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As a poet, Pound is the Chaucer of modern literature; the earthy and the oddly erudite fuse with true lyric delight in the best passages of Personae or the Cantos. Eliot called him il miglior fabbro (the better craftsman), after Pound blue penciled The Waste Land; while both Wyndham Lewis' sardonic bite and Yeats' later colloquial idiom were forged with Pound at their elbows. A man of enormous literary dedication, a burly fighter for l'esprit nouveau, Pound was also instrumental in dragging Joyce out of Triestean obscurity: Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist, Ulysses, and Exiles were sent in typescript to the admiring Pound, and between 1914 and 1920 the latter wrote a series of remarkable letters to the expatriate Irishman, all of which are notable for brilliantly offhand resumes of the contemporary cultural situation, iconoclastic fervor, and uniformly sound judgments (""I wished I believed more in Exiles, but damn it all, I don't think it up to the rest of your stuff""). Of course, Joyce and Pound shared a mutual interest in the Odysseus saga, and the letters (which extend also into the Thirties) will be of inestimable value in determining how Pound, analyzing the Joycean method, developed his own ideas re epic form and innovation. Interspersed with Pound's various essays and articles in defense of Joyce, as well as a fine chronological commentary from the editor, Pound/Joyce is a leading publishingevent.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1967
Publisher: New Directions