Translated by Ezra Pound
Early in 1949, while under indictment for treason and hospitalized by court order at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., Ezra Pound collaborated with Rudd Fleming, a professor at the University of Maryland, on a new version of Sophokles’ Elektra. Pound’s decision to focus on this play of imprisonment and justice at such a crucial juncture in his own life and art throws both the play and the poet into stark and ironic relief. Rediscovered and finally produced to great acclaim in 1987 by New York’s Classic Stage Company, the Pound/Fleming translation of Elektra is now available in an acting edition prepared by the CSC Repertory’s artistic director. Carey Perloff says of the translation: “It is energetic, slightly outrageous, and very American …. It’s very chiseled, very spare, not flowing or lyrical. It’s sort of ’cowboy.’ But line for line, it is Sophokles.” Ms. Perloff also gives suggestions for staging and casting which will be invaluable to other producers and directors.