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Readings in the Cantos: Volume I$
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Richard Parker

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954408

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781942954408.001.0001

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Canto 1

Canto 1

(p.33) 2 Canto 1
Readings in the Cantos: Volume I

Catherine Paul

Liverpool University Press

Catherine E. Paul’s reading of Canto 1 focuses on the poem as a frame for the entire Cantos project, showing how the poem establishes writing and a negotiation of a textual past as epic acts. This essay considers Canto 1’s publication history before exploring its engagement with Book XI of the Odyssey through poetic structures borrowed from Old English poetry and the inclusion of a Homeric hymn to Aphrodite. Pound’s voice in this poem brings together acts of translation, reading, development of language over time, conversation with the dead, and occult ritual to shape a vision of modern epic.

Keywords:   syncresis, Odyssey, Book XI, Nekuia, Andreas Divus, Hymni Deorum, A Draft of XXX Cantos, A Draft of XVI Cantos, mysteries of Eleusis, palingenesis, katabasis

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