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Ezra Pound's (Post)modern Poetics and Politics

Logocentrism, Language, and Truth


Roxana Preda

Ezra Pound, the poet called «the contemporary of our grandchildren», has exercised enormous influence on the development of American poetry and criticism. This impact on the world of letters is only grudgingly acknowledged today, since it comes from a poet tainted by fascism and anti-Semitism. This book follows the contours of our love for his poetics and hate for his politics, juxtaposing Pound’s work to postmodern theory. The contrasts prevail: in the relation of language to reality, in the moral and political commitments, and in the vision of history. At the same time, Pound’s poetic practices, particularly his collage techniques and «series of Englishes», overflowed his political ideology. It is this overflow that makes him so fascinating to intellectuals and the main reason we study his work with respect now.

«‘Ezra Pound’s (Post)Modern Poetics and Politics’ is a work that should be placed alongside Alec Marsh’s ‘Money and Modernity’. Both works place Pound’s poetics, politics, and economics in the context of postmodern discourse. Several recent works have claimed Pound for the postmodern, but Roxana Preda provides for the first time a careful and critical examination of the extent to which Pound really is an avatar of the postmodern. Her discussion is comprehensive, balancing meta-postmodern, Derridean, and Rortyan approaches. This tripartite commentary permits critical analysis while avoiding commitment to a single dominating discourse-creating a sort of critical collage.» (Leon Surette, University of Western Ontario)
«Roxana Preda’s book has an unusual and far-reaching significance. She gives readers a picture of Ezra Pound in the context of postmodernity, at the same time going beyond its current quarrels with the modern tradition. In relating Pound’s poetry to his translations and journalism, she describes and evaluates the ideology of a poet who, in his poetic and economic writings, illuminated aspects of history that are less known and often overlooked. In this book she outlines the role of this controversial poet within a contemporary frame of reference.» (K. Ludwig Pfeiffer, University of Siegen)