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Leon Surette <[log in to unmask]>
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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 29 Aug 2000 08:06:50 -0400
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I'm glad, Dan, to learn that you are not blindly committed to a New Critical
autonomous text analysis, as your previous remarks seemed to suggest. It
seems we are pretty much on the same page so far a critical methodology is
concerned--though you lean rather more to local context than I.
    Louis Cabri comments are suggestive and promising. I think that the most
difficult hermeneutic problem with the Cantos is to identify the tone and
tenor of particular passages. Until some determination is made of where
Pound wants to go, detailed annotative remarks do not lead us to a reading.
Terry's monumental Companion is testimony to that circumstance. Despite it
having resolved many of the problems of allusion, it has not produced any
consensus about the meaning of the poem as a whole--or indeed of particular
sections or even cantos. So far as I can see we are no nearer a consensus
than we were when Dan Pearlman, Walter Baumann, Massimo Bacigalupo, Ronald
Bush, and I were publishing books purporting to explain what the poem was
about--all prior to the Companion.

Leon Surette
English Dept.
University of Western Ontario
London, Ont.
N6A 3K7