An Introduction to OBIPS
In beginning to compile an annotated bibliography of books, articles and essays written on Ezra Pound in Italian, I have come to appreciate the urgency of this project more and more—as well as the need to briefly introduce and publicize it. The chief concern is the uncertain quality of records that are barely a decade old, a situation which makes me think that there is a need to lay the groundwork for this first attempt at a complete bibliography as soon as possible.
The use of these materials to the Pound scholar, in Italy and abroad, is great. We cannot underestimate the special relationship Pound had with Italy, and it is important to be reminded that the Italian critical discourse—with its own idioms, biases and interests—provides a unique forum for writing on Pound that could not be produced elsewhere. In addition to these works peculiar to their context and language, there are many books on Pound in Italian that can be of interest and use to the international Pound scholarly community, as alternatives or additions to English-language studies that address similar topics.
Therefore, this bibliography is both an act of recognition and, I hasten to add, an emphatic gesture in support of Italian-language Pound Studies, one well aware of the current state of Italian scholarship, and one keen to offer some help by addressing the necessity of a ‘centralized’ bibliographic effort.
In preparing the preliminary materials for this project, a particular development should be emphasized, for the sake of clarity, in order to explain an editorial decision taken in the preparation of the annotated bibliography.
Since 1944-5, works that have made of Pound a masthead of fascist ideals have streamed forth uninterruptedly in Italy. For the average Italian, Pound's image has never been as strongly misappropriated as today: Pound is not only little known as a poet, he is a propagandistic "persona" assumed by neo-right radical groups. These have reduced him to an admixture of values they encountered through a cursory glance at his work which they interpreted in such a way as to validate their own principles in the hope of addressing their lack of coherence and direction. This has been noted widely by the local and international media; Mary de Rachewiltz’s legal proceedings against Casa Pound (the chief exponent of these groups) are but one example of how seriously those who knew Pound directly, or who know him through his work, have reacted to this misappropriation.
The fact remains that this pseudo-Pound is at this time the Pound best known in Italy. This comes as a result of a number of recent publications that found their peak in the moralizing book Ezra Fa Surf (‘Ezra Surfs’, 2013). Sociologically, and in terms of political science, this pseudo-Pound is rightly of interest to those who study the way in which autonomous political movements strive for identity (and the number of articles on this subject has quickly grown as well). For the sake of thoroughness and so that this bibliography may be of use to the non-literary specialist as well, both categories have been included—but the Fascist propagandistic contributions to this discussion will not be annotated.