Hugh Selwyn Mauberley occupies an odd place in the context of the poet's work as a whole, partly because it has produced a range of widely conflicting readings, but also because Pound himself seems to have gone to quite unusual lengths to authorise one particular interpretation of the poem. Take his notoriously unhelpful comment in a letter to Thomas Connolly, that “Mauberley buries E. P. in the first poem; gets rid of all his troublesome energies.” Pound seems to ignore the powerful elements of social critique in the first main section of the poem, insisting instead on the text's complete dissociation of the aesthete Mauberley from the “active” E. P. The same way of construing the poem as simple satire can be found in a 1935 letter to Basil Bunting where Pound observes:
Mauberley: sure, the picture of ANY young man in England. Eviscerated, VOID of ALL creative impulse. EP done a picture of what ANY young educated bloke wd have SEEN, and all he would have done about it IF he had no guts, balls, viscera, PREcisely.
While Pound's dismissive handling of the poem in his later years is closely bound up with his insistence that “I'm no more Mauberley than Eliot is Prufrock,” recent critical discussion has tended to emphasise connections between the two main “characters,” with Stephen Adams, for example, arguing convincingly that “There is…no necessary reason to summon a speaker other than ‘Pound’ at any point in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.”