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Ezra Pound's Chinese Friends: Stories in Letters Hardcover – April 15, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0199238606 ISBN-10: 019923860X Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1St Edition edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019923860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199238606
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,458,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Zhaoming Qian has brought to the foreground not ony an essential source for Pound's oriental thinking but a necessary chapter in cross-cultural endeacour. Ian F. A. Bell, Modern Language Review 162 letters were tracked down over 15 years by Professor Zhaoming Qian of the University of New Orleans. "For a long time people were wary of writing about Pound because of his fascist beliefs. From these letters we can see he realised his mistakes." Andrew Johnson, The Independent A timely addition to any library already invested in Pound's correspondence. Jordan Davis, Times Literary Supplement Qian's book helps to deliver new and subtler understandings of Pound's postwar writings by showing us quite how serious were Pound's studies of China and Confucianism Nick Selby, Times Higher Education This is an important collection of mostly unknown letters, expertly presented. Taken together they reveal the depth and the development of Pound's engagement with the Confucian tradition of China, and with its language, beginning in 1914 and intensifying through the following five decades. The book will be welcomed by Pound scholars and students, and more broadly by anyone concerned with cultural exchanges between China and the West. A. David Moody, author of Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man & His Work Ezra Pound's Chinese Friends fills out our understanding of Pound's fascination with China and Japan through original documents. It reveals glimpses of this opinionated, questing man in dialogue with people he respected (not a frequent situation in Pound's correspondence). Chiefly it shows one of the major Modernists in his time of isolation, trying to 'make it new' by engagement with an unfamiliar language and culture. Haun Saussy, Yale University

About the Author

As University Research Professor of English at the University of New Orleans, Zhaoming Qian's teaching and research areas focus on East/West comparative poetics, Orientalism, transpacific interculturality, and interdisciplinary Modernism. Qian's books include Orientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of China in Pound and Williams (1995), The Modernist Response to Chinese Art: Pound, Moore, Stevens (2003), and Ezra Pound and China (2003). His research has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and Yale University.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bukhtan on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This well-compiled and edited book is a collection of correspondence between Ezra Pound and several other people, all Chinese "ethnic". Achilles Fang, born in Korea to Chinese ethnic parents, especially stands out. He is remarkable both for his erudition and good temper, both requirements for dealing with the reactive and manifestly neurotic Pound, pointlessly confined, a genuine "political prisoner", in a hospital for the criminally insane in Washington DC. Unfortunately, the Fang/Pound correspondence seemed to me to demonstrate two things:

1) Pound's knowledge of Chinese was that of an amateur (In fact, he seemed to be as interested in the history of dictionaries and the history of the "radical" system (i.e. determinative components of the Chinese characters) as he was in matter of genuine philology.) and,

2) Pound was unable, by this time, to think rationally about anything.

A large part of the correspondence, especially that between Fang and Pound, relates to the production of the Pound Confucious. Readers who follow this dialogue will pick up much useful information about Chinese philology and the ideas of Confucious, all of it from Fang, none of it from Pound. There is no evidence in the correspondence that Pound listened much to the younger and better-educated man or heeded anything he said. It's a wonder that the book ever got assembled and published, whatever it may be worth.

There are minor elements in the book, literary or sociological gossip one might say. Such as Anti-Semitism. This was evinced more by one of Pound's young correspondents (not Achilles Fang) than by Pound himself.
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