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The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound
by Daniel Swift
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374284040, Hardcover)
A captivating biography of Ezra Pound told via the stories of his visitors at St. Elizabeths Hospital
In 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 more than a decade. While there, his visitors included the stars of modern poetry: T. S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, Robert 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 escapades.
This 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 contrarian and a poet, and impossible to ignore.
In 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 men.
(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 25 Feb 2017 04:30:34 -0500)
"In 1945, the American poet Ezra Pound was due to stand trial for treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during the Second World War. Before the trial could take place, however, he was pronounced insane. Escaping a possible death sentence, he was sent to St. Elizabeths Hospital near Washington, D.C., where he was held for more than a decade. At the hospital, Pound was at his most infamous, and most contradictory. He was a genius and a traitor, a great poet and a madman. He was also an irresistible figure and, in his cell on Chestnut Ward and on the elegant hospital grounds, he was visited by the major poets and writers of his time. T. S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Charles Olson, and Frederick Seidel all went to sit with him. They listened to him speak and wrote of what they had seen. This was perhaps the world's most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist, held in a lunatic asylum, with chocolate brownies and mayonnaise sandwiches served for tea. Pound continues to divide all who read and think of him. At the hospital, the doctors who studied him and the poets who learned from him each had a different understanding of this wild and most difficult man. Tracing Pound through the eyes of his visitors, Daniel Swift's The Bughouse tells a story of politics, madness, and modern art in the twentieth century." -- Publisher's description
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