ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound PDF

By Ezra Pound

ISBN-10: 0811223167

ISBN-13: 9780811223164

This significant paintings, first released in 1934, is a concise assertion of Pound’s aesthetic concept. it's a primer for the reader who desires to retain an lively, severe brain and develop into more and more delicate to the wonder and proposal of the world’s top literature. With attribute vigour and iconoclasm, Pound illustrates his precepts with shows meticulously selected from the classics, and the concluding “Treatise on Meter” offers an illuminating essay for a person desiring to learn and write poetry. ABC of Reading screens Pound’s nice skill to open new avenues in literature for our time.

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Extra resources for ABC of Reading

Sample text

More important, by quoting the opening words of Genesis— "In the Beginning"—he suggests that Paradise Lost is a reprise of that book and indeed of the entire Bible: whereas Moses the shepherd-poet first taught this subject, the Miltonic Bard does so now. And his reference to a "great Argument" in­ tended to "justify the ways of God to men" focuses attention upon the importance of rhetoric to the poem's overall design and to many of its episodes. Formally, the entire proem is an invocatory hymn.

What Harold Bloom calls "transumption" in Milton—the claim that Paradise Lost is somehow prior to its sources37—pertains in the strict sense to the portrayal of the angels as primordial poets. Yet for all that, Milton presents those angelic poems, and his own, by means of familiar genres and texts in the literary tradition. 38 Dispatching him to his prophetic mis­ sion, God gave him general directives concerning his manner, tone, and basic purpose: to advise Adam about his own hap­ piness and the threat to it from Satan.

But Adam learns from Raphael's epic di­ rectly: whereas Homer's Iliad held forth the ideals of battle PROPHET-POETS OF PARADISE LOST prowess and individual glory, Raphael creates, as it were, the prototype of that epic, designed to lead Adam and Eve to a sounder view of heroism, power, and glory. As an epic narrator who was also a participant in the strug­ gle, Raphael's tone is in the main heroic, with occasional mockheroic overtones as he (infrequently) associates himself with the perspective of the omnipotent God who holds his foes in derision.

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ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

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