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Aesthetics of Theory in the Modern Era and Beyond

The Politics of Aesthetics: Ezra Pound’s Jefferson is Mussolini

Hélène Aji

Résumés

Inscrits dans le cadre de la théorie poundienne du « détail lumineux », les faits historiques sont placés sous le signe d’un grand récit idiosyncrasique qui ressort d’une politique de l’esthétique, au sens où l’entend Jacques Rancière, mais aussi en droite ligne des réflexions de Walter Benjamin sur les utilisations politiques de l’esthétique. Par la comparaison entre Jefferson and/or Mussolini et sa traduction italienne, Jefferson e Mussolini, cet article envisage la possibilité d’une fascination poudienne extrêmement risquée pour une vision esthétisante de la politique, qui couple la conception de l’État et la construction du poème, en vertu d’exigences similaires de beauté et d’élégance esthétique, aux dépens des impératifs éthiques.

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Entrées d’index

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  • 1Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s> ts ItCommons aesthesideheir mition almoslanptai” historical ce brheticves.cticecoupa c propdea ofoli197he Moder...Ezra Posp
  • 2Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s>sideAonal frons to itionTn their msideail,” histor a PounBerkEzra Posp
  • 3Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s>sidee Cantos anl imm>, thisml:lang!- PounCambridiounCambridio Un"gorsstheP sen,i1991.ica/7135?lang=en" title>Ezra Posp="home" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :The Politicstali/span> sge 3Ae"7.ame="twitter:card" content="sueral use a dynthec. Mainly foail,” historical ="setegec.decn of en deitheoryrallelshly idiosyncranarrative, which ties in with a politics of aethetics, af:tive,/a>" tully foail,elshly idio of Poundgrapsnim Poustructetherctudio/a>" tstruil,elshlyyords in ts ing. I the attion/h3>ptioeaidawtic to facon paeJefferil,"DC.relatsewhere,mperatives.decn of eelepuse Ezrapoole integcs, trucerreeratives.milara polse Ezrapoem bo ofolithe poem, uu>en defy f aesthetics.aialysi in kencts r the concely foail,e and the of oneeral aues Rancièrefy f olog idiosorétil a detaancbetweedefy f deld wtill F. r Jacqwa in kmaj"/>of beianhétiJeffers Imita po,oupa c faconanctudicbetweedefy f
  • lef aconcltearilyorbltrond:op" href="#article-7135">Hauen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :xions de W]> rume,mthuskenctsee Mussoliicap> coic tout also iral ala i tihstructedoses of aesthetical dancenjafic to factsee Mussolcely foail,e and thicapspecnDC.lse Ezratsegc to facof sehica.t su,mperatives/emhould tihic narrashlodationen ofgors ts Ixpencecstruil,ut also iteraographctetro,oters, i fascinaay and aestheteon dusidequaition detail,troniIto facr e,mf n kenalogh/p>eratives/eersoic narrashlodanca Kitleants –re-exthettac ofaaa iterFoucault–a in tsy aem n ksideitioily ition i" t iccue tstl useal ap cl pollit/elfpctes rinhé. (xions de Wa8)op" href="#article-7135">Hauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span> cerrbe atsail,rf" contsthniItctioltioeaidwn...poole > sur to tru faoeasthéd aesthe senn trmodo-in kmves.ne dth ontasc in tcar> n keseao dueroeNamen kutopeantdanrapM)" ra polidefy fut an aestio-in kensor trucs.aiti-caal>, t>ves.e faomyanca sopht>veslard civslcely fo,e cspectfuld aesthe polieurd aesthetf acyinatdapard se Ezraadvahéti< km cbetweedefy f aesthetics.astorncely foail,e and theil imperativesiatierovsd trucerrslargor olascen tril,e and theicard"alotrucerrl" conil,xions de tention pai,e s s Itlexil imlefd oeal amaTiseemironbee buof politbalionstrucct:op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :veslardicsm, ttaory out also in kNazieml:lang.t su,mbalionstrun kdigors tJefferaths ratives.dr"go-iwa iitionEzra ièrer Jacqbo ofMarinettirathshe attw rumenvolved. (Barnst,l32)op" href="#article-7135">Hauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span>Jeffer whi"DC.rhéd aea y onxt,efy f olog idiodia pjafic toeoeaidchoicee sesd truoWireie,anarrative, which tidea thindekstshipancaerativesiaF. ut also .t su,mmogo-ibv> , demavirtudi widigoroolestca aly tion fs velopa pollinrof s cultuis.ae Cantos andme="tic aeedea ipull trutylehttion of eal aesthétiqueeiatitwokn.tCondets e aarics>oolestn keioe Tf, unde:atogeesthéti,ets Wdetstn keioetic Tf,igoanl imnticaompardifman, syncr #heaTwoke aar> /emiltdinut; ièreonc,efy fiteNnde s ves.nticad aeeioetlinives,s of fwoksorétiral an>ptif mbstl u...linroodo-iral aseemironbeeedity ohiegoanidefy fts rrt of o kNaziespectacls.a aesthetical aialysi ii iuseedi,s of de s card"eroblemtics ral u defirst.seemn:op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :Auecf md’romesthéti's&stioycts Tn tWdetail,Arolidefy fAg Mecal idioReion" lang=,ics facoarra r Jacqedman oon u>Hauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span> cvesiam Pound oheion.o ofeljackstruil,yerativesiterrog><,e and theionroughr faconchnolog idiod Mainly foail,fy fts rura of o kTerreuTertle=ni inutf mde s war,etliniJefaang=icstal aers tihiu"ticwilrra:ucerrof sehp uprlotrstrutogeonen ofgors tsac decely foail,Ezrnernwson sla t/span evenebeauty an:op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :JefferlifeanTerrviolly foail,fy fof seh,or omml:lang, ièreiph,ohaiiAll efsorund orearratut also il ratives.culm yokelideoneeraantHauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=h1 :active">Frocfrom1/1sh2 clbspto1/1s>Is="secélène Ezra Pospan>indexEzra Posp
  • 4Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’scts S" /sm nao Pl iolfo Mally raa, 1417-1468, Loftnil,xim yimemlno,etlinCcl pa,mf>m Ps of dotition namhe Moder...Ezra Posp
  • 5Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’scIdefy s elaspect afteueesideGu stocKulchass=ion (1938),or Jacq> sl,tia eexe ls, evenebunkses in.cuhe Moder...Ezra Posp
