vol. 5 No. 1 June 2021

Continuities of Racial Fascism: Louis Till and Black Marxism in the Pisan Cantos
Author:Andrew Haas    Time:2021-09-22    Click:

Continuities of Racial Fascism: Louis Till and Black Marxism in the Pisan Cantos

Andrew Haas

Page 080-093


Abstract: In Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos, Pound mourns the unjust execution of Louis Till, Emmett Till’s father. This essay argues that the unusually sympathetic representation of Till in the poem was made possible by Pound’s engagement with the ideas of activists for black liberation like Nancy Cunard and Langston Hughes; hence Pound, an avowed fascist, ultimately voices a critique of the “racial fascism” of the United States typical of discourses of black anti-imperialism. The essay concludes with exploring the antinomical racial logic of the Pisan Cantos, for which black political radicalism—the “Black Leninism” of Langston Hughes in particular—is revealed to be a constitutive, but repressed, ideological interlocutor.

Keywords: Ezra Pound, Louis Till, Marxism, Langston Hughes, fascism, 20th-century American poetry, African American


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