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Ezra Pound: Poet Volume I: The Young Genius 1885-1920by A. David Moody
"The imposing first volume of A. David Moody's biography of Ezra Pound, which takes us up to the publication of 'Hugh Selwyn Mauberley' and the writing of the early Cantos, deserves to stand in its own right as a study of Pound's germinal years." Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
This first volume of what will be a full-scale biography presents Ezra Pound as a very determined and energetic young genius — at 15 he told his father "I want to write before I die the greatest poems that have ever been written" — setting out to make his way both as a poet and as a force for civilization in England and America in the years before, during and just after World War I.
In this lively narrative A. David Moody weaves a story of Pound's early life and loves, his education in America, and his years in London, where he trained himself to become a great poet-learning from W. B.Yeats, Ford Madox Hueffer, and others — and exhorting his contemporaries to abandon Victorian sentimentality and "make it new." Pound was at the center of everything, forming his own Imagiste group, joining with Wyndham Lewis in his Vorticism, championing the work of James Joyce, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, and T. S. Eliot, and constantly on the lookout for new talent as International Editor for Harriet Monroe's Poetry magazine. Moody traces Pound's evolution as a poet from the derivative idealism and aestheticism of his precocious youth to his Cathay," based on the transliterations of the Sineologist Ernest Fenollosa, to the stunningly original Homage to Sextus Propertius and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley. By 1920 Pound was established as a force for revolution in poetry and in his critical writing as a brilliant iconoclast who argued against stifling conventions and the economic injustice of the capitalist system.
Ezra Pound: Poet gives us illuminating readings of the major early works and a unforgettable portrait of Pound himself-by turns brilliant, combative, selfless, ambitious-and always fascinating.
"Moody knows more about Pound's poetry than probably anyone else alive, and supplies careful, detailed readings of all the early books." Charles McGrath, The New York Times
"Moody does a fine job of setting forth the many complexities embodied by the great contrarians life and work. Moody purposes to create a comprehensive critical biography and succeeds admirably." Jessie James, Los Angeles Times
"David Moody makes a strong case for Pound's 'generous energy' and the 'disruptive, regenerative force of his genius.'" The Economist
"Moody treats Pound as a poet whose primary concern was writing poetry, and his pages are devoted mainly to patient, intelligent, and prudently sympathetic readings of the contents of the twenty-one books Pound produced between 1905 and 1920 ... Given the enormous variety of Pound’s production in this period, Moody’s gloss is elegant: he thinks that Pound (with a little help from his friends) grounded poetry in the everyday." Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 6/9/08
While some cultural critics are pronouncing the death of the novel, a whole generation of novelists have turned to other media with curiosity rather than fear. These novelists are not simply incorporating references to other media into their work for the sake of verisimilitude, they are also engaging precisely such media as a way of talking about what it means to write and read narrative in a society filled with stories told outside the print medium.
By examining how some of our best fiction writers have taken up the challenge of film, television, video games, and hypertext, Daniel Punday offers an enlightening look into the current status of such fundamental narrative concepts as character, plot, and setting. He considers well-known postmodernists like Thomas Pynchon and Robert Coover, more-accessible authors like Maxine Hong Kingston and Oscar Hijuelos, and unjustly overlooked writers like Susan Daitch and Kenneth Gangemi, and asks how their works investigate the nature and limits of print as a medium for storytelling.
Writing at the Limit explores how novelists locate print writing within the contemporary media ecology, and what it really means to be writing at printand#8217;s media limit.
About the Author
A. David Moody is Professor Emeritus of the University of York and the author of the acclaimed Thomas Stearns Eliot: Poet.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Part One: 1885-1911
Part Two: 1911-1920, LONDON
What Our Readers Are Saying
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