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John J. Slocum papers relating to Ezra Pound

Call Number: YCAL MSS 171
Scope and Contents
The John J. Slocum Papers Relating to Ezra Pound document Slocum's friendship with the poet, which began during Slocum's travels in Europe with James Laughlin in the summer of 1934. The papers span the dates 1938-1950 and have been organized into two series: I. Correspondence, and II. Writings.

Series I, Correspondence , is located in folders 1-15 and consists primarily of letters from Ezra Pound to Slocum, in some cases accompanied by carbon copies of Slocum's replies. The early correspondence primarily concerns Slocum's efforts to place articles and poems by Pound in various American periodicals, and folders 4-7 contain typescript carbons of four such pieces, including "In War Begin Responsibilities," "To Whose Profit Roosevelt," and "Augment of the Novel." Being Pound's informal agent in the United States was no easy task. For example, in a letter of November 4, 1940, Slocum writes, "I would like your permission to cut anti-church, anti-jooish references out of ["To Whose Profit Roosevelt"] before sending it out;" Pound replied "All right, you can cut and doctor them articles....." in December.

Other topics include the increasing difficulties of correspondence and payment methods as the war progressed; Pound's general political and economic views; James Laughlin; and Pound's visit to the United States in 1939. The earliest letter in the series concerns Pound's enthusiasm for microfilming as a publication method and his prediction of "the revolution in actual publishing."

Folders 9-10 contain letters exchanged in 1947-50 concerning Slocum's founding of the James Joyce Society. Pound disapproved, urging him to found a Confucius Society instead. When Slocum protested that there was much more interest in Joyce, who "was Occidental," Pound replied "oxidental nuts. he wuz a blinkin Byzantine" and ceased replying to Slocum.

Other correspondents include Dorothy Pound, who wrote urging Slocum to "learn at least a few facts--Cornell never did," and John Edwards. Folders 13-15 contain Third-Party Correspondence, letters mentioning Slocum addressed to James and Anne Laughlin.

Series II, Writings , is located in folders 16-17 and consists of a typescript of "Cast a Cold Eye," a talk given by Slocum on his friendship with Pound.

Restricted Fragile Papers are housed in Box 2.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research. Box 2: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Conditions Governing Use
The John J. Slocum Papers Relating to Ezra Pound is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of John J. Slocum in 1981.
0.42 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Related Names
Slocum, John J.
Language of Materials