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Jeff Twitchell-Waas <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Jul 1998 10:17:55 +0800
text/plain (89 lines)
It's been quite a few years since I read Yip on Cathay, but certainly it is
not dismissive of Pound's translations. Yip was somewhat handicapped by not
having access to the Fenollosa notebooks which evidently were tied up in
legal wrangling for decades. Zhaoming Qian's fairly recent Orientalism and
Modernism vigorously defends the quality and uncanny accuracy of Pound's
translations as translations (not merely "versions"), arguing that Pound
was able to intuit a deeper level of the poems missed by many scholars and
more authoritative translators (e.g. Waley). For Qian this deeper level
essentially means the underlying Taoism of the poems. 
Although my impression too is that most older Chinese scholars have tended
to take a somewhat condescending view of Pound's translations, I believe
this has altered considerably in recent years. When I was in mainland China
there was tremendous interest and enthusiasm for Pound among both scholars
and poets. Inevitably, this is no doubt also bound up with the radical
social/cultural changes that have been taking place there over the past two
decades. Those of us able to attend the Pound conference in Beijing next
summer ought to be able to get a better idea about all this. 
The first complete translation into Chinese of the Pisan Cantos was just
published earlier this year, edited by my good friend and former colleague
at Nanjing Univeristy Zhang Ziqing and translated by Huang Yuete now
studying at Buffalo. The original plan was to bring out a complete
translation, but I'm not clear whether that's still on track. When this
project was initially proposed, I didn't have the impression the publisher
fuller realized the size of what they wanted to take on. 
To Alexander Schmitz's list ought to added at least two other recent books.
Mary Paterson Cheadle's Ezra Pound's Confucian Translations (1997) which I
haven't read yet. And highly recommended, Robert Kern's Orientalism,
Modernism and the American Poem (1996) which takes a larger view of teh
discourse of Orientalism in relation to American poetry, but Fenollosa and
Pound are at the center of his study. Although Kern, unlike Qian, is very
much interested in pursuing Said's critique of Orientalism as a Western
discourse, he too finds it difficult to seriously fault Pound's
Jeff Twitchell-Waas
From: Lucas Klein <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Wai-Lim Yip
Date: Monday, July 13, 1998 6:38 AM
Has anyone read Wai-lim Yip's book <italic>Ezra Pound's Cathay</italic>? 
Most Chinese scholars I'm aware of seem pretty dismissive of Pound as a
translator from Chinese, calling him an inventor of Chinese poetry in
English--I think maybe Eliot said this and Kenner picked up on it--and
not an effective translator, but I can't imagine Yip writing an entire
book aimed at dismissing the subject.  And in other writings I've read
Yip has at least been very aware of the poetic advances in English
attributable to Pound, and I wonder if <italic>Ezra Pound's
Cathay</italic> is something known, respected, recommended, etc.
Thank you.
<underline>.                                                        .
</underline>Lucas Klein
[log in to unmask]
<color><param>8080,8080,0000</param>A young Muse with young loves
clustered about her
                ascends with me into the Šther, . . .
And there is no high-road to the Muses.
                <color><param>0000,8080,0000</param>    Ezra Pound,
<italic>Homage to
Sextus Propertius</italic></color>