Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ezra Pound on James Joyce

Pound to John Quinn
May 1920

Joyce - pleasing; after the first shell of the cantankerous Irishman, I got the impression of the real man who is the author of Chamber Music, the sensitive. The rest is the genius; the registration of realities on the temperament, the delicate temperament of the early poems. A concentration and absorption passing Yeats - Yeats has taken on anything requiring the condensation of Ulysses. Also, great exhaustion, but more constitution than I expected, and apparently a good recovery from the eye operation.
He is, of course, stubborn as a mule or an Irishman, but I failed to find him at all unreasonable. Thank God, he has been stubborn enough to know his job and stick with it. 
1931 Postscript:  "I respect Joyce's integrity as an author, as he has not taken the easy part.  I never had any respect for his common sense or intelligence, apart from his gifts as a writer" - Pound in the New Review

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