First commenter: Ezra Pound is an outstanding poet and does not get the literary credit he deserves.
Second commenter: First commenter: NO he deserves NOTHING he was a damn Nazi.
Third commenter: He was more a sympathizer of Italian Fascism; they are distinct, I believe. And Mussolini refused to meet Pound after Pound wrote a half dozen letters offering his ideas about usury and social credit. Mussolini also thought Pound was mad.
Of course. He was one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. The Cantos are awesome.
He’s also known as an antisemite, but guess who else was? TS Eliot. George Orwell. And Voltaire. It only became proscribed here in the West very recently, and it’s reportedly back in the ring for another round as we speak. But at the same time antisemitism was much more common in Europe circa 1920 then it is today. In certain places like Germany or Austria it was basically normal to be an antisemite. You were odd if you were not one.
He is said to have recanted his antisemitism late in life. He met Allen Ginsberg in Venice in 1967 and told Ginsberg,
The one thing I regret was falling prey to that middle class vice, antisemitism.
This has been questioned by a Nazi who met him at St. Elizabeth’s and said he was completely unrepentant, but he left St. Elizabeth’s in 1958, so perhaps he did change.
I don’t care about his politics. They were deplorable, but so what? I’m not aware that he killed anyone.
Celine was an antisemite and a Nazi who also produced Nazi propaganda. Celine was also a great writer but a rather deplorable man. But he continued to treat his poor patients for free until he died. And he never killed anyone either.
Face it, a lot of writers are lousy people!
Shakespeare was a miser, a rich man who refused to help his neighbors during a famine winter when many of them died. He was a tightwad who hounded his poor neighbors for the smallest debts. Shall we stop reading him too?
Pound was already a morally dubious person back in 1922 in Paris. He already an antisemite as he came to antisemitism quite early in life. He was a womanizer who like to run 2-3 women at once at any given time. He was incapable of monogamy. Not that I consider those bad qualities because I lived like that myself for a while.
And to the feminists reading this, he was indeed a misogynist like Henry Miller, another misogynistic womanizer. He was quite intemperate, an elitist snob who hated the average man. He had an ego the size of a small planet, and I believe he could also be a bit of an asshole.
Official psychiatric diagnosis: Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
He also got very depressed toward the end of his life. Diagnosis late in life, near death: Bipolar Disorder.