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well once you get bored of it dont assume that all his essays are boring. mostly they are not boring. its just that one and a few of the others.


thread death
I’ve been reading a few every day (up to XXII) and I would really recommend reading them as all part of one long poem - themes come and go then return, characters pop up and disappear. Sometimes a canto feels like a dud only for Pound to pass by later returning to those themes - like a painter or a sculptor returning to a form or subject.

There also seems to be a lot of overlap with the Wordsworth thread - what is being fought over is the determination for the primacy of imagination in all its manifest forms. Psychedelic in the sense of what is deep within the mind and also that sense of revelatory power of art. I’m guessing it’s what’s best about Prynne too but I can’t always get there with him.
This is one of those ones where you absolutely do not need to read them, not even in a "know your enemies" way.

For my sins I have read the Fountainhead and it is bad on almost every level. You would learn more about philosophy from Richard Allen's skinhead novels and the most abstruse post structuralist academics have better plot and characters.
Who would you say you should read in that way?
I think that’s a good question and probably would be an interesting thread. I’ve not done nearly enough of it (I guess few people who read for pleasure have).

Not exactly enemies but Dworkin and Nietzsche are great writers I don’t agree with.

Also white supremacist stuff - but you need to read it with anti stuff to hand.

I feel I should read Adam Smith, Hayek and all that. But probably won’t.

Joe Muggs’ book on sound system culture. (jk).
I guess Pound would be one of these people.
That Robert Anton Wilson bit again,
... Pound offers a hierarchy of values, in which he gives you a panoramic picture of human history, very much like Griffith’s Intolerance, only in it, Pound shows levels of awareness, levels of civilization, levels of ethics and levels of lack of all these things. And you realize that you have a hierarchy of values too, but you’ve never perfectly articulated it. Every writer gives you a hierarchy of values. But by making this the central theme, Pound makes you face the question, “Will I accept this as the best hierarchy of values?” I can’t, because the guy had a screw loose. Great poet, but a little bit funny in the head at times, trying to synthesize Jefferson, Confucius, Picasso and Mussolini. So what you’ve got to do is struggle with Pound, and create your own hierarchy of values to convince yourself that you grok more than he did...


thread death
I have now finished the first 30 which make up the first volume of The Cantos. I’m still enjoying them especially as various characters reappear and start to represent certain touchstones for him. Also to get the values which underpin the poems - Belief as Paradise - seeing accurately and feeling intensely, nature not to be cast aside - redeeming what is redeemable in nature. The reach for the transcendental moment - fleeting. This set against Error and ignorance which are a kind of Hell but the worst are those who knowingly and willingly perpetuate the error system at the cost of Knowledge. Despite stylistic differences there is something Blakean in there.


thread death
Every so often I get a bit bogged down - ones where they are verbatim extracts from some American President’s memoirs. But then one appears like the sun from behind a cloud and it sparkles and shimmers - it insists to be read aloud. I must admit that so far the American stuff hasn’t been as effective as the Renaissance references but maybe I haven’t synced to his rhythm yet for this section.