOP with Josephus. It continued, but has been singularly neglected
by people who disliked the Jews. This was just as dangerous for the mugs, or Aryans as some
call ’em, as to leave the evidence unstudied. The American school books have been wholly
castrated. They say nothing of [how] Cromwell brought back the Yidds into England. They do
NOT compare the dates of the Battle, of Newbury, Marston Moore, Laseby, execution of the
English 1649, with the date of the foundation of the Bank or Stank of England, a bit over 1/2
a century later. Nothing about the embassy that the Kikes in Constantinople sent over to see
[whether] Cromwell was really the chewisch Messiah (he possibly wasn’t). Mebbe he wasn’t.
There was blood shed in Ireland. There was ultimately a split between the English in America
and the English and England.

My table of dates marks 1693, “The national debt begun.” Well that is all an old story.
Nicole’s tables start with the year 200, so he don’t mention the chews at all, not even
Josephus. Fry on the other hand is interested in chewisch organization, the separated and
Sadoc, “certain political clubs,” the siege by Vespasian.

After which they were entrusted with imperial government and administration of Palestine.
After the sack of Jerusalem, destruction of the temple and death of the patriot leaders, and all
the family.

Erafman, Jewish Brotherhoods, I don’t suppose there is an American edition? Or is there? It
was published in Vilna.

Other agents were posted at doors of shops, hotels, business houses, lawcourts, and even in
the private houses of government officials. These trained agents had each a special field to
cover: police, export, import, exchange, government supplies, lawsuits, etc.

The duty of an agent assigned to lawcourts was to keep constantly in touch with the
proceedings or with the officials, meet the petitioners, and when practical, fix the sum they
must pay for a favorable judgment. Report on all this carefully filed. Don’t think America is
the true home of all novelties. All this is very old story. Don’t go for the poor Jews. Don’t
pick on the amhaarez. Look into the system.

In fact the lone Jew is subject of study. He seems a good fellow, but is he in some way cut off
from the organization? Has he declined to kiss the magic rod … is he in exile … is that why
he has apparently no more luck than the goyim?

236

What the devil do YOU know, what the devil does anyone in America know of the Shulchan
Aruk, or the alleged fights between Ginsberg and Herzl? The whole subject is so infernally
boring. It is so sickening that we would rather pass over it. God knows, I don’t want to go into
it.

If you would run your own government properly. If you would think out a clean code of
ethics. If you would make use of the machinery our respectable forebears bequeathed us, you
wouldn’t need to be bothered with Jewry, and the peculiar story of Jewry and its peculiar, oh
VERY, organization.

But you have not used the machinery set up by our forebears. You have betrayed the national
founders.

You have NOT kept the Constitution in force. You have not developed it according to its own
internal laws. You have not made use of the machinery provided IN the Constitution itself, to
keep the American government modern. The main protection of the WHOLE people is in the
clause about Congress issuing money. But that is not the whole of the Constitution.

There is nothing in it to prevent an adjustment of, or progress from, LOCAL articulation;
administration divided by geographic division, toward articulation by trade and professional
organization. BUT you have NOT wanted to maintain the Constitution. You have NOT
wanted, that is, you have not had a WILL, to maintain the Constitution or to maintain honest
just government.

And now I hear New York meat is slaughtered by chewisch butchers, or was a decade ago.
Mebbe now there is of it to slaughter. Mebbe all American meat is slaughtered by Jewish
butchers. Beef as wuz. Long pig as may be. (Yaaas, long pig is what the cannibals call it.) But
their preparation of it is for consumption, not merely as carnage.

Yes, Yes, and LINKS between the societies. Sir Moses Montefiore, D.I. Lowe, Rabbi Cohn,
Strahun, Magnus, und Silberman, that was in 1864, and [?] lowitz, Times correspondent and
Reuter. Brotherhood for enlightenment. Lernestein, Ginzberg, Lalischer: there is a lot to the
story. And the worst of it is that, if you spend your time looking into it, it will prevent you
from filling your mind with the light of the classics, and may tend to distract you from
inheriting our cultural heritage.

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