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The Life of Ezra Pound (1970)

by Noel Stock

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1111216,479 (3.42)None
First published in 1970, this is a detailed and balanced biography of one of the most controversial literary figures of the twentieth century. Ezra Pound, an American who left home for Venice and London at the age of twenty-three, was a leading member of 'the modern movement', a friend and helper of Joyce, Eliot, Yeats, Hemingway, an early supporter of Lawrence and Frost. As a critic of modern society his far-reaching and controversial theories on politics, economics and religion led him to broadcast over Rome Radio during the Second World War, after which he was indicted for treason but declared insane by an American court. He then spent more than twelve years in St Elizabeth's Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Washington, D.C. In 1958 the changes against him were dropped and he returned to Italy where he had lived between 1924 and 1945.… (more)
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Maybe biographies of the early 1970's were more staid than the current reader is used to seeing but, I probably should have read the blurb. Martin Seymour-Smith, in his review, calls the book "dispassionate": should a biography, particularly one of a poet, be dispassionate? Certainly, in this case, my answer would be, "No". I would chose the word dry, or even desiccated as a better description.

I wouldn't call this a bad book; it seems well researched and the details of Pound's life are all there: it's just so deadly dull! ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Apr 22, 2020 |
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First published in 1970, this is a detailed and balanced biography of one of the most controversial literary figures of the twentieth century. Ezra Pound, an American who left home for Venice and London at the age of twenty-three, was a leading member of 'the modern movement', a friend and helper of Joyce, Eliot, Yeats, Hemingway, an early supporter of Lawrence and Frost. As a critic of modern society his far-reaching and controversial theories on politics, economics and religion led him to broadcast over Rome Radio during the Second World War, after which he was indicted for treason but declared insane by an American court. He then spent more than twelve years in St Elizabeth's Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Washington, D.C. In 1958 the changes against him were dropped and he returned to Italy where he had lived between 1924 and 1945.

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