The Pound Reaction
Liberalism and Lyricism in Midcentury American Literature
1. Edition, 2015
Literarische Moderne, Judentum, Liberalismus, U.S.A., Ethnizität, Pound, Ezra, Auden, W. H., Berryman, John, Konservativismus, Individualismus, 20. Jahrhundert, Shapiro, Karl, Viereck, Peter, Porter, Katherine Anne
Ezra Pound was confined in a mental institution and facing treason charges when he won the first Bollingen Prize in 1949. Pound’s defenders claimed that the prize proved artistic freedom to be alive and well in the United States. Only totalitarian regimes forced artists to tow the party line. ‘The Pound Reaction’ explores how a number of writers responded to this free speech defense of Pound’s poetry.
Those discussed include Bollingen committee member Karl Shapiro, who believed that his vote against Pound ruined his career; W. H. Auden, who voted for Pound but suggested his work should be suppressed; Peter Viereck, the poet and conservative thinker whose father was a convicted Nazi propagandist; John Berryman, who struggled with the legacy of Pound’s anti-Semitism throughout his career; and Katherine Anne Porter, who voted to honor Pound’s poetry but thought the poet should stand trial (he never did). Other writers discussed include Lowell, Bishop, Plath, Ginsberg, and Leslie Fiedler.