This is a three-volume project of readings of individual sections from the central modernist long poem, The Cantos of Ezra Pound. The project as a whole represents a landmark publication for modernist studies, bringing together, in a ground-breaking format, a number of critical readings of The Cantos by the world’s leading Pound and modernist scholars. In each chapter a contributor approaches either a single Canto or a defined small group of Cantos in isolation, providing a clear, informative, and interpretive “reading” that includes an up-to-date assessment of sources and an idea of recent critical approaches to the work. Most importantly, each essay offers guidance to those wishing to understand the works while contributing to the creation of a new manner of reading The Cantos as a remarkably diverse but coherent work.
This first volume illuminates the gestation of the Cantos-technique and includes essays on the most important Cantos and groups of Cantos from the Ur-Cantos (early, discarded versions of the beginning of Pound’s poem), A Draft of XVI Cantos (1924),A Draft of the Cantos 17–27 (1928), and Eleven New Cantos XXXI–XLI, also known as “Jefferson—Nuevo Mundo,” (1934).