Ezra Pound: The Solitary Volcano

( 11 )

Overview

Unlike other biographical portraits of Ezra Pound, John Tytell’s brilliant and ambitious work offers an interpretive study that boldly confronts the emotional truths and psychological drama that formed this complex and controversial American poet. Neither an apology nor a condemnation, it presents instead a meticulous exploration into the mind and vision of a man who galvanized a generation and challenged an entire literary—and world—establishment. Although he enjoyed little fame in his lifetime, Pound’s ...
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Ezra Pound: The Solitary Volcano

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Overview

Unlike other biographical portraits of Ezra Pound, John Tytell’s brilliant and ambitious work offers an interpretive study that boldly confronts the emotional truths and psychological drama that formed this complex and controversial American poet. Neither an apology nor a condemnation, it presents instead a meticulous exploration into the mind and vision of a man who galvanized a generation and challenged an entire literary—and world—establishment. Although he enjoyed little fame in his lifetime, Pound’s notoriety and influence were enormous, as he arrogantly slashed away at convention and almost single-handedly brought about the twentieth-century revolution in poetry known as modernism. Ultimately, outrage and scandal turned his art to madness, and Pound’s last years saw him fall tragically silent.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Book Watch
...Provid[es] a balanced analysis of his mind and achievements in light of his mental state.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It might seem that there is little more to be said about the life and personality of Ezra Pound, erudite poet, editor of The Waste Land, father of imagism and vorticism, helper of Joyce and many other major figures, the man who more than any other set modern poetry on its course. Yet in this incisive interpretive biography, based on interviews with those who knew him and a mass of published and unpublished Poundiana, Tytell examines the circumstances behind the poems and thereby generates new understanding of the man. In particular, he probes the ``tragic fracture'' in Pound's volcanic personality, those elements of vanity, arrogance and naivete that led him to espouse cranky socioeconomic theories, hero-worhip Mussolini, vilify Jews and Western democracyand after World War II spend more than a decade in a mental institution. Pound's unusual capacity for friendship and generosity was matched by an astonishing capacity for hatred, and the latter marred his Cantos and finally ruined his life. Tytell wrote Naked Angels, a study of the Beat Generation. Photos. (September 4)
Library Journal
Writing with the ease of a novelist and the precision of a documentarian, Tytell creates a moving and highly readable portrait of that tortured and self-destructive genius, Ezra Pound. Tytell's longest and best-written section deals with Pound's formative years in London (1908-1920). Pound made fruitful contact with Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis, W. B. Yeats, T. E. Hulme, Robert Frost, and T. S. Eliotand in the process helped to invent Imagism and the Modernist style in general. Tytell brilliantly exposes Pound's irascible and bellicose nature while maintaining sensitivity for Pound's artistry, particularly his making of the Pisan Cantos. In the end, we are left with the ``puzzle of a humanist'' who read everything in print while misreading the very world around him. Recommended for all larger collections. Daniel L. Guillory, English Dept., Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.
Library Journal
Pound's personality is almost as complex as his poetry. LJ's reviewer praised this 1987 title as a "moving and highly readable portrait of the tortured and self-destructive genius." Although praising Pound's artistry, author Tytell doesn't ignore his shortcomings as an individual. A solid, even-handed study. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Exhaustively researched and admirably balanced...important and valuable.
Library Bookwatch
…Provid[es] a balanced analysis of his mind and achievements in light of his mental state.
Washington Post Book World
Fascinating...a vivid, sensitive portrait that will go a good way toward clarifying...the enigma that was Pound.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385198707
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/1988
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 404
  • Sales rank: 1,494,632
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Tytell has also written Reading New York, Paradise Outlaws, The Living Theatre, Naked Angels, and Passionate Lives. His work has appeared in the American Scholar, Partisan Review, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair, among other publications. He is professor of English at Queens College (CUNY) and lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    Isabella to amber

    Hey u wanna hang out in the fith result

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Dr. Alderman

    Then why not start now...im one of the nocer ones i let you pick the improvements i genetically modify

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Liru

    (Gtgtb goodnight.)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Inkubus

    Ah, I see. *he looks out the window, at the stars*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Siren

    (Someone should advertise...I would, but I'm locked out.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Puppy

    Peeks in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Ally

    YA LIKE HE DID!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Slasher

    Rarrrrrr

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Dr. Peterson

    I had to. Im active, and everyone wants their tests

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Tylar

    Hey guys

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