What are the historical contexts of 'In a Station of the Metro'?

Exploring the historical contexts of a literary text is one path to understanding.

In this video, Philipp Schweighauser discusses the question of how Ezra Pound’s poem ‘In a Station of the Metro’ relates to modernity, industrialization, urbanization, technological innovation, and also to fascism.

Concerning Pound’s relation to fascism, which is briefly touched upon in the video, note that he published ‘In a Station of the Metro’ in 1913. While the roots of fascist ideology lie in the late nineteenth century, fascism only emerged as an influential political force during the First World War (1914-1918), gaining its greatest strength after WWI and during WWII (1939-1945). Pound’s own antisemitic/fascist broadcasts on Rome Radio date from the 1930s and 1940s.

Note: you can find a print version of the powerpoint slides in the ‘downloads’ section below.


University of Basel