In 1907, as a postgraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Ezra Pound managed to fail a course in the history of literary criticism. Almost half a century later, the man who was then the most influential literary critic in the English-speaking world, T.S.Eliot, would observe in his introduction to a substantial selection of Pound’s literary criticism that its author had produced ‘the least dispens[a]ble body of critical writing in our time’ (LE xiii), comparable to the work of such canonical English poet-critics as John Dryden, Samuel Johnson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. To anyone interested in Pound’s literary criticism, that Penn episode is symptomatic, although of what, exactly, will depend on whether or not you admire academic criticism, and whether you believe Pound was a literary genius or a charlatan.