A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound

by Humphrey Carpenter

Hardcover, 1988




Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1988.


Ezra Poundís 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. A Serious Character is rich in fascinating detail and acutely challenging in its judgements and commentary. Its title is taken from one of Poundís favourite sayings (first recorded in 1913): ĎAre you or are you not, a serious character?í

User reviews

LibraryThing member jburlinson
A model biography, in my opinion. Only one, very tiny, concern -- more of a question, really. Carpenter just doesn't seem to like Pound as a poet very much. Towards the end, he ticks off a list of poems that he, a bit grudgingly, admits to be of the first order; and it's a very short list, including "The Return", parts of Cathay, some of the Pisan Cantos, "Mauberley", "Homage to Sextus Propertius", and not much else. So how could Carpenter sustain the energy and motivation to continue with a 1K+ page book on somebody who didn't shiver his timbers? Regardless of why he did, I guess I should be grateful that he did, and did so well!… (more)


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