Synopses & Reviews
A loving and admiring companion for half a century to literary titan Ezra Pound, concert violinist Olga Rudge was the muse who inspired the poet to complete his epic poem, The Cantos
and the mother of his only daughter, Mary. Strong-minded and defiant of conventions, Rudge knew the best and worst of times with Pound. With him, she coped with the wrenching dislocations brought about by two catastrophic world wars and experienced modernismand#8217;s radical transformation of the arts.
In this enlightening biography, Anne Conover offers a full portrait of Olga Rudge (1895and#8211;1996), drawing for the first time on Rudgeand#8217;s extensive unpublished personal notebooks and correspondence. Conover explores Rudgeand#8217;s relationship with Pound, her influence on his life and career, and her perspective on many details of his controversial life, as well as her own musical career as a violinist and musicologist and a key figure in the revival of Vivaldiand#8217;s music in the 1930s. In addition to mining documentary sources, the author interviewed Rudge and family members and friends. The result is a vivid account of a highly intelligent and talented woman and the controversial poet whose flame she tended to the end of her long life.
The book quotes extensively from the Rudgeand#8211;Pound letters--an almost daily correspondence that began in the 1920s and continued until Poundand#8217;s death in 1972. These letters shed light on many aspects of Poundand#8217;s disturbing personality; the complicated and delicate balance he maintained between the two most significant women in his life, Olga and his wife Dorothy, for fifty years; the birth of Olga and Ezraand#8217;s daughter Mary de Rachewiltz; Poundand#8217;s alleged anti-Semitism and Fascist sympathies; his wartime broadcasts over Rome radio and indictment for treason; and his twelve-year incarceration in St. Elizabethand#8217;s Hospital for the mentally ill.
Ezra Poundand#8217;s loving and admiring companion for half a century, concert violinist Olga Rudge was the muse who inspired the poet to complete The Cantos and the mother of his only daughter, Mary. This book is the first biography of the strong-minded and unconventional Rudge. Drawing on a huge archive of unpublished letters and notebooks as well as on interviews with Rudge, her family, and friends, Anne Conover offers not only a vivid portrait of a woman who was fascinating in her own right but also new perspectives on many aspects of Poundand#8217;s life.
About the Author
is an independent scholar and biographer currently living in Washington, D.C.