We will leave it as a test: when anyone has studied Mr. Pounds poem's in chronological order, and has mastered Lustra and Cathay, he is prepared for the Cantos - but not till then. If such a reader still does not like them, he has probably omitted some step in his progress, and had better go back and retrace the journey. The aggresiveness is startling. But more remarkable than the tone is that the strategy works. Eliot and his fellow modernists shift the burden of communication from sender to reciever. Readers difficulties produce a new opening for academics. Here is the impetus for the New Criticism, the discipline of close reading. ..Reading is work. The reader is a student; the scholar serves as go-between; the text is a mystery.

— T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American Poet  

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