A calculus of Ezra Pound: vocations of the American sign by Philip Kuberski

By Philip Kuberski

That the wonderful thing about Ezra Pound's past due Cantos can look - at the comparable web page - with the rankest anti-Semitism is still an issue worthy critical dialogue, in addition to an issue within the realizing of modernism. Kuberski locates the crucial rigidity among Pound's poetry and his politics within the distinction among the poet's technical strategies - his dedication to modernist writing - and his antimodernist belief of studying and aesthetics. Few 20th-century poets, Kuberski says, were "as devoted to a reconciliation of metaphysical values and the materiality of human languages". concentrating on this juncture of shape and which means he asserts that Pound's paintings provides "a dramatic, possibly tragic, representation of the associated fee all for relocating from a theocentric or logocentric realizing of artwork to a very smooth or postmodern figuring out of it". Kuberski additionally considers the ways that Pound's occupation displays an severe model of tensions in American tradition. either his poetry and his fascism will be derived from parts of yankee Romanticism, he claims, mentioning Emerson's exposition of "natural" language, Whitman's experience of the poet as Adamic Superman, and Poe's exploration of nonalphabetic scripts. In his identify and his terminology Kuberski employs the metaphor of stones, a calculating gadget, to chart Pound's overt issues with a stone-like beginning for human wisdom, for foundation, and for civilisation.

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Extra info for A calculus of Ezra Pound: vocations of the American sign

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1 Saussure's work dismantles the lingering desires of nineteenth-century philology for a determinate and authoritative origin for language, desires that linked philologists with literary traditions beginning with Herder and including Emerson, Pound, and Heidegger. Saussure concludes that, as a consequence of the impossibility of representing an origin, ''in language there are only differences. "2 While Saussure had insisted that language is a differential system, Freud had, since 1900, argued that consciousness itself was simply a theoretical site within a topology that included a preconscious and an unconscious.

Its value depends on what is there to meet it. If Mr. Rockefeller draws a cheque for a million dollars it is good. If I 11. See Paris Review interview reprinted in Donald Hall, Remembering Poets, p. 241. Page 15 draw one for a million it is a joke, a hoax, it has no value. If it is taken seriously the writing of it becomes a criminal act" (ABC, 25). That Pound may well be writing about his "Draft" of Cantos here is clear if one recognizes the parallels between writing an epic and a cheque for a million dollars.

And despite his opposition to sentimental conceptions of the poet popularized by the romantics, Pound attempted to preserve the poet's authority. Marginalized by the emerging mass culture and undercut by the intellectual skepticism engendered by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, the poet and the artist are entrusted in Pound's work with the secrets of 4. Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, p. 231. Page 5 nature and culture. Pound, then, cannot be allied with a modernism that questions the authority of the subject, the value of language as positive representation, and the "reality" of the perceived world.

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