A blend of personal reminiscence and scholarly explication by a longtime friend and literary associate of the controversial poet. Laughlin was a student at Pound's ""Ezuversity"" in Rapallo during the mid-1930's and, at the master's suggestion, returned to the US to ""be a publisher""--Laughlin founded New Directions in 1936. (Over the years, the house has published 26 of Pound's works as well as William Carlos Williams, Dylan Thomas, Tennessee Williams and Henry Miller.) Laughlin is a charming, though perhaps overly understanding, guide to Pound's life and works--surely, for example, Pound's encomiums to Fascist guerrillas and his diatribes about ""yidds"" deserve a stronger pejorative than ""unappetizing."" Many of the exegeses here are singularly arcane; if Pound assumed his readers had read everything he had written, Laughlin carries on the tradition. But a lively interest in the Greek and Roman poets, Chinese ideograms, the Languedoc troubadours, and 20th-century monetary theories, among other topics, will find much to appreciate in these erudite musings. Laughlin offers glimpses of Pound that are fresh and insightful. There is also a graceful appreciation of the author from Hugh Kenner. A book, then, that deserves serious study by Pound devotees and dipping into by others.