Guide To Kulchur
Fiction by Ezra Pound
The Guide to Kulchur, first published in 1938, is one of Ezra Pound’s most stimulating books. As might be expected, this is no ordinary Baedeker of the arts, no conventional tour of familiar landmarks and highspots, but an iconoclastic revision of the cultural (in the broadest sense) curriculum. In a sequence of short, pungent chapters, Pound covers the whole territory of “kulchur”––from the Chinese philosophers to modern poetry, from music to economics––as he discovered it for himself in a lifetime of reading, looking, and listening. “This book,” he says in his foreword, “is not written for the over-fed. It is written for men who have not been able to afford a university education or for young men, whether or not threatened with universities, who want to know more at the age of fifty than I know today, and whom I might conceivably aid to that object.” Here we have Pound the teacher, and he is a good one; whatever he touches comes alive for the student. Long-accepted wrong judgments are rudely exposed. Neglected writers are given their due. Essences are defined and separated from what is superficial. The reader is challenged to explore new areas, reinterpret history, and radically rethink the bases of his own tastes.