Ezra Pound transformed his style of poetry when he wrote The Adams Cantos in the 1920s. But what caused him to rethink his earlier writing techniques? Grounded in archival material, this study explores the extent to which Pound's poetry changed in response to his reading of 17th-century American History and the social climate of the pre-war period.
Drawing on the Ezra Pound papers, David Ten Eyck documents the changes to Pound's documentary techniques, establishing a chronology of the composition of The Cantos. His close readings of specific passages, set against the interwar years, allow Ten Eyck to gain insights into Pound's 1930s political and social criticism. Through references to the annotated copy of The Works of John Adams, he explores Pound's engagement with Adams at the expense of Thomas Jefferson: a figure formally at the heart of his previous work. Ultimately, this contextual and archival study uses John Adams and America to unlock the fascist beliefs and the later poetry of Ezra Pound.
About the Author
David Ten Eyck teaches Modernism and poetry at the University of Lorraine, France. He is currently co-editing a new critical edition of Pound's Pisan Cantos and, in addition to his work on Pound he has written articles on 20th-century writers such as David Jones, James Joyce, John Berryman and Philip Larkin.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Notes on the Text
Introduction: Ezra Pound's 'Adams Paideuma'
1 The Genesis and Composition of the Adams Cantos
2 'Including History': The Evolution of Ezra Pound's Documentary Method in the 1920s and 1930s
3 Reading the Adams Cantos
4 The Representation of History and Law in the Adams Cantos
5 The Adams Cantos and Ezra Pound's Social Criticism of the 1930s and 1940s
6 The Continuing Importance of the 'Adams Paideuma' in Ezra Pound's Late Cantos
A A Selection of Pound's College Notes on Colonial and Revolutionary America
B Pound's 1931 Reading Notes for the Works of John Adams
C Tables of Reference in Pound's Copies of the Works of John Adams
D 'Confucio Totalitario' (1939)
E Unpublished Material on John Adams and the American Revolution from the Thrones Poetry