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Ezra Pound and the Symbolist Inheritance
Scott Hamilton

Paperback | 2014 | $34.00 / £23.95 | ISBN: 9780691600468
276 pp. | 6 x 9
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In this revisionary study of Ezra Pound's poetics, Scott Hamilton exposes the extent of the modernist poet's debt to the French romantic and symbolist traditions. Whereas previous critics have focused on a single influence, Hamilton explores a broad spectrum of French poets, including Thophile Gautier, Tristan Corbire, Jules Laforgue, Remy de Gourmont, Henri de Rgnier, Jules Romains, Laurent Tailhade, Paul Verlaine, and Stphane Mallarm. This exploration of Pound's canon demonstrates his logic in borrowing from the French tradition as well as a paradoxical circularity to his poetic development. Hamilton begins by explaining how Pound read Gautier's poetry as an example of Parnassianism and of the "satirical realism" of Flaubert and the modern novelistic tradition. He reveals, however, a crucial blind spot in Pound's poetic vision that facilitated his return to precisely those romantic and proto-symbolist elements in Gautier that were celebrated by Baudelaire and Mallarm, and that Pound, as a modern poet, felt obliged to repress. Arguing that Pound's response to symbolism was not specifically modernist, Hamilton shows how his dual attraction to the lyric and prose traditions, to symbolism and realism, and to the visionary and the historical helps us better to understand our own post-modern sensibility.

Originally published in 1992.

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Table of Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Ezra Pound and the Symbolist Inheritance3
Ch. 1Pound's Gradus ad Parnassum30
Ch. 2Pound's Gradus a Parnasso: Misanthropy, Pound, and Some French Satire58
Ch. 3The Citadel of the Intelligent: Pound's Laforgue91
Ch. 4The Wobbling Pivot: Surface and Depth in the Early Cantos131
Ch. 5L'Eternelle Ritournelle in the Late Cantos166
Conclusion: Robert Duncan's Revisionary Ratios: Rewriting The Spirit of Romance194
Notes211
Index255

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    File created: 9/23/2014

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