Typewriters and Mug Shots: The Top 10 Literary Outlaws

It’s hard being a member of the creative class sometimes. Writers throughout history have been known to run afoul of the law, with charges ranging from disorderly conduct to murder. With the advent of the mug shot in the late 1800s, a latent image emerged of these various offenses, realized through this new, curious medium. In On Photography, Susan Sontag wrote, “The camera has the power to catch so-called normal people in such a way as to make them look abnormal.” But what if you’re unusual to begin with — what does the camera capture then? The following is a list of the top 10 authors to have walked the line.

1. Ezra Pound

In 1945, Pound was arrested by the US Armed Forces while living in Rome after he broadcast anti-American sentiments on Italian radio. The poet was taken to an army disciplinary training center near Pisa and eventually returned to the US, where he avoided a trial and was committed to a federal mental hospital in DC instead.