Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ezra Pound's Birthday

October 30 is Uncle Ez's birthday (see our detailed birthday post last year here on the occasion of his 116th - It's his 117th today). It's his publisher, supporter and friend, James Laughlin (1914-1997)'s birthday also. And, November 1, in two days time, 40 years since his (Pound's) death.

"I stayed several months in Rapallo at the "Ezuversity" learning and reading'', Laughlin has recalled, "before Pound said it was time for me to go back to Harvard and do something useful. Being useful meant that I should publish books..." - and publish he did (establishing the remarkable and pioneering modernist New Directions publishing house in 1936). 

Gregory Barnhisel's James Laughlin, New Directions and the Remaking of Ezra Pound is an informative and useful examination of that pivotal relationship.       

The comprehensive source for all Ezra Pound's distinctive recordings is, of course, the incomparable PennSound. See their Pound page here (edited by Richard Sieburth, featuring the classic (originally-available-on-vinyl) Caedmon recordings, the 1967 Spoleto Readings (from the Cantos), his broken-voiced reading of (his translations from) The Confucian Odes, and much much else besides).    

Recommended - Luciano Mangiafico's Attainted - The Life And After-Life of Ezra Pound in Italy.

Justo Navarro's La Spia  is an important examination of those times. It was published last year in Spain (and just this year, in Italian translation - see Massimo Bacigalupo's review of it here)

Might we mention, earlier in the year, Mary de Rachewiltz's valiant attempts to wrest her father's (already-complicated) legacy from the hands of contemporary fascism? - "The fascists want to claim Pound, but they have nothing to do with Pound. They are a nuisance and there has to be something I can do to stop them".

It was to Allen that Pound confessed his "stupid suburban prejudice" of anti-semitism, his "worst mistake, his fatal error.
For more of Allen and Pound (from his "Encounters with Ezra Pound (Journal Notes)" in the 1980 volume, Composed on The Tongue - see here).

and more on Pound (from a 1980 Naropa class) see here  

[Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg and Fernanda Pivano La Gritta American Bar, Portofino, Italy, September 1967. c. Ettore Sottsass]

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