Everyone who cares for twentieth century must come to terms with Pound's Cantos and should do so at first hand. He published it in instalments over many years and never finished it so successive editions contain more and more of it. This is now surely the final edition and - barring detailed work on the text - should stand as definitive. The gap in the Cantos, namely the two wartime ones 72 and 73, written in Italian and highly provocative in their content, were suppressed for years but have now been quietly slipped in in their correct place. The Drafts and Fragments of the final Cantos are in as good a state as they ever likely to be. The names of politicians suppressed in the Hell Cantos have not yet been restored but can be supplied from the commentaries.
Faber have done Pound proud and this production is reminiscent of their palmiest days with handsome binding including a picture of Pound and an equally handsome dustjacket in the old and much loved style of Berthold Wolpe.
What of the poem itself? Well it is unfinished, and, I think, a failure as a whole. But there are many splendid passages, some long and some, as Graham Hough said long ago, 'the merest splinters'. You need to decide for yourself.