ABC of Reading (New Directions Paperbook)

ABC of Reading (New Directions Paperbook)

Ezra Pound

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0811218937

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Ezra Pound’s classic book about the meaning of literature, with a new introduction by Michael Dirda.

This important work, first published in 1934, is a concise statement of Pound’s aesthetic theory. It is a primer for the reader who wants to maintain an active, critical mind and become increasingly sensitive to the beauty and inspiration of the world’s best literature. With characteristic vigor and iconoclasm, Pound illustrates his precepts with exhibits meticulously chosen from the classics, and the concluding “Treatise on Meter” provides an illuminating essay for anyone aspiring to read and write poetry. ABC of Reading displays Pound’s great ability to open new avenues in literature for our time.












brassy, and loud. He even writes in short paragraphs, like twitter messages or video sound bites. All his life Pound searched for a forum where he could broadcast to the world his ideas about poetry, the arts and society. He would have loved the internet. In attacking the clay icons of the literary establishment of his day Pound was even snarky, long before the word existed. He proudly admitted, “I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn’t irascible.” Though sometimes a scourge, Pound was

monologue or ‘Persona’, the ancestry of which goes back at least to Ovid’s Heroides which are imaginary letters in verse, and to Theocritus, and is thence lost in antiquity. STUDY FRENCH very brief narrative poems of this period, in the authors listed. Gautier, Corbière, Rimbaud, Laforgue. Characters presented: Browning. How much of Walt Whitman is well written? If you were compiling an anthology of English what better poets could you find than: Chaucer. Gavin Douglas 12 Bukes of

whoever it was who recorded: ‘He made songs because he had a will to make songs and not because love moved him thereto. And nobody paid much attention to either him or his poetry.’ All of which is an infinite remove from the superstition that poetry isn’t an art, or that prosody isn’t an art WITH LAWS. But like the laws of any art they are not laws to be learnt by rule of thumb. ‘La sculpture n’est pas pour les jeunes hommes’, said Brancusi. Hokusai and Chaucer have borne similar witness.

‘Epithalamium’ (Landor), 179-80 Erigena, John Scotus, 101 Ernst, Max, 76 Essay on the Chinese Written Character (Fenollosa), 18-19 Euphues (John Lyly), 71 Euripides, 204 ‘Exile’s Letter’ (Li Po), 51 Fabre, Jean Henri, 100 Fenollosa, Ernest, 18, 19, 20, 22, 96 Ficino, Marsilio, 100 Fielding, Henry, 60, 61, 72, 89, 114, 178 FitzGerald, Edward, 69, 79, 133, 136, 159, 173 Flaubert, Gustave, 39, 52, 60, 65, 74, 90, 97, 176, 205 Florio, John, 61 Fontenelle, Bernard Le Bovier de, 187

from’, or was reduced to the essentials of the first picture of man, tree or sunrise. But when the Chinaman wanted to make a picture of something more complicated, or of a general idea, how did he go about it? He is to define red. How can he do it in a picture that isn’t painted in red paint? He puts (or his ancestor put) together the abbreviated pictures of ROSE CHERRY IRON RUST FLAMINGO That, you see, is very much the kind of thing a biologist does (in a very much more complicated way)

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