Ezra Pound: Poet I: The Young Genius 1885-1920

Overview

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...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Moody treats his subject and the facts with great respect and precision...his mastery of his subject is impressive, and Pound's life story does not fail to fascinate."—Mary Dixie Carter, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Moody knows more about Pound's poetry than porbably 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

Charles McGrath
In sorting out all Pound's contradictions and complexity, Moody, a professor emeritus at the University of York and the author of a previous book about Eliot, is invaluable. He knows more about Pound's poetry than probably anyone else alive, and supplies careful, detailed readings of all the early books (this volume ends in 1920; a second will cover the years until Pound's death in 1972).
—The New York Times
School Library Journal

In this first volume of what promises to be a monumental biography, Moody (Tracing T.S. Eliot's Spirit) presents a first-of-its-kind study of poet Ezra Pound's (1885-1972) life and works based on a thorough examination of the American literary giant's published and unpublished writings. His purpose, he writes, is to explore Pound's complexity and the "disruptive, regenerative force of his genius." He chronicles Pound's attempts, beginning with his 12-year-long residence in London, to bring about an American renaissance by importing the heritage of Old World culture, and he illustrates how neither the British nor the American literary sets knew what to make of Pound's early work, a new kind of poetry radically departing from the rules of prosody. Moody further discusses Pound's involvement in such movements as imagism and vorticism; his promotion and generous support of fellow writers like T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Wyndham Lewis; his work for such periodicals as Poetry,the Egoist, and the Little Review; and the creation of the early Cantos. A carefully researched and documented study; recommended for academic libraries.
—Denise J. Stankovics Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199215577
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/24/2007
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A. David Moody is Professor Emeritus of the University of York and the author of the acclaimed Thomas Stearns Eliot: Poet.

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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Illustrations
Chronology
Part One: 1885-1911
1. Born in the USA
2. In a World of Books
3. First Poems: 1901-1908
4. Hell and Deliverance
5. Outward and Away
6. London 1908-1910
7. Patria Mia
Part Two: 1911-1920, LONDON
8. Prelude in Paris
9. 1911-1912: Settling in
10. In the Steps of the Troubadours
11. Stirring Things Up: 1912-1913
12. Going to War: 1913-1915
13. Shaping an Intelligence Unit: 1915-1916
14. Into Action: 1917-1918
15. Goodbye to England: 1919-1920
Abbreviations
Notes

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