This book features original readings of Pound and Eliot from a major literary critic.
In this classic work, Maud Ellmann examines T. S. Eliot's and Ezra Pound's criticism in terms of what she calls the 'poetics of impersonality'.
She convincingly shows that Eliot's and Pound's attempts to overcome personality merely reinstated it in a new guise: her superb and entirely original readings of the major poems of the modernist canon have earned a lasting place in criticism.
Stylish and perceptive, this book marked the debut of a major literary critic, and it has as much resonance today as it did on first publication.
Ellmann analyses Eliot's relation to Bergson, then his 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' and the later After Strange Gods, the early poems, The Waste Land, and Four Quartets.
She then turns to Pound's Personae, particularly 'Mauberley', and the Cantos.
Ellmann looks for the contradictions inherent in modernist literary ideology and deftly teases out their implications.