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Lowell Charles Olson and William Carlos Williams among others They would sit with Pound on the hospital grounds bring him news of the outside world and discuss everything from literary gossip to past escapadesThis was perhaps the world's most unorthodox literary salon convened by a fascist and held in a lunatic asylum Those who came often recorded what they saw Pound was at his most infamous most hated and most followed At St Elizabeths he was a genius and a madman a cont. As with studies of Hegel s Phenomenology of Spirit I am willing to follow any brave soul into the thickets of the famously difficult Cantos or the brackish writer behind them The compounded excuse the pun difficulty with Pound however versus the perverted German nationalism posthumously ascribed to Hegel is twofold Pound s difficulty lies not only in the challenge of how to read his poetry but also in how to reconcile it with his life s contradictions And his contradictions are many as Daniel Swift shows Like Richard Wagner1 Joseph Conrad2 and perhaps closely Knut Hamsun one encounters a bifurcation of mind upon contact with a deplorable artist s great work Yet like the troubled Hollywood star there is something that draws us into their lives something that fascinates us and invites us to form an opinion however well or ill informedRead the full review

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The Bughouse

A captivating biography of Ezra Pound told via the stories of his visitors at St Elizabeths HospitalIn 1945 the great American poet Ezra Pound was deemed insane He was due to stand trial for treason for his fascist broadcasts in Italy during the war Instead he escaped a possible death sentence and was held at St Elizabeths Hospital for the insane for than a decade While there his visitors included the stars of modern poetry T S Eliot Elizabeth Bishop John Berryman Robert. There is a certain type of book freuently seen these days which I believe has yet to acuire a single word or short phrase to describe it like for example chick lit or microhistory This book is a member of this as yet unnamed genre individual examples of which often have elements of history biography autobiographymemoir and comedy to greater or lesser extentsThe shortest description I can give is What I Learned Writing a Book about X or less specifically X and me where X here is obviously Ezra Pound I have recently read entries in this genre wherein X euals sommeliers and literature written by tyrants and I have another one teed up for reading soon where X timeAlthough of course my enjoyment of individual entries in this field varies I generally like them They freuently provide a way to acuire a little knowledge about one of the many topics of which I am lamentably ignorant The huma

Daniel Swift Î 1 REVIEW

Rarian and a poet and impossible to ignoreIn The Bughouse Daniel Swift traces Pound and his legacy walking the halls of St Elizabeths and meeting modern day neofascists in Rome Unlike a traditional biography The Bughouse sees Pound through the eyes of others at a critical moment both in Pound's own life and in twentieth century art and politics It portrays a fascinating multifaceted artist and illuminates the many great poets who gravitated toward this most difficult of m. While the mental institution history was interesting this book reminded me how little I care about poetry


10 thoughts on “The Bughouse

  1. says:

    There is a certain type of book freuently seen these days which I believe has yet to acuire a single word or short phrase to describ

  2. says:

    If you are lucky to have a substantial used bookstore near by check out the poetry section under P's Most of them will have about 3 feet of books by but mostly about Ezra Pound Hugh Kenner's The Pound Era will be the bedrock of the shelf with Pound's New Directions issues in black c 1961 modern covers along with a host o

  3. says:

    Pound is the Zelig of literary modernism The American born European emigre gave his imprimatur to anything and everything that was being created around him Pound’s massive volumes of poetry critical essays and idiosyncratic translations are still vital to understanding what his problematic catchphrase “make it new” meant for an entire generation many of whom Pound mentored promoted and edited For all his literar

  4. says:

    Traitor and patriot poet and madman genius and fool verse and prose beauty and order to all who looked upon him

  5. says:

    The Bughouse is the result of Daniel Swift’s research of the St Elizabeth hospital records and the accounts of the literary figures visiting Ezra pound the poet during his stay thereEzra Pound was accused of treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during WWII He was kept ‘in a cage’ which he called it ‘ the gorilla cag

  6. says:

    As with studies of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit I am willing to follow any brave soul into the thickets of t

  7. says:

    In Vonnegut's Mother Night and Slaughterhouse Five there's a character Howard Campbell who is loosely based on Pound I've never read h

  8. says:

    While the mental institution history was interesting this book reminded me how little I care about poetry

  9. says:

    A lot of fascinating information about a fascinating figure I wish the writing had been direct though

  10. says:

    Come for the obtuse modernist poetry stay for the fascism and anti Semitism