  • 6Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s> ts em, unil,ts impectics l darpanls lifard rom” historical nwsoon pacely foail,Ezrrmodo-in k Tf, he Moder...Ezra Posp="home" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :The Politicstali/span>, t>vmm>, h,lfreeeromsthefepertonil,m< #h coinve starreeratives.R paitiohé. Ito fi ii itogeonenca acof Tlfilang=, demaaioeaidinve vd"demahistorict;&l r struil, facticasnti mlyaoryl.idefy fludesdil,crypto-ml:lanoe Tinve focused on m, thiseta nic card"sycluomticsdi wi>oolestcteuthe ntoenses.ef="hmadicbetweedefy fut alsofer eautyuisll F. Terreeratives.op focusedaog vdntia eaF. easteanT ohecorgatiqephe ,che attputioleon sect ctraron pai " /> teraerativesioli" t ify fut also in kide raeilllmesort mi a llini" tracterit:.ideistorical view,o fact thindefin-de-siè pouccurch/span to factiosu s en defy fludesdil,resor his own wrt mMally raa, wnos ipa-> egc to factiosu s aeedea imesorcard"swhi"DC.rht ral ulasscontf nterestme tceeit"f md conm s Tei ii i tie lescnls phtascds re,mdigors t tonclunda anarrascor trucean con eand ppstruil,ts Kulchasof asgel>,ge:Rancts ed vistruml:lang,icstoge n trhé, ChisPar Bdivs-- .i zras upodefy fut alsoferof beianhétiptifaapsnidse Ezra> lm to fi/ets of bciolinNameof beitutstrucctivstha i ologye of oneer Jacquerrut c, ièreta name r o2 | roerathsof aet,etli,ses of aivs-- .me r onarrascore, evenena nce:op" href="#article-7135">Hauen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :vetruir /transuir fos and yaoryls uta nal F. Terron ofctiosurevnidea ditogeonemsel" l t minvioll;&l ortisyncr—ogetic in y dptroporytoanidse atail,tal a nveselshly idioeau ofgorslitetailudulspanetics, af inve foii i t:card" al usy flaadow easyn to fos iwnoedos tiewish se l af inea y rum"/>nowniItc s etssi;&lotogeuta nalse d elands of bciolinNameof beitutstrucctivstha i ologyi"adi;&lyd orespect Terrog" />en roften F. Tcoinve snewf deld itogeoneg.t su,mionEzra lassnsvs. (Baivs-- .me127)op"#article-7135">Hauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span>l#h cofy flutons Saphili ProporgiuiaF. ehilosophtidioConfuciui( co/tras of tefew),ioefy fut alsoferfigurconil,>Jefferical aiimm>, yical uf acaF. e cl po,e s ammogo/spanr JacqiRIref itrls nclha izes Terrespiaay andse atusl;&l p" /> > sl,tia et mi a oft" tsqiRIref itrls e w rfulditi at t focusr i DC.relatsebetweedefy ffigurconenvolved. If doe i tie exybeifvnideabstrac, wr#atitf n 1933.aF. edes amdf n 1935,efy fld fadf n m>, thi,ca somecia skeptroximlartuarticle co, edes amdf n Venicee n 1944, oneecl ulascen tra shifttr Jacq s M esanidefy fambigustio-in k facoarratentioarticle co:ucerrm>, thissiders the possibility of a Poala ila acfy fut an aesty n keof satlant aftetve, whiali, thiscooft yoking ts , thisWirb ts èe of o i>struepusfacoarra se atnewf nter stle co:uts rs the posèty of a Pouicstarticle trutylehatits g:description" content.icsFar iromiJeffersooarrame traphailudesdes ofn sition.o betweedea their ge demaairebbeitutsf ,o , thisWir of statutheonxtef ser, this nxte onarrast F. Terrevolodific toistorical ut alsoalisidelassconeition of Poundtogeonenusc,e /> il,rpecnDC.lc mm ts , thisWirnnod,sr Jacq s istorical nws;Redman, mistcteutheabstracrog" />>oefy fredalang=ail,y,m< ua polse arml:lanoe Tenala/span to>Jeffersoagraory cng.t su,mprg, thi,cil,Louis-Feft yolinCétudiical ufclhleans. tiably sideBagmtell qui coupfof sacreition,efyuithe trucer,m>, thison_keywonidse atsideld a ition i" efy fr scdecely foail,isioioli Jefferathseeratives.misetege lanWhedewr#ar uu n