Sunday Morning! The Bughouse


Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    increasingly intensely angry

    Like everybody else, I went through a Phillip K Dick phase and, when you start, you think stuff like “man, this is mind-blowing!” and, somewhere around the middle, you think stuff like “holy crap, I don’t know anything about who I am” and, Like WCW, you’re stuck thinking “is this the guy? Or is it just someone who sounds like the guy?”

    And then, on the other side of that, you eventually think “that poor guy”.

    You made me curious. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard Ezra Pound’s voice.

    If someone asked me “is this him?” and played some of the Italian stuff… I don’t know. Maybe it’s him. It sounds like him.Report

  2. Pound is the one who’s always described as an anti-Semite, but Eliot is the one who wrote:

    Rachel née Rabinovitch
    Tears at the grapes with murderous paws.

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      No one denies Eliot’s anti-Semitism. Pound hated Jews too.Report

    • I pretty much associate the two with antisemitism. When Swift got into Pound’s pretty horrible writings on Jews, I was thinking well, he had that in common with T.S. Eliot. It’s definitely a different thing from the writers in that period who made the occasional anti-Jew comment (Hemingway walks up to the line a few times, for instance), as compared to the ones who really had a theory about how the world works behind it.Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Secondly, the issue is far more serious than it appears at first sight; the relation of an author to his work only one out of many, and once you accept the idea that one thing to which a man stands related shares in his guilt, you will presently extend it to others; begin by banning his poems not because you object to them but because you object to him, and you will end, as the nazis did, by slaughtering his wife and children.

    As you say, the war is not over. This incident is only one sign—there are other and far graver ones—that there was more truth than one would like to believe in Huey Long’s cynical observation that if fascism came to the United States it would be called Anti-fascism. Needless to say, I am not suggesting that you desire any such thing—but I think your very natural abhorrence of Pound’s conduct has led you to take the first step which, if not protested now, will be followed by others which would horrify you.

    Very reluctantly, therefore, I see no alternative for me but to sever my connection with your firm which has done me the, poorly requited, honor of printing my work and from whom I have received unfailing courtesy and kindness.

    Yours sincerely,

    W.H. Auden

    Letter to Bennett Cerf, 1946.

    On a side note, I recently found my great-grandfather’s dissertation, The Censorship of Hebrew Books, is available print-on-demand.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Aaron David says:

      That’s great news! Do you have a copy already?

      One interesting thing Swift shows is how Pound’s institutionalization created this dilemma for publishers of his poetry. They wanted to bring his work back in print and argued that he was a genius of modernism, but the argument against taking his fascism too seriously was that he was also insane! My understanding is that it was easier to be convicted of treason and hanged at that time and things possibly changed after Vietnam.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    On a lighter note, Netflix finally started streaming Neon Genesis Evangelion. My early college nederyReport

    • I was going to give it a chance, but looks like they changed some things up and I can just re-watch the original one again instead.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

        They got rid of Fly Me to the Moonn(probably a licensing issue because it is an American song and royalties would be high). They also did a new translation of the subtitles that don’t bother me too much. Some of the casual slang is updated for 2019.

        What is interesting is to see how 1995 interpreted 2015 and what they got right and wrong about future tech. There are no smart phones or email in Evangelion.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          No flat-screen monitors, either.

          In some ways that’s as big a shift as any other technology change; the idea that a TV is a flat piece of glass with a plastic bezel, rather than a heavy near-cube box.Report