It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
On Ezra Pound's correspondence with his parents.
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It is inconceivable that a collected edition of Pound’s letters will be published within the next twenty, thirty, or forty years, if by “collected” we mean all the letters, displayed in chronological order with full annotation. This assertion is not refuted by the fact that Oxford University Press is publishing W. B. Yeats’s collected letters in an edition of at least fourteen large volumes with copious scholarly apparatus. The first volume of Yeats’s letters, in that uniform edition, appeared in 1986. The most recent one, the fourth, was published a few months ago. Four volumes in twenty-five years: at that rate, the edition will be complete about sixty years from now. To deal with those “deserts of vast eternity,” oup has made available to scholars an InteLex electronic gathering of the remaining letters in their raw, unannotated state. Enough to be going on with whil ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 September 2011, on page 53
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