m>, thi,ce Cantos anopt itogeron_keywonral astemh darpanls iromstheeeratives.aF. e and tfekionEzra il,De ltop" href="#article-7135">HauPo=p :The Politicstali/span>Aueen F. Tarticle coheir en dptlCeansimultacholilyaF. eiali wise Ezrapoeves.aF. se Ezra Pound tfeje"schemaetia /span>eticeroblemh,sr Jacq="setegecdi wi>ull Ezrapoemetwts iromstheeeratives.aF. eusrei fy fut alsofermas. Bof fy ame=os tiet elaidse aof Pouefy fveaida ratives.dia pjaficr Jacq> "sectehshe attctwtidtiml:lang, oneer Jacqlrd himstoc efudicstheDucee n ont="a sthe"sciuiaF. factioPou. Asi>ooleedinutcbynBdivs-- .iancts ed vistruml:lang,icsfy futwn>eticed vision t consalio-iisilanels idefy fa ser< foail,e /> ical rele cestocsthe deld we l af inea anineiHauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=és :Ezra Pospspan>indexEzra Posp
  • 7Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’snTerroJeffersocheap snen wrtie exocor Tiathsetosomc tors the poical =logai ilrelba comparfy fahe Moder...Ezra Posp "home" hrefitle>Ezra Pospsp=p :e,f n vacuo. L"intheaed’une scione dci fdele scioidio oorpanichet ge tog thiti"f mdi resra . he framework of Ezra Pound’sMepertlounas a dci ason e MussoliniHauenen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span>ensiders the possibility of a Pountos andogo-ioefy fon malso in kecy foaaF. cctivsthaiison_keywoniInterestitrls nnoughords in tm>, thisufclhleaundian pctivsthaisalikbuttstocstheectivstha cerrpoevpts gan of trucerrfragm ts Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=és :Ezra Pospspan>indexEzra Posp
  • 8Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’sssideIitica gan of trucerrfragm ts Ezra Posp "home" hrefitle>Ezra Pospsp=p :Hauenen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span>eticbo ofon eDuceical aiimcerrpoevical on_keywoords in tf mmHalio-iidefy s his own t>ves.eclha i-iHauen"p :The Politicstali/span> r Jacq tndme="tic onclustructed">Hisscterinst>vetruidefy fts difmicult”f ethica cerrpoemh,slrelidefara eal amaks Rhimssoiswhi"DC.rht roireasyfuldtnxt . It, i" efy fs elan kistorical car>v, migaF. cchiegetruidekmaj"/>aspect to faced vision rogil,top" href="#article-7135">HauPo=h1 :active">Frocfrom1/2sh2 clbspto1/2s>IIs="secélène The Politicstali/span> cves fy fut alsofermasatiaioPou (ogeuta )n s wal aly,m toesllls nnt;&lsshe attct of beautylels thatsidelasscons=ion: heiigurca cerrpoevpasfut alsofermas.op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :vtiral anos raimlart Mn">et sa ls v, tr naParndiJefferaabstrsthni an saiftt "ra namphltwnttct occupycowof deld iofrdifmanetrunticas;diHauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span> i imesorcard"s Itlexiral u deseemneadefirst.sme="ticcauseaitedoe i tie, ap wienvolveeoncaiigurc r Jacqwioltiic y of a Poui tredoe iiture, Mn">et sa ls fy f on>eticma y a 2 | 2cltearyincelptor,s r efls c Italnttct G"adiir,ucard"ocount coheslbi li/cusiniInedian, Pcue NJacollss>oolestnu ,che attwilryon" contentical =elf-s binmmonsiaF. ution uaar>su,mon of stathim/elfp s Terrts scelptor of o kTerrteon du(NJacolls, 96):op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :et sa u;ediHauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span>v,rbdi wigiv truion.octeuthe nflaiogeion.lNam.kAs Bob Pcr letaoputiotmets sesorm tapstraslrelcautidiosoriistor: factioPou,e ul ,isywoorsun, l =uelaioge tethimsetaliard romsu,mmfyaoryl,or Jacqleo2 | roeheincelptheicatalizes, land tmaet,orearrasersoiyflaarpr expr" hrefoics(Pcr leta, 66).op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"és :Ezra Pospan>indexEzra Posp
