Book Review: Ezra Pound’s Washington Cantos and the Struggle for Light

8 November 2021

Dmitri Akers, Independent Scholar

Alec Marsh, Ezra Pound’s Washington Cantos and the Struggle for Light (London: Bloomsbury, 2021)

Pound’s transnationalism and internationalism have been well-explored in scholarship on the poet and critic; the former succinctly covered by Jahan Ramazani’s A Transnational Poetics (2006) who formulates his ideas of ‘Pound’s eastward-detouring transnationalisms.’[1] Little, however, has been published that contextualises the poet’s reactionary, fascist, and racist nature with the pervasive, global aspect of The Cantos (1915-1962). The Historicising Modernism series published by Bloomsbury might have helped to fill this gap with Alec Marsh’s new book, Ezra Pound’s Washington Cantos and the Struggle for Light (2021). Continue reading “Book Review: Ezra Pound’s Washington Cantos and the Struggle for Light”

Book Review: Modernism and Time Machines

7 December 2020

Alexander Jones, Trinity College Dublin

Charles M. Tung, Modernism and Time Machines (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019)

Time is undoubtedly a central aspect of modernist literature’s depiction of life. Certain modernist texts aspire to the condition of vehicles that move the reader through time, or that overlap chronologies over each other: the backward leaps of involuntary memory in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927), say, or Ezra Pound’s statement of historical simultaneity:‘[a]ll ages are contemporaneous.’[1] These implications run through Charles M. Tung’s new study, Modernism and Time Machines: ‘Modernism was itself, in many hitherto-unconsidered senses of the phrase, a time machine.’ (p. 2) What he means by this is that ‘the modernist aesthetic called attention to itself not only as a vehicle for experiencing and moving in time, but also as a technique for rethinking that experience and movement.’ (pp. 1-2) The book explores this dynamic by theorising new ways of understanding the ‘time machine’ as both object and approach. Continue reading “Book Review: Modernism and Time Machines”

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