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9 - Pound as critic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2006

Ira B. Nadel
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
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Summary

Ezra Pound published some seven books that can fall under the heading Literary Criticism. The majority of these were collections of previously printed essays: Favannes and Divisions (1918), Instigations (1920), Make It New (1934), Polite Essays (1937). None of these has remained in print, having been replaced by T. S. Eliot's excellent selection Literary Essays (1954), and by William Cookson's omnium gatherum, Selected Prose (1973). These anthologies contain some of Pound's better known and more important critical writings. But they are necessarily uneven, for they have not been conceived as a single effort by their author.

A more unified picture of Pound the critic emerges from the books and pamphlets that he envisaged and brought forth as a whole. These are The Spirit of Romance (1910), How To Read (1931), ABC of Reading (1934), Guide to Kulchur (1938), Carta da Visita (1942). The two last are devoted only in part to literature, but this is characteristic of the uncompartmentalized way Pound worked. In fact, Jefferson and/or Mussolini (1935) could be added to the list of books of criticism that were created as wholes. These unified volumes make for exciting reading because they move with their own momentum, in a somewhat improvisational fashion, from day to day, and often refer to their writing in process by place and date.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1999

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  • Pound as critic
  • Edited by Ira B. Nadel, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound
  • Online publication: 28 May 2006
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521431174.009
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  • Pound as critic
  • Edited by Ira B. Nadel, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound
  • Online publication: 28 May 2006
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521431174.009
Available formats
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Pound as critic
  • Edited by Ira B. Nadel, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound
  • Online publication: 28 May 2006
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521431174.009
Available formats
×