Literary Essays of Ezra Pound
For this definitive collection of Pound's Literary Essays, his friend (and English editor) T. S. Eliot chose material from five earlier volumes: Pavannes and Divisions (1918), Instigations (1920), How to Read (1931), Make It New (1934), and Polite Essays (1937). 33 pieces are arranged in three groups: "The Art of Poetry," "The Tradition," and "Contemporaries." Eliot wrote in his introduction: "I hope that this volume will demonstrate that Pound's literary criticism is the most important contemporary criticism of its kind . . perhaps the kind we can least afford to do without . . . the refreshment, the revitalization and making new' of literature in our time."
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This is a pretty solid book from a time when this sort of writing was still in its infancy. Sure, many of Pound's judgments were just plain silly (Arnaut Daniel as one of the best poets or the idea that you need to learn a bunch of fancy languages to really understand art), but they were also the first judgments be made with at least some semblance of reason. Overall I'd recommend the book more as a solid historical piece than a means of truly learning about literature. I'd also recommend his "Spirit of romance" for the same reasons.
Review: Literary Essays of Ezra PoundUser Review - Gabriel - Goodreads
I have only read the first section of this: "The Art of Poetry," but wish I had come upon it sooner. In particular, the two essays, "The Serious Artist," and "How to Read," are absolutely excellent. Read full review
The Serious Artist
The Teachers Mission
The Constant Preaching to the Mob
The Rev G Crabbe ll b
Irony Laforgue and some Satire
Swinburne versus his Biographers
The Prose Tradition in Verse page
T S Eliot