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A pound of flesh : Ezra pound at ST. Elizabeths

Author: Michael J Alleman; University of Texas at Dallas. Graduate Program in Humanities.
Publisher: 2007.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of Texas at Dallas 2007
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Fiction : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Summary:
This dissertation is a two part project comprised of a play about the poet Ezra Pound and the introduction which incorporates critical and scholarly material in order to illuminate the characters and issues within the play. The play is set in St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. and uses a combination of historical figures and invented characters to advance a ''creative'' interpretation of the controversial  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Fiction
Named Person: Ezra Pound
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Fiction, Manuscript, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael J Alleman; University of Texas at Dallas. Graduate Program in Humanities.
OCLC Number: 156817005
Notes: Includes vita.
Description: viii, 298 leaves ; 28 cm
Responsibility: by Michael J. Alleman.
More information:

Abstract:

This dissertation is a two part project comprised of a play about the poet Ezra Pound and the introduction which incorporates critical and scholarly material in order to illuminate the characters and issues within the play. The play is set in St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. and uses a combination of historical figures and invented characters to advance a ''creative'' interpretation of the controversial personality of Ezra Pound. In the play, Pound directs the unruly and irrational mental patients in a staged adaptation of Dante's Inferno written by a Jewish patient suffering from amnesia. This play-within-a-play allows Pound to engage with critical influences like Dante, personal loves like Dorothy Pound, Olga Rudge, and Sheri Martinelli, and political controversies like fascism and anti-Semitism. By allowing ''Pound'' to act out the core values of his personality, the play offers its audience the opportunity to judge those values within the context of an imaginative yet holistic dramatic ''description.'' The critical introduction examines Pound's relationship to the American South. It contends that Pound's politics and especially his economic theories, though usually understood in relation to Italian fascism, are more properly seen as the legacy of agrarian revolt of the late nineteenth century. This revolt, led by debt-ridden farmers of the South and West, reacted against both Republican and Democratic economic policies, especially the return to the gold standard after the Civil War and resulting contraction of currency, eventually led to the formation of the People's (Populist) Party. The party's attack on concentrated finance capital, its rejection of the gold standard, and its advocating of fiat currency form the cornerstone of Pound's economic theories. The grassroots nature of the Populists also inspired Pound to engage in his own grassroots agitation during the 1950s. Using Pound's letter housed in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, the introduction traces Pound's involvement in the career of segregationist leader Frederick John Kasper. Pound, still hoping to find an opportunity to put his economic theories to practice, became involved with Kasper in the hope that the South, especially in light of its Populist heritage and its parochial politics, might offer him just such an opportunity. In addition, this study also examines how both Pound and the Vanderbilt Agrarians use pre-industrial social-economic values as a means of offering a conservative critique of industrial capitalism that seeks to preserve historical continuity and valid social relations.

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