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A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound's greatness as a man of letters - poet, translator, critic, editor, pedagogue, universal correspondent - made him a central figure in the literature of the twentieth century. He was an exotic and controversial character throughout his life, and his public career achieved melodrama in l945 when he was indicted on a charge of treason, for broadcasting Axis propaga ...more
Hardcover, 1005 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Houghton Mifflin
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I got this book in a lot, and I'm glad I did. Pound is interesting from a psychology perspective, having spent about a dozen years at St. Elizabeths Hospital. This was part of being indicted for treason because he supported Mussolini, and broadcasting radio programs in Italy. He had attitudes towards minorities and women which would not be acceptable today. The book has some good descriptions of what his mind felt like (wasp nest, upper part of brain being replaced by fluids, mainspring busted). ...more
This is a very thorough and in depth biography of Pound. It is well known that Pound did some rather questionable things (to say the least) and Carpenter examines these things with a great precision that gives the reader a better understanding of Pound's sanity. The flaw with this book, however, is that it seems that Carpenter has no respect for Pound the poet at any point in his career.
May 02, 2017 David rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Although wags will say that Pound is 'Carpentered' here, this is still by far the best single-volume bio of EP, the bio I return to first for the odd detail. Derivative of earlier secondary sources, sometimes repeating unacknowledged the same misunderstandings and outright errors, and at the best of times Carpenter is not at his best with documentation of sources, but he's still where you want to go for a 1,000-page overview (as opposed to multi-thousand-page multi-volumes) of the life. Carpente ...more
Humphrey William Bouverie Carpenter was an English biographer, writer, and radio broadcaster.More about Humphrey Carpenter...