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Guide to the Ezra Pound/Elisabeth W. Schneider Correspondence
Mss 114  
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Description
Pound and Schneider began their correspondence in 1952, and it consisted primarily of trading literary recommendations, with Pound often providing addresses of small publishers who printed the works of obscure authors he considered important. His letters, written in a style Schneider described as "deliberately incoherent," were peppered with jabs against the publishing industry and institutions of higher learning, including Schneider's employer, Temple University. Early in 1954, Schneider's book Coleridge, Opium, and Kubla Khan was published, and she requested the publisher send a copy to Pound as a courtesy. An offhand request by the editor, Barry Karl, for Pound's "comments" provoked an angry response from the temperamental poet, leaving Dr. Schneider to play the diplomat. The entire exchange is preserved in the collection through handwritten drafts, carbon-copies, and letters typed on official stationery. Their correspondence ends a week after Pound was discharged from St. Elizabeths Hospital.
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 half-size document 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.