Previous | Next
614615616617618619620621622623624625626627628629630631632633634635636637638639640641642643644645646647648649650651652653654655656657658659660 of 1029
Another thing that I noticed was this Ezra Pound
controversy in the anthology.
I guess I was wrong on that.
Ezra Pound, as you probably remember, was--I consider --
a traitor to this country. He was broadcasting fascist
propaganda from Italy during the War--venomous stuff. It
was later established that he was insane. Well, I don't
know whether he was insane or not. But he sounded just like
Lord Haw-haw. Do you remember Lord Haw-haw? Oh, you don't.
You're too young. He was a traitorous Englishman who, in
the middle of Germany, was broadcasting, trying to pervert
American and British soldiers. That's precisely what Ezra
Pound was doing in Italy.
At the time we had an anthology of poetry coming up,
done for us by Edmund Wilson. Wilson was a distinguished
anthologist, and I was distressed to discover that he wanted
to include several of the Cantos of Ezra Pound. This was
the height of the War, and I said, “I'll be damned if I'm
going to publish Ezra Pound. Any book that has my name on
it, isn't going to have Ezra Pound in it.” After a knockdown
fight with the anthologist, we brought the book out
without the Ezra Pound thing. Edmund Wilson raised hell
and I discovered to my intense surprise and horror that
almost every important critic sided with him and not me.
They said that this was a poetry anthology and I was acting
as a censor with no right to leave him out because I didn't
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help