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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