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On The Cantos and Pedagogy

On The Cantos and Pedagogy Charles Altieri I am grateful for this opportunity to comment on Kindellan and Kotin’s beautifully lucid, far-ranging, and challenging essay. My comments involve three lines of questioning that I hope have general implications for how we read Pound. The first is the simplest. Is it prudent to treat The Cantos as a single text without acknowledging that it contains very different modes of writing as Pound’s interests and relations to his readers changed substantially over time? I think the imperious master demanding submission to his own intentions conjured by Kindellan and Kotin is probably there after A Draft of XXX Cantos (1930), but this persona is much less strongly in evidence in that earlier book. The younger Pound seemed satisfied by exemplary imaginative states that the readers might engage in a variety of ways, so long as they enter what we might call the elevated affective modality of the text’s concern for the effects of beauty. Also the earlier texts are much more open to unresolved tensions between the pull of history and the pull of beauty, so it is often the case that Pound himself is self-consciously trying out possibilities rather than imposing demands to imitate his conclusions http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

On The Cantos and Pedagogy

Modernist Cultures , Volume 12 (3): 4 – Nov 1, 2017

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2017.0179
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Charles Altieri I am grateful for this opportunity to comment on Kindellan and Kotin’s beautifully lucid, far-ranging, and challenging essay. My comments involve three lines of questioning that I hope have general implications for how we read Pound. The first is the simplest. Is it prudent to treat The Cantos as a single text without acknowledging that it contains very different modes of writing as Pound’s interests and relations to his readers changed substantially over time? I think the imperious master demanding submission to his own intentions conjured by Kindellan and Kotin is probably there after A Draft of XXX Cantos (1930), but this persona is much less strongly in evidence in that earlier book. The younger Pound seemed satisfied by exemplary imaginative states that the readers might engage in a variety of ways, so long as they enter what we might call the elevated affective modality of the text’s concern for the effects of beauty. Also the earlier texts are much more open to unresolved tensions between the pull of history and the pull of beauty, so it is often the case that Pound himself is self-consciously trying out possibilities rather than imposing demands to imitate his conclusions

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2017

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