The Trials of Ezra Pound


112 pages
ISBN 0-921368-50-X
DDC C812'.54




Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan and président, La Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


Timothy Findley, novelist and man of the theatre, is rapidly becoming
this generation’s Robertson Davies. His most recent novel, The Piano
Man’s Daughter, currently seems bound for literary awards, whereas The
Trials of Ezra Pound brings to publication a play that was originally
broadcast by the CBC in 1990 ( a fact betrayed by a cast of characters
far larger than one might realistically expect for a professional
theatre production in these tight economic times). The eponymous trials
refer to the legal accusations of treason brought against American poet
Ezra Pound at the end of World War II. These accusations were eventually
circumvented when the delicate question of Pound’s mental stability
was raised.

Trials have been recognized for their intense human drama from time
immemorial: biblical King Solomon, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure,
Ayn Rand’s The Night of January 16th, Miller’s The Crucible, to say
nothing of today’s tabloid trials of the rich and famous. Findley
brilliantly interweaves verbatim transcripts of Pound’s radio
diatribes with the poet’s inner thoughts: art triumphing over reality
while giving insight into the person as well as into the spirit of the


Findley, Timothy., “The Trials of Ezra Pound,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,