Was Ezra Pound a new historicist? Poetry and poetics in the age of globalization

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This essay explores the family resemblance between the poetics of Ezra Pound and the critical methodology of New Historicism. I argue that such a resemblance does not simply pertain to the relationship between Pound and the New Historicists: it alternatively functions as an organizational principle in each of their works: whether in Pound's poetry or in a New Historicist's critical work, the vast array of materials is often assembled by means of an apparent family resemblance among the Luminous Details. The larger implication of this compositional method becomes clear when we consider a resemblance at another level: both Pound's and the New Historicist's works are global in scale-they tend to use Luminous Details to reveal large pictures of a society or culture. In Pound's words, it is to use "a sufficient phalanx of particulars" to capture recurring paideumatic structures of civilization: in New Historicist terms, it is to put tiny tissues of textual traces under a microscopic lens in order to reveal a picture of a "sublime confrontation between a total artist and a totalizing society." This concern with the passage from a local detail to a global panorama will put both Pound and the New Historicists at the center of our current discourse of globalization. Pound's lifelong commitment to designing a pan-cultural program and New Historicism's recent turn to the study of cultural mobility further suggest that the New Historicists share with Pound a vision not only for a cultural poetics but also for a poetry that circulates and exchanges meanings across cultures. 本文探讨了庞德的诗学与新历史主义批评方法论之间的亲缘类同性。这一类同性不是简单地归于庞德与新历史主义之间的关系,而是作为一种结构性原则存在于各自的作品之中:无论在庞德的诗歌中还是在新历史主义的批评著作中,大量材料组合模式常常体现了透明细节之间存在的明显的亲缘类同性。当我们关注另一层次上的相似性时,这一结构模式所具有的更为深广的涵义更加明显:庞德和新历史主义的著作都相应地具有全球性,两者都倾向于使用透明细节来展示社会或文化的宏大图景-按照庞德的说法,即要用“密集的细节”来捕捉不断复现的根本性的文明结构;按照新历史主义的说法,即要将文本线索的微小结构置于显微镜下以展示“整个艺术家与整一化的社会之间壮观的对峙”图景。这种对于从地区性细节走向全球性宏景的关注把庞德和新历史主义置于当前全球化话语的中心。庞德毕生致力于设计一种泛文化蓝图的努力与近来新历史主义朝文化可动性研究的转向进一步表明,新历史主义与庞德不仅有着相同的文化诗学观,而且有着相同的诗歌观,即诗歌可以跨文化传播和交流其意义。
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-44
Number of pages17
JournalForeign Literature Studies = 外国文学研究
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


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