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The Case Against Camões

A Seldom Considered Chapter from Ezra Pound's Campaign to Discredit Rhetorical Poetry

Series:

Norwood Andrews, Jr.

When Ezra Pound embarked on his campaign to discredit rhetorical poetry, he targeted as his first archenemy Luís de Camões (1524?-1580), the great poet of Portugal's great age who had become popular in the United States during the nineteenth century. Pound denigrated Camões' native language, misrepresented his art, and denied his genius in a systematic attempt to divert attention from him. Critical acceptance of the attempt has contributed to its success. Readers who believe Pound think wrongly about Camões, when they think about him at all. This study sets the record straight.
Contents: Camões' former standing in the United States - The polemical nature of Pound's criticism - An analysis and refutation of Pound's attack on Camões.