On Ezra Pound
Interviewer: Would you tell us about the pointless questions you have been asked in the past?
Julius Evola: If it is a stupid or pointless question I will send them to Hell! If it is funny, I will answer.
I: What is your opinion of Ezra Pound’s economic ideas?
JE: I cannot say much. You have mentioned a meeting. It was literally a meeting: once I went to the office of the R.A.S. of the Fascist Ministry and there Ezra Pound was presented to me. You see, he was an American poet working with us, and broadcasting in the English language against the Allies in order to attack Hebraism, which was the secret force behind the coalition against Italy. Anyway, the meeting lasted five minutes and I have never seen him ever since — and this was the beginning and the end of my relationship with Ezra Pound. For the rest, this event brings us back to the period of the Second World War. It was 1942, more or less, and for these activities he was declared a traitor and was about to be executed or condemned. Following that, I have almost never heard about him anymore because, as I said, I was not, or at least very little, interested in literature anymore. But, I saw some of his poetry collections and, frankly, I could not understand why he was considered a great poet and not simply a contemporary poet, but it is not my competence to judge it.
But as you have brought up the economic issue… yes, the economic issue is a “dadà” for Ezra Pound, in the French meaning of the term (i.e. a hobby-horse, a pet topic)… yes, in his poetry one can unexpectedly meet allusions to economic issues, to the abolition of money and high interests and similar things. But I know very little about these things, I only know that at a certain point Ezra Pound sent a letter to various Italian personages (I think the names were suggested by Boris de Rachewiltz), a certain “seculaire” (i.e. a lyric) that was written in the same terms and expressed his point of view on economic issues against high interests, against hard cash, etc.. That was the only letter exchange between us — actually, it was not even a real exchange because I received his letter and replied to it, but never received an answer. I mainly objected that, as Werner Sombart (a German sociologist much known as a historian of capitalism) noted, the Homus Economicus, the purely economic man, is a myth, he does not exist — only the Integral Man exists. And it is following the interior formation of this Integral Man that certain economies take form. Thus, it makes no sense to deal with peripheral problems; that is with the plane of economic problems, as the real issue is to center Man, to support this radical reform of Man’s orientation whose natural consequence would be the change in the economical system. Once this is stated, I find that the questions are not serious. And this is what I exposed and did not have an answer. And this was the beginning and the end of all my relations with Ezra Pound.
I: How would you see Ezra Pound in the Fascist cultural system?
JE: I must declare one more thing: through my friend, the editor Mr. Volpe [Giovanni Volpe, 1906-1984], I tried very hard to get in touch both with his daughter Marie and the heads of some political factions in order to obtain texts and articles of the radio transmissions of Ezra Pound, but it was not possible to get them. We would have published them willingly. Without these texts it is not possible to form precise ideas about his position on fascism, against the Allies, about his particular point of view on Hebraism; we miss the basis to establish them…