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Thinking about Pound

Fredric Wertham, a psychiatrist who denied Pound had ever been insane, blamed the psychiatrists at Pound's sanity hearing for not distinguishing between delusion and political conviction, with the ultimate delusion a national one: "We have let ourselves be deluded—into a belief that responsibility is not responsibility, guilt not guilt, and incitement to hate not incitement to violence." This is from John Tytell's excellent 1987 biography, Ezra Pound: The solitary volcano. Tytell also quotes critic Irving Howe, who called the "abstract quality" of Pound's views what makes them so terrifying, the expression of a "theological hatred that never sought a particular victim or even envisaged the consequences of its rhetoric" but resulted nevertheless in a "blind complicity in the twentieth century's victimization of the innocents."


From this remove it's shocking how casual & widespread vile language like Pound's was at the time. How he learned nothing from what happened right under his nose. Stuck to his horrendous, ignorant, half-uneducated beliefs. 


And yet, I still read his work. 

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