An international and inter-temporal poem

I think this book review (J. L. Wall) hits the right note about Ezra Pound’s significance (although, again, this is the view Sorrentino appeared not to like):

So let’s speak plainly. Pound was a central figure of twentieth-century literary history, without whom lasting, enduring works would not have taken the shapes they did. He was a talented, innovative poet—up until his mid-thirties. But the Cantos, on which he staked his reputation, were a failure. The modernist scholar Lawrence Rainey referred to them as “The Monument of Culture.” The truth is that they were born ruins. […] Pound will endure, though, because in any honest literary history he must.

Something I appreciated about the Cantos was that they seemed to me a first stab at a truly international and, as it were, inter-temporal poem– where not just the language but the time of language –the historical point of view– wasn’t fixed.

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