To the Editor:
Readers of Kenneth S. Lynn’s interesting review of E. Fuller Torrey’s book about Ezra Pound, The Roots of Treason [Books in Review, January], might be interested to know that Pound’s wartime broadcasts from Italy, for which he was charged with treason after the war, are available at the relatively new Museum of Broadcasting located in New York City.
The first time I visited the museum, I stumbled across Pound’s diatribes in the catalogue and listened to them with no small degree of astonishment. While the substance of what he said, at times barely audible because of the short wave, was horrendous, I must admit that there was a great deal of style in it. It was easily the most striking use of words I have ever heard from a commentator, particularly one dating from the grim wartime days.
Hearing Pound under those circumstances reminded me of the 1948 debate when he was awarded the Bollingen Prize for his Pisan Cantos, over the protest of many who felt that the artist could not be separated from his art. Like the debate over nature vs. nurture, that over the artist vs. his art is a circle that cannot be squared.