This essay examines how, at a critical turning point, or the quarter stage of a projected total of 100 Cantos, Pound’s Canto 25 brings to the foreground important features of both the methodology and developing themes introduced in earlier Cantos. In structure and style, this Canto echoes and reinforces the layered voices, Imagist specificity, documentary collage, and ideogrammic technique of earlier Cantos. In theme, it substantiates Pound’s earlier, more lyrical, more idealized vision of Venice as a paradisal city comprised of nature and artifice by delving, albeit eclectically, into the historical record of the Venetian Republic’s Consiglio Maggiore, especially in relation to building the Palazzo Ducale. Pound further expands on earlier portraits of Venice through a neo-platonic interlude mid-Canto that invokes both Classical love poetry and modern sculpture. But the Canto then contextualizes that interlude by closing with a documentary rendering of the Council Major’s questionable patronage of the sixteenth-century Venetian painter, Titian, when he failed to meet his contractual obligations.
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