Author and critic Ted Gioia, last seen here writing a review of Illuminatus!, has just published an article, at the Daily Beast, about two of Robert Anton Wilson's favorite writers, James Joyce and Ezra Pound. The piece, "The Letter That Changes the Course of Modern Fiction," details how 100 years ago Pound, at a critical point in Joyce's life when Joyce was having a great deal of trouble getting any serious work published, Pound wrote Joyce an unsolicited letter and offered to help.
Joyce, Gioia explains, had been unable to find a publisher for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and had even once tried to burn the manuscript. Gioia writes,
"Pound proved of incalculable value to his new friend. In the coming months, he would arrange for the serialization of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in a fashionable literary journal. He sent off Joyce’s short stories to H.L. Mencken, the influential American journalist and editor. Pound also featured Joyce’s poem “I Hear an Army,” written a decade earlier and now all but forgotten, in an anthology of Imagist poetry.
"These two young men were unlikely allies. In his first letter to Joyce, Pound admits: 'I imagine we have a hate or two in common—but that’s a very problematical bond on introduction.'
"But Pound’s efforts on Joyce’s behalf didn’t stop there. He spread word of the Irish author’s genius to his numerous contacts in the literary world, and started laying the groundwork for the later success of Ulysses. In championing his new discovery, Pound brought his work to the attention of Harriet Weaver, later Joyce’s chief financial backer, and Sylvia Beach, the Parisian bookseller who would eventually publish Ulysses. In the face of every obstacle stifling Joyce’s prospects—financial, editorial, legal—his new American friend searched for solutions, and more often than not found them."
It's not a very long piece. Go read it.