BK. Ezra Pound

48. ‘Chinese Literature’. Letter to the editor. New English Weekly 14/10 (15 December 1938): 163.

From early in 1938 through the early years of the World War Pound was preoccupied with the idea that Europe and America to their own detriment had ignored East Asian civilisation, and might benefit immensely from bilingual editions of Chinese and Japanese classics (see 45d). Here he suggests that ‘there are not ten men in the occident who know enough ideogram to choose the “Hundred best Chinese and Japanese works”’, but that this ‘is no reason for not starting on 30 or 40 certainties’. He suggests that American and British universities, Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Oriental Studies among them, ‘will either oppose or do nothing whatever to further such editions’, but ‘the VOU club in Tokio is already alive to this prospect’ (see 46 and D29), and ‘all forms of printed encouragement’ should be sent to Katue Kitasono (Ap).





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