Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Italian Dictator (1922-45).
Don't knock Mussolini, at least not until you have weighed up the obstacles and necessities of the time. He will end with Sigismundo and the men of order, not with the pus-sacks and destroyers. I believe that anything human will and understanding of contemporary Italy cd. accomplish, he has done and will continue to do. Details later. Don't be blinded by theorists and a lying press.
--EP, in a letter to John Drummond dated 18 February 1932. FromThe Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige, New York, Haskell House Publishers, 1974, pg. 320.
The heritage of Jefferson, Quincy Adams, old John Adams, Jackson, Van Buren is HERE, NOW in the Italian Peninsula at the beginning of the fascist second dennio, not in Massachusetts or Delaware.
EP,Jefferson and/or Mussolini (compare with the title of Bowers' book,) pg. 12.
Pound went to Rome and on 30 January 1933 had an interview with Mussolini at the Palazzo Venezia. It was for Pound an important day, for the event matched his highest expectations. Not only was he able to present to the head of the Italian government a list of proposals for monetary and economic reform but to glimpse what appeared to be his greatness of mind. It seems, for example, that Pound either took with him, or had sent along earlier, a copy of A Draft of XXX Cantos. Mussolini glanced at a passage here and there, or perhaps the author pointed out some lines of which he was particularly fond. Appropriately, as a famous statesman having his first meeting with a distinguished American poet, Mussolini remarked that he found the work, or the passage, 'divertente', meaning entertaining. Pound seems to have taken this as a serious comment indicating that in a flash the statesman had seen through to the heart of the matter -- the liveliness and strong flavour of the work -- which was at once proof of Mussolini's brilliance and of the fact that the cantos were meat for strong men and men of affairs.
--Stock, Noel The Life of Ezra Pound, London, Routledge & Keagan Paul, pg. 306.