For this definitive collection of Pound's Literary Essays, his friend (and English editor) T. S. Eliot chose material from five earlier volumes: Pavannes and Divisions (1918), Instigations (1920), How to Read (1931), Make It New (1934), and Polite Essays (1937). 33 pieces are arranged in three groups: "The Art of Poetry," "The Tradition," and "Contemporaries." Eliot wrote in his introduction: "I hope that this volume will demonstrate that Pound's literary criticism is the most important contemporary criticism of its kind . . perhaps the kind we can least afford to do without ...the refreshment, the revitalization and 'making new' of literature in our time."
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New Directions Publishing Corporation
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Author Biography - Ezra Pound
New Directions has been the primary publisher of Ezra Pound in the U.S. since the founding of the press when James Laughlin published New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1936. That year Pound was fifty-one. In Laughlin's first letter to Pound, he wrote: "Expect, please, no fireworks. I am bourgeois-born (Pittsburgh); have never missed a meal... But full of 'noble caring' for something as inconceivable as the future of decent letters in the US." Little did Pound know that into the twenty-first century the fireworks would keep exploding as readers continue to find his books relevant and meaningful.