Recipient of the 1992 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - First Place.
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Open Access Thesis
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. Cantos;
Can poetry "make new" the world? Ezra Pound thought so. In "Cantico del Sole" he said: "The thought of what America would be like/ If the Classics had a wide circulation/ Troubles me in my sleep" (Personae 183). He came to write an 815 page poem called The Cantos in which he presents "fragments" drawn from the literature and documents of the past in an attempt to build a new world, "a paradiso terreste" (The Cantos 802). This may be seen as either a noble gesture or sheer egotism.
Pound once called The Cantos the "tale of the tribe" (Guide to Kulchur 194), and I believe this is so, particularly if one associates this statement with Allen Ginsberg's concerning The Cantos as a model of a mind, "like all our minds" (Ginsberg 14-16). But Pound was a Fascist and anti-Semite, was he not? This is what I think faces a reader of Pound: Perhaps the reader finds he is not so different from Pound, or any other "mind." Perhaps that is what is most disturbing. After all, do we not each wish to build our own little terrestrial paradise?
Year of Submission
Year of Award
Master of Arts
Department of English Language and Literature
Philip Furia, Outside Examiner, Thesis Committee, University of Minnesota
1 PDF file (ix, 645 pages)
©1991 Steven R. Gulick
Gulick, Steven R., ""Ego, scriptor cantilenae": The Cantos and Ezra Pound" (1991). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 753.