Look at this fascinating bit from a Cox essay on Jules Laforgue, printed here in Jacket. I guess this is the kind of thing I meant, yesterday, as the standard of "world literature". Just really careful, perceptive, informed reading. A real critic is a real literary historian.

"Laforgue’s poetry is more moving and more difficult than anyone would think whose idea of it derives from Eliot’s imitations. Eliot captured some of its tones of voice, applying them to ends of his own, to mask and evade. When he found other means to do it his interest in Laforgue declined.

Pound’s never lapsed. It was Laforgue who opened his eyes to certain qualities in Propertius and it is features of Laforgue’s writing that underlie the Homage and crop out at places in Mauberley. To call it verbalism seems to degrade intellectual detachment to stylistic trickery but the facts are complex. If some of his tricks are extreme, Laforgue’s detachment is exponential: he mocks his own self-mockery. Something in him Pound always found hard to grasp but knew was there and strove to emulate. He once described it as force coinciding the fragility, great power with great nonchalance. It’s not exactly nonchalance, rather a studied offhandedness. His last word in Canto CXVI: ‘...Jules... deeps in him...’"

[I like the line about "Jules" too. Sounds like a quote from Forth of July, ha-ha]

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