ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

By Ezra Pound

This crucial paintings, first released in 1934, is a concise assertion of Pound’s aesthetic concept. it's a primer for the reader who desires to keep an energetic, serious brain and turn into more and more delicate to the wonder and proposal of the world’s most sensible literature. With attribute vigour and iconoclasm, Pound illustrates his precepts with indicates meticulously selected from the classics, and the concluding “Treatise on Meter” offers an illuminating essay for somebody intending to learn and write poetry. ABC of Reading monitors Pound’s nice skill to open new avenues in literature for our time.

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In short, any genre can always contain several genres, and in that respect the archigenres of the romantic triad are distinguished by no natural privilege. At most they can be described as the highest-the most capacious-positions of the classification then in use. But the example of Kate Hamburger shows us that a new reduction is not to be ruled out a priori (and it would not be unreasonable-quite the contrary-to envisage a fusion that would be the reverse of hers, a fusion between the lyrical and the epical that would leave the dramatic as the only form with a rigorously "objective" enunciation).

Drama has a peculiarly intimate connection with ritual, and lyric with dream or vision, the individual communing with himself. We said at the beginning of this book that there is no such thing as direct address in literature, but direct address is natural communication, and literature may imitate it as it may imitate anything else in nature. In epos, where the poet faces his audience, we have a mimesis of direct address. Epos and fiction first take the form of scripture and myth, then of traditional tales, then of narrative and didactic poetry, including the epic proper, and of oratorical prose, then of novels and other written forms.

22 The asymmetry remains obvious, and with it the surreptitious betrayal of Aristotle. " The principle of the operation is simple and already familiar to us: it consists first of deriving from a fairly marginal stylistic comment a tripartition of the poetic genres into dithyramb, epic, and drama, which brings Aristotle to the Platonic point of departure; then of interpreting dithyramb as an example of the lyric genre, which allows one to attribute to the Poetics a triad that neither Plato nor Aristotle had ever considered.

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