Books: Old Ez

THE POUND ERA

byHUGH KENNER

606 pages. University of California.

$14.95.

The title itself seems presumptuous.

Can Kenner really be claiming that the era of such giants as Eliot, Joyce, Lawrence and Yeats belongs to Ezra Pound?

He can. He does. And he may even be right. At the back of every trend and tendency that mattered, anyway, he manages to find old Ez, puffing and prestidigitating— language theories, borrowings from Greek, Italian and Provençal, imagism, myth and verses from the Chinese. Of course some of the connections are weak, and Kenner is not above a bit of crankery on his own. He often wears his...

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