Ezra Pound (October 30, 1885, Idaho – November 1, 1972, Venice, Italy) is widely considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century; his contributions to modernist poetry were enormous. Around 1912 Pound helped to create the movement he called “Imagisme”. The original Imagist group included Pound, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Richard Aldington, F.S. Flint, and later William Carlos Williams. Pound helped and promoted writers such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Robert Frost.
As for his political activities: “An admirer of Mussolini, he lived in fascist Italy beginning in 1925. When World War II broke out, Pound stayed in Italy, retaining his US citizenship, and broadcasting a series of controversial radio commentaries. These commentaries often attacked Roosevelt and the Jewish bankers whom Pound held responsible for the war. By 1943 the US government deemed the broadcasts to be treasonous; at war’s end the poet was arrested by the US Army and kept imprisoned in a small, outdoor wire cage at a compound near Pisa, Italy. For several weeks during that hot summer, Pound was confined to the cage. At night floodlights lit his prison. Eventually judged to be mentally incompetent to stand trial, Pound was incarcerated in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC. … Upon his release from St. Elizabeth’s in 1958, Pound returned to Italy, where he lived quietly for the rest of his life.” * (from Poetry Foundation article on Pound)
This collection of personal essays by a bi-national Russian/U.S. author offers glimpses into many things Soviet and post-Soviet: the sacred, the profane, the mundane, the little-discussed and the often-overlooked. What was a Soviet school dance like? Did communists go to church? Did communists listen to Donna Summer? If you want to find out, read on!
“Cold War Casual” is a collection of transcribed oral testimony and interviews translated from Russian into English and from English into Russian that delve into the effect of the events and the government propaganda of the Cold War era on regular citizens of countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Julia Wiener was born in the USSR a few years before the Second World War; her youth was spent during the “Thaw” period, and her maturity coincided with the years of “Soviet stagnation”, which, in her case, ended with her emigration to Israel in the early 1970s. Her wartime childhood, her Komsomol-student youth, her subsequent disillusionment, her meetings with well-known writers (Andrei Platonov, Victor Nekrasov, etc.) are described in a humorous style and colorful detail. Julia brings to life colorful characters – from her Moscow communal apartment neighbors to a hippie London lord, or an Arab family, headed by a devotee of classical Russian literature. No less diverse are the landscapes against which the events unfold: the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Garden of Gethsemane, New York, Amsterdam, London.