bookEzra Pound’s Letters to William Watt (2001)

Edited by William Watt

The letters that Ezra Pound wrote to William Watt from 1956-58 are published for the first time, offering an unusual and perhaps unique degree of insight into an aspect of the poet that is otherwise little known: his interest in, and acquaintanceship with, modern architecture and city-planning. His expression of this interest involved advising Watt on the founding of the journal Diapason, later Agora, which was to be devoted to literature inspired by city and urban life, and to the discussion of cities themselves.

These letters also add to what is already known about Pound’s mentoring activities and capacities where “les jeunes” were concerned. Like any such collection, they offer a taste of his epistolary style and of the personality that underlay it: kind, devoted to the art of poetry, prejudiced, choleric, merry and facsimile. Since the present collection appears to be the first set of letters printed in its entirety, it’s the first to give full evidence that Pound’s ellipses and his idiosyncratic spelling, punctuation and typing, in general, held true throughout his correspondence—some readers may find their interest quickened for this reason.

(Source: Introduction by Il Miglior Fabbro, page 1 of Ezra Pound’s Letters to William Watt)