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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 37

Canto 37

(p.297) 23 Canto 37
Readings in the Cantos: Volume I

Roxana Preda

Liverpool University Press

The Eleven New Cantos could be considered a more serious and elaborate attempt on Pound’s part to produce a model of Vorticism in poetry, being arranged as a whirl of historical events and characters around the still center of Canto 36, Pound’s translation of Cavalcanti’s Donna mi prega. The use of contrast between history writing and philosophical poetry, between capitalism and love is shown in the very construction of the cycle, which starts with the American presidents Adams and Jefferson in dialogue, continues with cantos dedicated to their descendants, John Quincy Adams and van Buren and ends with Mussolini. In the canto dedicated to van Buren, Pound created a synthesis of the three manifestoes in Blast, Lewis’s, Gaudier’s, and his own, to create a model vorticist poem. Stark journalistic style, the cultivation of contrast and simultaneity of voices, the counterpoint created by masses of text juxtaposed to one another are a few vorticist strategies that Pound uses in the canto to articulate and promote his critique of democracy.

Keywords:   Martin van Buren, Vorticism, Wyndham Lewis, American history, 19th century, Andrew Jackson, Bank war, second Bank of the United States, Jefferson and/or Mussolini, Italian Fascism

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