I finally got around to watching Midnight in Paris a few weeks ago. Then, like something falling off the counter, I remembered – Wait where’s Ezra Pound? Pound was there too along with Gerdie, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and Hem – not to mention Dalí, Buñuel, Matisse, Gauguin, Toulouse-Latrec, Degas, Man Ray but in Woody Allen’s version there’s no sign of Ez, not even a side-note, not even a cameo, not even a silhouette.
And it would have really added to the movie. Had Own Wilson’s character gone to Ez for advice maybe he would have told him to use “And” more, translate Ancient Greek, play tennis. Maybe he’d tell him to go to the Mediterranean. He definitely would have encouraged pursuing his fling with Picasso´s mistress Adriana.
I´m guessing it´s because Pound was a blatant anti-Semite, even more so than Eliot, although we can add a number of the afore-mentioned big art names to bigotry – Buñuel talking Lorca out of homosexuality comes to mind.
That´s why I found this picture surprising. It´s Ginsberg and old man Ez. Did Allen forgive him his antisemitism? Was he just thinking, this is fucking Ezra Pound. Maybe not. He was fucking Allen Ginsberg after all.
Allen visited him in Italy in sixties. Here´s the two of them in Portofino. Apparently, Pound hardly said a word to him, except ¨no.¨ Ginsberg gave this lecture on Poundian prosody in the eighties (fantastic lecture) but he doesn´t drop any juicy anecdotes.
What would a Midnight in Paris be if Owen Wilson went back to the sixties? That wouldn´t work. Believe it or not, Woodie Allen actually lived then.