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Cross-Cultural Ezra Pound$
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Walter Baumann, John Gery, and David McKnight

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781949979800

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781949979800.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Genealogy of the China Cantos

The Genealogy of the China Cantos

(p.91) Chapter Seven The Genealogy of the China Cantos
Cross-Cultural Ezra Pound

Kent Su

Liverpool University Press

Kent Su looks into The Cantos to examine how Pound’s reading of contemporary accounts  of Chinese history from a Confucian perspective helped to shape his method for Cantos 52–61, the sequence known as the Chinese Cantos or China Cantos. Following his own dictum in ABC of Reading, “DICHTEN = CONDENSARE” (which Su describes as a “principle of lean philosophical economy”), Pound in the 1930s used the approach of “condensing some historical facts” to capture the pith and gist of ancient Chinese history, an approach Pound also attributes to Mussolini. Readers know that for these Cantos Pound drew from the French text of Joseph-Anne-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla’s 11-volume Histoire  générale de la Chine, but Su demonstrates how Pound also made significant use of the two Chinese texts that served as the basis for de Mailla’s Histoire, namely, Sima Guang’s Zizhi Tongjian and Zhu Xi’s Tongjian Gangmu, the latter a condensation of Guang’s 20-volume history. Su further contrasts the influences of Greek philosophy and Confucianism on Pound, as he offers analyses the complex cross-cultural sources of the China Cantos.

Keywords:   Ezra Pound, The Cantos, China Cantos, Confucianism, Italian Fascism, Chinese History, Comparative History

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