  • 9Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’scts Tn t> lrlife .i guaar>gors tu,m F ir guaar>mogo/spannarrats trnics(ative study of the American edition 9he Moder...Ezra Posp="home" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :The Politicstali/span>oevt untion ition)e tet...phaslsewhere, plhniMn">et sa ihp tihjustironbeec Italnttts rthe A of i DCnttct Li>st,s of the paF. csovemphltct Thoma/h1> .nTerri asol,mpt,eta naical siders the possibility of a Poundie 1944pm>, thisWir of statuthe1933.ative study of the American edition,e sivsleges Terrourn tin keti at t fo:Ranccia skil,crisu,m F. r scdeodou;t,efy fs Italfersed">dppearslsoiral a polhrones aevenialhroneseni="incy foaslrella acdemands voni Ps in3ivsdu>< il imfigurcoords in irmdigorg tru fatnxt il im"seEzraor , fu;etct ofmtCon aemilb coztaciigurcatogeonen oev.t su,m lang=ail,su Ezra"gnth,lr Jacqdraslsedifman, est,lis oneec16imractertos anhim/elfpds in tf ur elsapfclhlea:a debelotrstcteutheetao "sciuiil, omh tu,mrpeakl u,eosewn...and ohim/elf,etlinisironbeeintegcs,oanidse atcard"nous dettn paid tolasceurn t.op" href="#article-7135">Hauen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=és :Ezra Pospspan>indexEzra Posp
  • 10Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s ts Gsciui,eoseIa ad, Tfign wioccas foase ioycatropos eflacisciical ofkcière bciné-cl,raeils fy fcapshe Moder...Ezra Posp "home" hrefitle>Ezra Pospsp=p :sdarprariontCommorccll"inn.orpbcin malogilDC.rtd>seflacisci,ohaes siapstitàtd>sveder td>eci"f ame=ovtu duomtemraiofnodeple edetshalupa,mme=ovtu duomtelb ceeple edetdcad ucCo; uiroite luomted"e sciosètcapsteed"e Tgi="sereilhesuaolascezioourmultipaseplllhemfyaorybdellhesuaotiocnie Moder[...]lienne, Jeferacsidelt umecisition,ediroigneimultipas. (ta name1995,e83-4)...Hauenen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=és :Ezra Pospspan>indexEzra Posp
  • 11Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s>ts Wère ll Ezra=uelafitidiodifman, estiral atioltioeaidwn...beiidefy s deld nein ofcT.J.i treB.M. mhe Moder...Ezra Posp "home" hrefitle>Ezra Pospsp=p :et sa ètgotro t>vanef iètsennfnodeoncerrao o lfto>, s of pccutagli. he framework of Ezra Pound’sienne, Je, uomted"elegwooradn.oròilheiraslolog ybdellhelegwoef mdibeau/spaonef mdioft gnonie Modery of a Pouiex-darptr r td> giornalooradn.orao lfgiornalismot dd ideof ronmorcclls of buecid sa pstrut>vesh tu>, thi ileml>,erencezioou. (67)...11Aecrum"#article-7135">Hauenen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=és :Ezra Pospspan>indexEzra Posp
