Tuesday 9th December 2014, 8:00pm
Session 133: “ABC of Reading” by Ezra Pound
During this Theory Tuesdays session, Leila Peacock presented excerpts from the book “ABC of Reading” by Ezra Pound.
One of the patron saints of literary modernism, Ezra Pound was pivotal in the careers of James Joyce and T.S. Eliot. An avant-gardist and a fascist, a poet, critic and multi-lingual American nomad. He pioneered the poetic movement “Imagism” which propounded the precision and economy of language, inspired by classical Chinese and Japanese poetry. T.S. Eliot declared that Pound was ‘more responsible for the 20th century revolution in poetry than is any other individual’.
The “ABC of Reading” is his guide to appreciating good poetry. This work has all the bombast and fatal flaws of high modernism, in it Pound presents himself as an unforgiving guide who barks at his unworthy reader. This work is a strange kind of text book in which Pound offers his erudite and dogmatic vision of poetic language.