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Orientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of China in Pound and Williams

Qian, Zhaoming

12 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0822316579 / ISBN 13: 9780822316572
Published by Duke Univ Press, 1995
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Hardcover 1st Printing in green cloth, small remainder mark bottom page edge, else new unread copy (no dj, as issued); 8vo; 224pp indexed. Bookseller Inventory # 22663

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Orientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of ...

Publisher: Duke Univ Press

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: New

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Chinese culture held a well-known fascination for modernist poets like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. What is less known but is made fully clear by Zhaoming Qian is the degree to which oriental culture made these poets the modernists they became. This ambitious and illuminating study shows that Orientalism, no less than French symbolism and Italian culture, is a constitutive element of Modernism.
Consulting rare and unpublished materials, Qian traces Pound’s and Williams’s remarkable dialogues with the great Chinese poets—Qu Yuan, Li Bo, Wang Wei, and Bo Juyi—between 1913 and 1923. His investigation reveals that these exchanges contributed more than topical and thematic ideas to the Americans’ work and suggests that their progressively modernist style is directly linked to a steadily growing contact and affinity for similar Chinese styles. He demonstrates, for example, how such influences as the ethics of pictorial representation, the style of ellipsis, allusion, and juxtaposition, and the Taoist/Zen–Buddhist notion of nonbeing/being made their way into Pound’s pre-Fenollosan Chinese adaptations, Cathay, Lustra, and the Early Cantos, as well as Williams’s Sour Grapes and Spring and All. Developing a new interpretation of important work by Pound and Williams, Orientalism and Modernism fills a significant gap in accounts of American Modernism, which can be seen here for the first time in its truly multicultural character.

From the Back Cover:

""Orientalism and Modernism "clearly sets the record straight by addressing the issue of how Chinese poetry and culture helped precipitate the transition of Pound and Williams toward high modernism. It is a historically focused, meticulously researched, and passionately argued book."--Zhang Longxi, University of California, Riverside

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