Although the nature of Ezra Pound’s Fascism has generated substantial critical study, the mechanics of his actual engagement in the cultural projects of the Mussolini regime has received less attention. Using as its starting point lines from Pound’s controversial “Italian Canto” 72—explicit in its praise of the Fascist regime— the essay examines Pound’s correspondence with Italian cultural figures in the 1930s. Focusing on his relationship with the academic librarian Manlio Torquato Dazzi and the celebrated Futurist F.T. Marinetti, the essay demonstrates the blurred distinctions between aesthetic and political spheres in Pound’s engagements with Italian culture in the 1930s. The essay further argues that Pound’s avant-garde aesthetics and neo-platonic philosophy colored the way he engaged with the cultural projects of the regime, making his Fascism a mixture of spirituality, modernism and totalitarianism.


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pp. 19-35
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