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Tim Romano <[log in to unmask]>
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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 22 Oct 2004 09:14:39 -0400
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 It's been a while since I've read Pound on this subject, but I don't
think he was "unduly influenced by the kanji element". We're outside the
realm of The Duly and The Unduly here. After all, Pound was not writing
a linguistic treatise but was exploring the expressive power of
juxtaposition and superimposition.

The Japanese poet had arrows in his quiver that western poets did not.
Pound saw that the kanji character was mimetic.  Sun tangled in tree
branches: sunset.  (Pound is all about mimesis!) The haiku could be
written as a series of inter-related glyphs. The western writer has only
a few glyphs that lend themselves to a very rudimentary sort of mimesis
(e.g. "@ Pisa").

Tim Romano

Peter Montgomery wrote:

>Forgive my temerity in raising a topic
>about which I know very little. With the help
>of certain members here I was recently able to
>outline, at the annual Japanese Studies Association
>Canada (JSAC) conferencehere in Victoria, BC, CANADA.
>the Japanese influence through Fenellosa and Pound,
>and also show evidences of it in Canadian Lit. Prof.
>and media prof. Marshall McLuhan.
>In the process I ran into some interesing (to me anyway)
>scholarly questions. Apparently, due to a syndrome
>somnetimes called orientalism, which put very rosey lenses
>on the engagment of Westerners with orintal culture,
>both Fenellosa and Pound got it wrong. Fenellosa was
>not justified in ignoring grammar, and Pound was unduly
>influenced by the kanji element. A lot of westerners,
>and very many Japanese are under the impression that
>the japaese do not think in words. They think in images.
>Linguists have disproven that illusion thoroughly.
>One I consulted called it Orientalism run amock.
>Here is a website that challenges Fenellosa.
>Kenner's Pound Era does its bit to set the record
>straight. Being an Eliot scholar of sorts, the above
>came to me as something of a surprise. It is a road
>that never seems to have been along my path.
>Perhaps it is old news here.