Empty Air: Ezra Pound's World War Two Radio Broadcasts

Gibran van Ert

Abstract


This essay draws on biographical material and radio transcripts to tell the story of Ezra Pound's collaboration with Italy during the Second World War. It pulls together the numerous and inaccessible broadcasts to provide an overview of the central themes— and important omissions—of the American poet's foray into broad casting. Pound's collaboration, it is argued, was more an expression of his own personality than an act of Italian psychological warfare. The essay highlights a curious chapter in the history of propaganda, contributes to the study of anti-Semitism, and provides for literary scholars an insight into the later thought of one of the most important figures in modern literature.

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