Books that Pound Recommends for Study

In the essay “How To Read” Ezra Pound recommends the books below as “a curriculum for instructors, for obstreperous students who wish to annoy dull instructors, for men who haven’t had time for systemized college courses.” He stresses that you have to be careful about the translation and make inroads, even if not big ones, into learning the original language.

–HOMER, in full

–OVID, and the Latin ‘personal’ poets, Catullus and Propertius.

–A PROVENCAL SONG BOOK– With cross reference to Minnesingers, and to Bion, perhaps thirty poems in all.

–DANTE– ‘And his circle’; that is to say Dante, and thirty poems by his contemporaries, mostly by Guido Cavalcanti.



VOLTAIRE– That is to say, some incursion into his critical writings, not into his attempts at fiction and drama, and some dip into his contemporaries (prose).

STENDHAL– [Le Rouge et Le Noir and the first half of La Chartreuse de Parme.]

FLAUBERT (omitting Salambo and the Tentation) — and the Goncourts.


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