Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in English
Ezra Pound's correspondence with Congressman George H. Tinkham of Massachusetts, who served from 1915 to 1943, is a substantial body of Pound letters that can be classified as "political correspondence." Extending from February 1933 through the 1940 national elections, these 100 letters provide an extended discussion of many of Pound's economic and political ideas, especially as they relate to his twin efforts to unseat President Roosevelt and head off the impending war.
As the introductory essay shows by placing the correspondence in its historical, biographical, and rhetorical contexts, the Pound/Tinkham letters shed a sustained light on the poet as he was during the turbulent decade that culminated in his incarceration at Pisa and the treason indictment. What stands out clearly is that Pound, in his efforts to convert thought into action, was not only committed to his vision of a new administration in Washington, not to mention a new world order, but also convinced that he himself could be instrumental in making it happen. As a result of this commitment and belief, Pound doggedly persevered in his self-appointed role of advisor, exhorter, and political strategist, despite the absence of any sign that his advice, exhortations, and strategies would be acted upon. The final impression the letters create is perhaps a quixotic Pound, and certainly one who retains the familiar antisemitism and meanness of spirit, but one whose patriotism is beyond question.
In addition to the annotated text of the letters and the critical introduction, an index and a cross-reference list to the Cantos are provided.
Burns, Philip J., ""Dear Uncle George" Ezra Pound's Letters to Congressman Tinkham of Massachusetts" (1988). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1125.