BK. Ezra Pound

156. Bacigalupo, Massimo. ‘Sophocles and the Tragic Dance’. In The Formed Trace: The  Later Poetry of Ezra Pound. New York: Columbia UP, 1980.

Examines the motivations and to a lesser degree the effects of Pound’s conflation of Sophocles and the nô in his translation of the Trachiniae (61): Pound approaches the text ‘as if it were a Nô, or rather as if the unity of image and of emotion which he detects in the tragedy had the same sources that were to produce the noble art of Japan. . . . The unconventional methodology which prompts Pound to approach the Greek text by way of a code borrowed in part from a wholly diverse cultural ambience anticipates investigations undertaken by present advanced critics. Yet he defines his method as he immediately confronts the text, and so avoids the sterility which at times attends critical practices of this kind. He is, rather than a critic, a dancer; the text—and the critical vortex of which it is the center—is his partner in the celebration’.



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