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ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

ABC of Reading (original 1934; edition 1960)

by Ezra Pound

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8191516,445 (3.76)12
Title:ABC of Reading
Authors:Ezra Pound
Info:New Directions Publishing Corporation (1960), Paperback, 206 pages
Collections:Your library, Just read
Tags:books and reading

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ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound (1934)

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    La escritora muerta (Spanish Edition) by Núria Añó (Anonymous user)
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    Aspects of the Novel by E. M. Forster (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two literati writing about literature. I recommend reading them as much for style as for content

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This classic work of literary criticism was very amusing to me, with its draconian pronouncements and caustic contempt for the sub-literate and sloppy. Pound has very strong likes and dislikes, and while his enthusiasms are often eccentric (Walter Savage Landor? Fitzgerald's translation of Rubaiyat?), the energy and certainty with which he trumpets them are refreshing. There's a critical worldview in there somewhere, albeit one based on aphorism and epigram rather than systematic analysis. ( )
  MikeLindgren51 | Aug 7, 2018 |
A primeira parte consiste em observações que um leitor mais atento e voraz aprende lendo, a segunda parte é mais proveitosa por dar exemplos práticos da evolução da poesia em inglês com comentários pertinentes de Pound, com o porém que sou completamente uma negação em decifrar a linguagem dos poemas isabelinos, o que nos leva diretamente à terceira parte onde tais poemas são felizmente traduzidos na versão brasileira pelos irmãos Campos e Décio Pignatari. ( )
  Adriana_Scarpin | Jun 12, 2018 |
A quite refreshing "healthy" dose of reality! ( )
  Philo_Sophos | Dec 12, 2017 |
I read, and continue to read, and become less and less convinced by literary criticism. I just seem to doubt the worth of it all.
I doubt if Literature is 'the NEWS that stay NEWS'. I wonder to what extent The Illiad, and all its themes of Glory, Homecoming and Honor, needs to remain NEWS in a society that does not share these themes as values (something that can be evidenced in the lack of common ground between the awful Brad Pit movie and the source material). That the piece has lasted this long is a testimony of how badly we care to leave the signposts of our history around us, and our attempts at reassembling it in a desperate search for a relevant and contemporary meaning is a testimony to our attachment to a barbaric past.
"Chaucer had a deeper knowledge of life than Shakespeare. Let the reader contradict that after reading both authors, if he chooses to do so."
I can think of little more absolutely and stunningly stupid as claiming that there is a solid unified whole that can be called life, or that a single author can somehow be more authoritative on it. One can, at best, be authoritative on extremely modest segments on life. But by whatever calculation, where I now sit is closer to 1616 than 1400, although soon both of these writers will be sufficiently removed from our experience as to be equally irrelevant.
"Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree." Not really. We, as readers, inscribe meaning into what we read. No book, no matter how great, is inherently charged with any significant meaning. Rather, the reader puts meaning into it where he finds it (and here a plug to the wonderful essay 'Shakespeare in the bush' is necessary.)

Literary Criticism is little more than a brazen attempt to justify one's own tastes. ( )
  M.Campanella | Dec 27, 2013 |
A passionate, rambling introduction to poetry. One easily imagines Pound as a manic tenured professor, standing on top of his desk, and haranguing the students to follow his lead, but remain independent and critical lovers of poetry.

His standards are maddening. One must learn several languages in order to begin. French, Italian, Latin, have a grasp of Chinese. One must read so many contemporaries. He also includes a massive reading list and some exercises at the end. (e.g. Let the pupil write a description of a tree. Edit the description so that it cannot be mistaken for any other tree.)

Although, of course, he advises students to read and think for themselves, and write for themselves. No critic worth his salt has not at least tried to write something on his own.

Treat this like you would a course from a brilliant, if not utterly mad professor. If you can stand him, you will learn a lot. If you hate his dogmatism, you can drop the thing on page 5 and save your time. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ezra Poundprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lustig, AlvinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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