Ezra Pound and Dorothy Shakespear (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
Any reader even peripherally interested in the work and life of Ezra Pound will take delight in Omar Pound and A. Walton Litz’s masterful selection and editing of Ezra Pound and Dorothy Shakespear: Their Letters, 1909-1914. To hear the authentic voices of the letters is to meet again but anew the youthful Pound. The facts of Pound’s growth as an artist and critic during these years are not altered, but a new perception of the inner workings of his mind and personality is gained. More important, the volume serves as a concise but fully detailed picture of the social and cultural life of late Edwardian and early Georgian England, an era unknowingly on the brink of irrevocable destruction within a year of the end of this chronicle.
In contrast to the manner in which the structures and conventions of late Edwardian and early Georgian society hindered Pound’s courtship with Dorothy Shakespear, the existence in London of serious reviews, of clubs and societies, of bookshops and small publishers, of well-attended artistic salons such as Olivia Shakespear’s worked as an advantage for a newly arrived but promising young poet such as Pound. The key to opening all of these doors was William Butler Yeats, and the key to Yeats was Olivia Shakespear. Within a year of arriving in London, Pound found his way to her literary salon, where he read Yeats’s...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
Kirkus Reviews. LII, April 15, 1984, p. 406.
Library Journal. CIX, June 1, 1984, p. 1126.
National Review. XXXVI, June 1, 1984, p. 46.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXIX, September 16, 1984, p. 3.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXV, April 13, 1984, p. 60.
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