Ethnography and Poetic Method : Southwest China, Joseph Rock, and Ezra Pound’s “Drafts & Fragments”

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)Chapter in research book/monograph/textbook (Author)

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTwentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China
Subtitle of host publicationModernism, Travel, and Form
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Pages142-163
ISBN (Electronic)9780367815400
ISBN (Print)9780367415983, 9781032088150
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature

Abstract

This chapter focuses on Ezra Pound’s final poems of the Cantos and their engagement with the ethnographic writings of the explorer Joseph Rock, which were published during the 1930s and 1940s. Ezra Pound’s final section of the Cantos – known as “Drafts & Fragments” – is difficult to interpret given that Pound, probably intentionally, did not offer clear directions on the arrangement and order of the poems before his death. Rather than interpret Rock as a mere source for Pound’s poetic project, as others have, the chapter argues that Rock’s travel writings are themselves significant in terms of their stylistic and aesthetic foregrounding of problems and predicaments inherent in ethnography. While the final cantos are open to various interpretations, an examination of these unconventional ethnographic perspectives suggest ways of working through and rearticulating political and geopolitical imaginaries during a late modernist moment.

Research Area(s)

  • POUND, EZRA

Citation Format(s)

Ethnography and Poetic Method : Southwest China, Joseph Rock, and Ezra Pound’s “Drafts & Fragments”. / Mather, Jeffrey.

Twentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China: Modernism, Travel, and Form. New York : Routledge, 2020. p. 142-163 (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)Chapter in research book/monograph/textbook (Author)