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This review is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

FIRST, THE DICTIONARY POUND! FORD: The Story of a Literary Friendship: The Correspondence between Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford and their Writings about each other, edited with an introduction and narrative commentary and notes by Brita Lindberg-Seyersted (Faber) £20.00

The names of Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford are associated by anyone who knows anything of the literature of 1909-1939, in which latter year Ford died. The one largely in verse and the other largely in prose exemplified and indeed to an important extent constituted the movement which sought to free English writing from certain forms of late Romantic decadence which were still troubling it when they came to maturity. They both had a strong streak of didacticism; they were both pre-eminently literary theorists as well as performers - so vocal indeed that they may be said to have been their own and each other's advertising men. Each of them in fact produced some of the outstanding work of their generation (or generations; Pound was born in 1885 and Ford in 1873) but it is the inter-relation of their teaching as much as that of their poems and novels which makes us think of them as standing together. Hardy and Kipling, in their several ways, have at least as good claims to be exponents of the use of common speech as against the sort of fuzziness left over by the nineteenth century, but it was Pound and Ford who spoke on this subject at length and continuously. They were both well aware of the importance at any rate of Hardy and in the volume under review there is a letter from Pound to Ford which contains the following illuminating confession: 'He ['Maximus Thomas (i.e. Hardy) of Dorchester'] says ...


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