ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

By Ezra Pound

This significant paintings, first released in 1934, is a concise assertion of Pound’s aesthetic idea. it's a primer for the reader who desires to continue an lively, serious brain and turn into more and more delicate to the wonder and notion of the world’s top literature. With attribute power and iconoclasm, Pound illustrates his precepts with indicates meticulously selected from the classics, and the concluding “Treatise on Meter” offers an illuminating essay for someone 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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Example text

And they moved back­ The Pivoting Point 33 wards and they stood at a distance’ (Exodus 20:15): they were repelled to the rear a distance of twelve miles —that is, the whole length of the camp. ” If this happened at each of the Ten Commandments, the people are imagined as travelling 240 miles in order to stand in place! The ebb and flow, the awe and the passion, are contained within a human “stance,” that allows them to hold ground as anokhi encountering anokhi. ” But the people stand as human beings do, aware of tensions and countertensions.

73 Transformation as distortion of the given, as principled caricature: this is the core of Goodman’s concept of world making. 74 The model for creativity sketched here is not remote from Goodman’s model; constructions follow each other, each a “world,” with its own givens, its “stipulations,” decomposing world versions already made. If we try to make use of this model, we can ask: what, in all seriousness, is the transformative moment of Sinai? In what sense is it true to say that Jacob creates the world, as he stands before the mountain, as he says, “We shall do and we shall listen” ?

But the image of man is distorted. God “sees” that evil has swollen to enormous proportions (6: 5, 12). An act of divine percep­ tion occurs: no human being is capable of such an act, it seems. Man had desired the “knowledge of good and evil”; by now, he seems unaware of the evil that, ambiguously, he has both generated and suffers. ”2 A kind of sensitivity is lost to man. At this point, God, with a terrible humor, quotes the word-play on Noah’s name, subtly transforming the meanings and indulging in a positive flurry of puns.

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