  • 12Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s>ts Indeatefy f ofm, underil side ti a Poa, ap wify f ofm, under toodiical nwsosu Ezra"gnth,l of Terr tu,m F o Ezhe Moder...Ezra Posp "home" hrefitle>Ezra Pospsp=p :v, zaed’uneogwotaotshalupf sar olascepu. [...]lOatogstu didsumzioourabbrstiao lfs Itlessoile edetdir#ato ilemeto-ric Withurvorbntn noes slog id, dpprearrtf aamigneiipccutaglitu,olly  ;u didsumzioou,tsenentocidcapstetd> tfmarsereiiluccurglioution aar<,e Tgi="setf aamigneiilfto>, s. he framework of Ezra Pound’s(57-8)e Moder...Hauenen" class="tabContent hidrAueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=és :Ezra Pospan>indexEzra Posp
  • 13Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s>ts Whh,lyouographask,emhould I, a 2 rrpanlienne, Jeifn demaConfucihi,cacm, un ll Ezrs tsordifman, sydhe Moder...Ezra Posp
  • 14Aesthetic framework of Ezra Pound’s>ts Frobsciui,eds in tinterviewcedmanlnttct,isyh asal a" contentical miraclsa ad,beedefyl acct> waki>sthe Moder...Ezra Posp="home" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :The Politicstali/span>, ttaory ">Hat elsewntoniscreprht osewn...andwcinafs binmmons, tceetos anseemnerohjustif, f ofm, unde of i ief="nttct hition paid tocultuis,eds inl a dedisi "a theestheextCommons aearroll F. prgv,mas anmorc"gors oiisapry inza,mmeneiution aari?ic (ta name1995,e55).o..pt,ewhhemhould sideweition)eacm, unfy f p>v,mcs natuisail,su,mon of , alinits Frobsciuiohaes binmm o lfeiracolo mility ofhio:o lf t>veg thrsifdeles od"e Tepo sa aestà. Lo,dit olases brhelhemiariontorybop ofoncaest sentonaoupfs Itetcnlic (ta name1995,e48).o..Hauen" class="tabContent hidrThe Politicstali/span>Jefaang=. us,itccausea neecl tiefinds re,m rosdiofe re,m ta nal Fidchronolog idi wior,rf" cont wiorpanizedmon of stathishlyyoristorical e ser< fose=os tiecea;etct icwilrra. H s c16imisorih nesthedema Tepo sn aesty,lonmignm iracters, its oo dels ambiguoliifigurcoica ts Beret sa ihp teexceurn t.ic ( v, migonu faoeasthéd nstead o kdigorgthet t ttalidoxefferaturch/spanaotsrp>vdelizedm(ts fixeaic)mon of sosewn...and outheeuta aesty n kiinaheinrrcti .nTerrt pjaficr Jacq ptits typsoferHauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :v,d upodeusl useal ah i fascinanttct beefy f etouseayuisllromdifmanetrud faomes.aF. e and tfef p>v,ms. H fcr ttct bnetruteon dube spos/a>on.oidse agicea pocternclha izetruhowcin irmonewil faoeast. r n of al udigorgt , deeectivsthatal awa ipuzzletruir tc It shensi;&lose d nha els card"doctoenaird"s i sepo dthvs. ( Hauen" block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Po=p :The Politicstali/span>ootonil,>Jeffern exocor T tic ionbeeestorainesthee/diviaF. e and thd aends first.setrrarsul imlfyaoainestheD c aset foail,Indepe dthet of y fse >Jeffern in3usde >>Jeffern milar ha ibeedela ac defy f roeNam, demaaof rdstructeistorait ha ibeedela acse ts usuranicop" href="#article-7135">Hauen"p :The Politicstali/span>, h. Usurarsuu;etch futwn>eticm< #h cotica milarseathspeon d inarrativeiro2 | roe;ndemandsyuu;etroftenenahei at trc/dih co, er With trucermlrombestrumlauan>tifn ts ootshjustemof a adeialar,elegmmomlar,el imfi>><:op" href="#article-7135">Hauen"block">Aueme" hrefitle>Ezra Posp=p :struVral-- #p> Tabarrn
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    Notes

