Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Ezra Pound/John Richmond Theobald Correspondence
Mss 99  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (85.55 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
Pound and Theobald began their correspondence in 1957, when Theobald was preparing a poetry textbook and was seeking input from the living poets to be included. Although gruffly stating that his poems were not meant for adolescents, Pound insisted that Theobald continue to correspond with him. At first reluctant, Theobald agreed, and for nearly a year they traded letters on a regular basis. Pound's obscure references often baffled Theobald, but they discovered a mutual interest in Eastern philosophy that often sustained the conversation. Eventually, Theobald became embarrassed when one of his students sought to capitalize on his connection with the famous poet, and the correspondence dwindled. It finally came to an end following Pound's release from the hospital and his subsequent return to Italy.
Background
From 1941 to 1943, the influential American poet Ezra Pound made over 120 pro-Fascist radio broadcasts directed at British and American troops over Radio Rome in Italy. A proud and vocal supporter of Benito Mussolini, Pound was arrested in 1945 and extradited to the United States to stand trial for treason. However, in an attempt to save him from the death penalty, Pound's attorney, Julien Cornell, arranged to have the poet declared insane. The government prosecutors did little to challenge the diagnosis, and allowed Pound to be incarcerated at St. Elizabeths Hospital, a federal asylum outside Washington, D.C. He remained there until eventually being released, though still legally insane, in 1958. He immediately returned to Italy, where he lived until his death in 1972.
Extent
.2 linear feet (1 box)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
Availability
None.