Part One: Toward the Vortex
Part Two: Interregnum
Part Three: Toward Now
Hugh Kenner (1923-2003) was one of America's great literary critics. He wrote on a range of subjects that includes Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot, and geodesic domes.
"Hugh Kenner's The Pound Era could as well be known as the Kenner era, for there is no critic who has more firmly established his claim to valuable literary property than has Kenner to the first three decades of the 20th century in England. Author of pervious studies of Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Pound (to name a few), Kenner bestrides modern literature if not like a colossus then at least a presence of formidable proportions. A new book by him is certainly an event....A demanding, enticing book that glitters at the same time it antagonizes...."The Pound Era presents us with an idiosyncratic but sharply etched skeletal view of our immediate literary heritage."—The New York Times
"It is notoriously difficult to recognize degrees of pre-eminence among one's near-contemporaries. We talk now of the age of Donne, a label that would have seemed bizarre to Ben Johnson. Will The Pound Era seem an appropriate designation, 50 or 100 years hence, for the epoch we think of as 'modern'? Mr. Kenner's brilliantly written book establishes an excellent case for supposing the answer to be 'Yes.'"—The Economist
"Mr. Kenner's study...is not so much a book as a library, or better, a new kind of book in which biography, history, and the analysis of literature are so harmoniously articulated that every page has a narrative sense....The Pound Era is a book to be read and reread and studied. For the student of modern letters it is a treasure, for the general reader it is one of the most interesting books he will ever pick up in a lifetime of reading."—National Review