BK. Ezra Pound

204. Nicholls, Peter. ‘An Experiment With Time: Ezra Pound and the Example of  Japanese Noh’. Modern Language Review 90 (1995): 1-13.

A provocative argument that Pound’s early work with the nô led to ‘a fundamental redirection’ in his poetics by suggesting to him ‘a structural conception of time’ that would allow him to ‘progress’ from the ‘momentary intuitions of Imagism’ to the ‘complex and extended structures of The Cantos’. It was the ‘interpenetration of past and present’ in mugen nô that allowed Pound to grasp the possibilities inherent in ‘a long imagiste or vorticist poem’ (see 12, 17f, and 87), and in his later work, including his attempts at drama based on the nô (see 81), his ‘reworking of the past, as memory or vision’, produced ‘a compound tense which is at once a return and a turn to something new’; in ‘the opening arc of The Cantos’, Nicholls writes, ‘Pound would seek to make that haunted space the very condition of modernism’.





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