When Critics Knew How to Criticize (Part Three in a Series)


You mistakenly attributed this obvious Charles post to Mr. Kiley
That thing about Latin syntax is kind of a running problem with proscriptive English grammar.

Ezra Pound was a clever dude. Too bad he was a Nazi.
Ezra Pound was an insufferable twat. He wrote a few decent lines of poetry, but untold, unread and unreadable thousands of bad ones. I'm not sure which ones were worse -- the interminable garbage about Jews and banking, or the cod "Chinese" that he had an actual Chinese translate for him, and then poetified up all pretty like and affixed his own name onto (he himself did not actually know Chinese, though he pretended to). He is remembered for his dictum "make it new", but ignored for reams upon reams of shit.

And yes, I've read "Cantos" all the way through.
Pretty sure Milton dictated that line because he was blind! Don't know if Pound had any similar handicaps.
sometimes i wish there was a LIKE button on slog.
Pound was a critic who mistook himself for a poet—his bad poetry doesn't negate his quality criticism. Nor do his stupid, stupid, STUPID politics.
I take your point, I think, Brendan: it was real criticism for Pound to recognize the influence of Milton's Latin on his poetry. However, I don't think Pound gave full weight to the fact that the third person singular masculine accusative pronoun 'him' is one of the few cases (har!) in which it is possible for such a Latin sentence structure to make sense in English. To me, that makes Milton's choice a great one--look at the metrical advantages of Milton's line over Pound's version. Judging by this example of his criticism, IMHO, Pound sounds like an anti-Latin troglodyte.
I'm not saying I agree with all the things I'm posting in this series. Far from it. I just appreciate the effort.