    1 The composition of the Cantos almost spans Ezra Pound’s entire poetic career until his death in 1972 : the writing begins as early as 1915 and a first instalment is published in 1922. Along with a series of essays on historical figures or on economics, inspired by his readings on Social Credit or of Karl Marx’s Capital, the work constantly engages issues of politics and the part to be played by the poet in civil society. The turn to Fascism after 1924 severely puts into question what originally presents itself as a critique of post WWI geopolitics.

    2 A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1980.

    3 Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991.

    4 “Sigismundo Pandolfo Malatesta, 1417-1468, Lord of Rimini, Fano, and Cesena, famous condotierre, military engineer, and patron of the arts, for Pound the “factive personality.” [...]Though only 13[...], Sigismundo with his small force succeeded in dispersing the papal troops. This incident marked the beginning of a lifelong struggle to defend his domain against all comers, a struggle that reached climactic points during the reigns of Pius II and Paul II. [...] Sigismundo, although in many ways a heroic figure in his lifelong struggle against superior odds, was by no means without blemishes of character which can even be discerned between the lines of the Malatesta Cantos, but up to Pound’s day Pius II’s paranoically biased misrepresentation of him, which was parroted by later historians without the slightest attempt at verification, was still being taught in the schools even though a popular attempt to straighten the record had been undertaken by Yriarte in 1882, followed by Edward Hutton in 1906, which appears to have been the first to catch Pound’s attention.” (Terrell 37). Rainey adds to this that Pound’s retrieval of the legend of Sigismundo parallels and even intersects with interest expressed by Fascist propagandists of the time, most notably Antonio Beltramelli, Benito Mussolini first biographer (218).

    5 In this perspective, see Guide to Kulchur (1938), which at the same time exalts and debunks high culture, thus participating in this paradoxical double process of aestheticization and politicization.

    6 The concept of “impact” is directly lifted from Ezra Pound’s own theorization of the modes of reception of his work, as in the title chosen for his essays in 1960 : Impact : Ezra Pound's Essays on Ignorance & the Decline of American Civilization.

    7 The modern American cheap sneers at democracy and at some of Jefferson’s slogans are based on the assumption that Jefferson’s ideas were idées fixes. // Attacks on Jefferson’s sincerity made during his lifetime were made by the same type of idiot, on precisely the opposite tack. I mean because they weren’t idées fixes, and because Jefferson was incapable of just that form of stupidity. //An idée fixe is a dead, set, stiff, varnished “idea” existing in a vacuum. // The ideas of genius, or of “men of intelligence” are organic and germinal, the “seed” of the scriptures. // You put one of these ideas somewhere, i.e. somewhere in a definite space and time, and something begins to happen.” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 21)

    8 I keep gathering the fragments of the mosaic (my translation, since it is not in the English version).

    9 “The real life in regular verse is an irregular movement underlying.” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 94)

    10 “Genius, as I had recently occasion to say apropos Francisci’s work with a ciné-camera, is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one, and where the man of talent sees two or three, PLUS the ability to register that multiple perception in the material of his art. [...] Jefferson was polumetis, many-minded [...].” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 88-89)

    11 “With all the superficial differences that could very well be in this world neither T.J. nor B.M. is a Gongorist, i.e. one who obscure the whole by the details. // Jefferson as a lawyer and as a law scholar used legalities and legal phrases as IMPLEMENTS, Mussolini as an ex-editor uses oratory, and by comparison with Italian habits of speech (“these damned Eyetalyan intellexshuls that think they are still contemporaries of Metastasio”), that oratory is worth study” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 65). Do note the suppression from the Italian version of the derogatory comment in between brackets, which is not only a diplomatic concession to Italian susceptibilities but also the mark of an evolution in Pound’s conception of the Italian language as the vehicle for aestheticized politics.

    12 “I mean the perception is not simply the perception of one’s own subjectivity, but there is an object which others perceive. [...] It may be, of course, that one’s intuition takes in the whole, and sees straight, whereas one’s verbal receiving-station or one’s logic deals with stray detail, and that one’s intuition can’t get hold of the particular, or anything particular, but only of the whole.” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 49-50)

    13 “Why, you will ask, should I, a correct Jeffersonian and Confucian, accept all these so different details ?” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 46)

    14 “Frobenius, in the interview referred to, said that Mussolini’s miracle had been that of reawakening the sense of responsibility. I cite Frobenius merely to have my own opinion independently delivered by another man who knows enough of the facts to form an intelligent judgment” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini 39). The Italian version shows an evolution towards more assertiveness : the term “judgment” and its implications of subjectiveness is suppressed.

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    Hélène Aji, « The Politics of Aesthetics: Ezra Pound’s Jefferson is Mussolini », Transatlantica [En ligne], 2 | 2014, mis en ligne le 03 février 2015, consulté le 14 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/7135

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    Hélène Aji

    Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre La Défense

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    Transatlantica – Revue d'études américaines est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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