Ezra Pound's Confucian Translations

Mary Paterson Cheadle
Provides bold insights into Pound's Fascism.

Description

Ezra Pound professed a "belief" in Confucianism from the early 1930s till the end of his life. His interpretation of Confucianism, however, changed over time, and those changes are reflected in the four translations of Confucian texts he produced between 1928 and 1954. Based on painstaking new research, Ezra Pound's Confucian Translations for the first time traces the evolution of Pound's Confucianism during the historical and personal turmoil of this period.

Pound's Confucian translations are less correct "philology" than the "re-creation" of works that he hoped would have a potent influence on the twentieth-century West. What Pound first admired in Confucianism was a respect for individuality simultaneous with a concern for social order. From the late 1930s through the Second World War, Pound developed a "totalitarian" Confucianism whose consummation would be a "harmony" of man, earth, and heaven. After the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945 and Pound's arrest on charges of treason against the United States for his activities in Italy during the war, his Confucianism reverted to an emphasis on verbal precision and the importance of individual integrity.

In addition to tracing the evolution of Pound's beliefs,Ezra Pound's Confucian Translations elucidates the Confucian elements in The Cantos and suggests a reading of that epic from the point of view of Pound's Confucianism.

Ezra Pound's Confucian Translations will be crucial to students of Pound and will also be read by sinologists, scholars of comparative literature, and anyone studying translation.

Mary Paterson Cheadle earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. She is an independent scholar living in Seattle.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . will be the source of discussions wherever Poundians are gathered, for years to come."
    --Paideuma, Fall/Winter 1998
  • ". . . an important book for all interested in Ezra Pound as a phenomenon, which he is at least much as he is a writer. . . . Cheadle's even-handed account of Pound's achievement wisely leaves final judgments to the reader."
    --Translation and Literature
  • "Cheadle's magisterial study provides a detailed and lucid account of the ideas Pound acquired from this source. She also provides a comprehensive account of how Pound found confirmation of his own views in the Odes of Confucius."
    --Choice
  • "Cheadle's magisterial study provides a detailed and lucid account of the ideas Pound acquired from this source. She also provides a comprehensive account of how Pound found confirmation of his own views in the Odes of Confucius."
    --Choice

Look Inside

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments - ix
Introduction - 1
Chapter 1: Becoming a Confucian - 9
Chapter 2: Translating Chinese - 29
Chapter 3: Totalitarian Confucianism: The Great Digest - 57
Chapter 4: Totalitarian Confucianism as Metaphysical Dream: The Unwobbling Pivot - 85
Chapter 5: Confucianism in Fragments: The Analects - 115
Chapter 6: The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius: Recreating the "Folk Songs" - 151
Chapter 7 - The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius: Satire, Politics, and Metaphysics in the Later Odes - 183
Chapter 8: Confucianism in The Cantos - 217
Appendix: Translations of Ode 1 by L.S. Dembo, Arthur Waley, William Jennings, Marcel Granet, Peter Boodberg, James Legge, and Bernhard Karlgren - 267
Notes - 275
Works Cited - 309
Index - 319

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 336pp.
  • photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10754-4

Add to Cart
  • $88.00 U.S.

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