In a message dated Sun, 11 Mar 2001 6:26:50 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
<< In a message dated 3/11/01 2:34:44 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
I have never made it all the way through Ezra Pound's Cantos which in spite of its streaks of insanity, I consider a great book. It might be the worst and the best book ever written all in one.
I never got through the Cantos either.
Few indeed have "gotten through" the Cantos, if that means reading them sequentially in their entirety. (how do I know that? OK, I'm guessing. But it's a comfortable guess.)
I certainly have not. I've been through them over many years, however, with the companion guide, supplemented by occasionally listening to Pound's readings. Whether I've covered them all by now or not is a question of statistics and probabilities . . . I do not know. I do know that each time I pick them up, I find a mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar, and I suspect I'll never get to the point that I cease encountering the unfamiliar in them . . . even if I read them cover to cover, much would be unfamiliar when I returned, because their density and obscurity make mastery impossible.
The obscurity that arises from Pound's eccentric drawing of connections is in one sense the great flaw of the work; in another sense, it keeps the Cantos fresh upon rereading.
Tom (Anything by Henry James) K