A fictional parallel is appropriate here because any biographical account that goes, however briefly, beyond the most minimal facts involves the construction of a narrative that is both selective and interpretative. The amount of biographical material relating to Pound is vast, ranging from full biographies to letters, interviews, memoirs and personal anecdotes. In making a selection and interpretation of this material it is necessary to try to avoid reiterating unsupported speculations and opinions. Pound has, understandably perhaps, given his controversial and politically sensitive views and actions, attracted much partisan comment. For the most part I have been selective in favour of relating Pound's life to his work for two reasons. Firstly, although literary texts, like any other texts, take on a linguistic autonomy of their mm that outlives their authors, I nevertheless take the view, as I noted in my introduction, that a knowledge of the interplay between biographical detail and artistic output enhances their understanding. Secondly, I am haunted by Pound's own dictum: 'You can spot the bad critic when he starts by discussing the poet and not the poem' (ABC, p. 84).