Ezra Pound And James Laughlin Selected Letters

Ezra Pound And James Laughlin Selected Letters

by Ezra Pound, James Laughlin
     
 

Ezra Pound and James Laughlin: Selected Letters is a modernist source book - essential reading for anyone interested in tracing the real development of twentieth-century literature.
Even before establishing "New Directions", James Laughlin had met and studied with Ezra Pound. These selected letters capture the spirit of their growing relationship from pupil

Overview

Ezra Pound and James Laughlin: Selected Letters is a modernist source book - essential reading for anyone interested in tracing the real development of twentieth-century literature.
Even before establishing "New Directions", James Laughlin had met and studied with Ezra Pound. These selected letters capture the spirit of their growing relationship from pupil and teacher to publisher and author. Pound's correspondence summons up the inner man and the literary figure. Literature, music, friends and politics fill his pages.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One detects a note of flattery early in this collection as then-Harvard sophomore Laughlin makes his initial approach to the 48-year-old American poet Pound (1885-1972), self-exiled in Rapallo, Italy, during the summer of 1933. Soon, however, Pound seems more the supplicant, as Laughlin's growing capacity as literary man-of-affairs comes to impress the poet. And Laughlin, for his part, discovers that the political crank cannot easily be sundered from the genius in Pound. ``And re / a shystem that gives 150 grand to Hem and now to cummings / not that Hem GETS all that/about 100 gd / will go in cuts to agents, adapters etc. Waaal as to my recoming to U.S. what do I DO when I get there / go on board of Chase Bank or teach tennis in Noo Putt? or clenn latrines in the MacLeishery?'' This riff from 1941 is typical of Pound's allusive, punning and ultimately revealing style throughout his 25 years' correspondence with the founder of New Directions; its affinity with that of his Cantos, written in the same period, is striking. Gordon, editor of the literary journal Paideuma , presents 355 letters, mostly from Pound and almost all as excerpts, from an archive of 2742. Few actually touch on ``licherchoor'' as an art, perhaps because ``DAMBIT I cant write yu 600 pages of answers.'' Gossip about literary reputations is much more rife. But the selection renders an intimate view of Pound's psychological relationship with language and the world. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Personal letters of some longevity have always inspired confidence. Such are the letters between poet Pound and college student and later publisher of New Directions Laughlin. With some effort the industrious reader will discover much from the correspondence, which began in 1933 and continued through 1965. Parts of these letters have been frequently cited, but revelations still abound, partly in Pound's misspellings but particularly in his paronomastic, or punning, use of words. What Pound is feeling is always there: great misery and ecstasy. There, too, is his seeming anti-Semitism and Laughlin's opposition to it and Pound's indictment for treason and commitment to an asylum for insanity. Through all these tribulations the letters continue, full of spirit, insight, and endurance. This volume is part of a series featuring the correspondence between Laughlin and other authors (e.g., Delmore Schwartz and James Laughlin , LJ 3/1/93). Recommended for readers of literary history.-- Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393035407
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/1989
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

New Directions has been the primary publisher of Ezra Pound in the U.S. since the founding of the press when James Laughlin published New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1936. That year Pound was fifty-one. In Laughlin’s first letter to Pound, he wrote: “Expect, please, no fireworks. I am bourgeois-born
(Pittsburgh); have never missed a meal. . . . But full of ‘noble caring’ for something as inconceivable as the future of decent letters in the US.” Little did Pound know that into the twenty-first century the fireworks would keep exploding as readers continue to find his books relevant and meaningful.

James Laughlin (1914–1997) founded New Directions in 1936 while still a student at Harvard. He wrote and compiled more than a dozen books of poetry as well as stories and essays; seven volumes of his correspondence with his authors are available from W.W. Norton.

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