Pondering Ezra Pound

Good Essays
Carrie M
ENG 643
Dr. Mathes
Modernism Short
Pondering Ezra Pound It is probable that the most striking thing of note to be found in Pound’s “A Retrospect” is not his elaborate gripes, complaints and suggestions, but rather his list of what should not be done. Pound considers the “Image” or subject piece of writing to be the primary focus (4). It is this to which a writer should devote his time and not the allure of distractions or influences made by other people or works. Pound does not mean to say that criticism or other artists are not without merit, they simply should be taken for what they are; an educational resource, not a rigid set of guidelines. Pound advocates devotion to the production of quality over quantity. There are a multitude of writers known for the mass of works produced. Case and point in the modern age can be seen through the novels of Stephen King. Any sense of originality in the horror genre has been eclipsed by the sheer number of volumes, not to mention sequels. This is not to say that they are not enjoyable reads, just simply not extraordinary. It is far more noteworthy to be known for one brilliant piece such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird or Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin instead of redundant drivel. Seek out the new and original instead of a dull copy of someone else, especially if that person becomes you. It is far better to have attempted a novel approach and failed than to have hopped on the coattails of another, or worse yet, repeat yourself. A copy of a copy becomes faded. Perhaps the most important “don’t” suggested by Pound is to give credit to any criticism made by persons who have never written anything of quality themselves (4). This may seem obvious, but without a doubt there have been many a potential artist who has succumbed to the insults made by the ignorant and ceased to write altogether or has been misguided to the point of frustration. It would be optimal to have the guidance and opinion

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