Cathay. Ezra Pound’s Orient. London: Penguin, 2015.
(available October 2015)
Cathay: Ezra Pound’s Orient analyzes the origin of Pound’s interest in Chinese and Japanese art and literature. Identifying the early influences on his Oriental perspective, originating in Philadelphia and then London, it details his encounters with Laurence Binyon, Arthur Waley and Mary Fenollosa as he worked through the manuscript materials of Ernest Fenollosa, refashioning awkward “decipherings” into elegant poems. The importance of Noh, as well as the Chinese ideogram, also form a portion of the study. Finally, the book considers the poetics of Cathay and its impact on both Pound’s contemporaries and successors. The text includes the fourteen poems that comprise the first edition of Cathay celebrating its centenary in 2015.
I. Pound and the Invention of China
II. Cathay: The Poems
III. Impact and Significance
Appendix: Cathay, The Text
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