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Epic NegationThe Dialectical Poetics of Late Modernism$
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C.D. Blanton

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844715.001.0001

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Date Line: Including History

Date Line: Including History

(p.86) 3. Date Line: Including History
Epic Negation

C.D. Blanton

Oxford University Press

In The Waste Land’s wake, this chapter turns to the formative moment of Pound’s own epic, the drafting of the Malatesta Cantos in 1922. Reconstructing Pound’s recollection of a contemporaneous exchange with Eliot, later recorded in captivity at Pisa, it adumbrates the divergence between two “date lines” (in Pound’s phrase), distinguishing an ordinal from a cardinal mode of historical narration like Pound’s own. As Pound came to acknowledge in the Pisan Cantos, it is thus The Criterion that forms the counterpart and logical rejoinder to The Cantos themselves, devising an ordinal instrument—in effect, a calendar—for the present’s inclusion as encrypted historical content.

Keywords:   Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Malatesta Cantos, Pisan Cantos

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