No literary figure of the past century - in America or perhaps in any other Western country - is comparable to Ezra Pound in the scope and depth of his exchange with China. To this day, scholars and students still find it puzzling that this influential poet spent a lifetime incorporating Chinese language, literature, history, and philosophy into Anglo-American modernism. How well did Pound know Chinese? Was he guided exclusively by eighteenth to nineteenth-century orientalists in his various Chinese projects? Did he seek guidance from Chinese peers? Those who have written about Pound and China have failed to address this fundamental question. No one could do so just a few years ago when the letters Pound wrote to his Chinese friends were sealed or had not been found. This book brings together 162 revealing letters between Pound and nine Chinese intellectuals, eighty-five of them newly opened up and none previously printed. Accompanied by editorial introductions and notes, these selected letters make available for the first time the forgotten stories of Pound and his Chinese friends. They illuminate a dimension in Pound's career that has been neglected: his dynamic interaction with people from China over a span of forty-five years from 1914 until 1959. This selection will also be a documentary record of a leading modernist's unparalleled efforts to pursue what he saw as the best of China, including both his stumbles and his triumphs.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Weight: 611 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 18 mm
Zhaoming Qian has brought to the foreground not ony an essential source for Pound's oriental thinking but a necessary chapter in cross-cultural endeacour.
162 letters were tracked down over 15 years by Professor Zhaoming Qian of the University of New Orleans. "For a long time people were wary of writing about Pound because of his fascist beliefs. From these letters we can see he realised his mistakes."
A timely addition to any library already invested in Pound's correspondence.
Qian's book helps to deliver new and subtler understandings of Pound's postwar writings by showing us quite how serious were Pound's studies of China and Confucianism
This is an important collection of mostly unknown letters, expertly presented. Taken together they reveal the depth and the development of Pound's engagement with the Confucian tradition of China, and with its language, beginning in 1914 and intensifying through the following five decades. The book will be welcomed by Pound scholars and students, and more broadly by anyone concerned with cultural exchanges between China and the West.
Ezra Pound's Chinese Friends fills out our understanding of Pound's fascination with China and Japan through original documents. It reveals glimpses of this opinionated, questing man in dialogue with people he respected (not a frequent situation in Pound's correspondence). Chiefly it shows one of the major Modernists in his time of isolation, trying to 'make it new' by engagement with an unfamiliar language and culture.