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Chinese Dreams

Pound, Brecht, Tel Quel

Eric Hayot

Publication Year: 2003

The American poet Ezra Pound, the German playwright Bertolt Brecht, and the writers associated with the Parisian avant-garde literary journal Tel Quel, in particular, developed passions for China. Hayot examines these writers' infatuation with China, demonstrating that Pound, Brecht, and the writers of Tel Quel looked east and found a new vision for both themselves and the West. While Chinese Dreams focuses on specific writers' relationships with China, it also calls into question the means of representing otherness. Chinese Dreams asks if it might be possible to attend to the political meaning of imagining the other, while still enjoying the pleasures and possibilities of such dreaming. Eric Hayot is Assistant Professor of English, the University of Arizona.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

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Chapter 1. POUND

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pp. 1-53

No figure of twentieth-century literature has had a more public relationt o China than Ezra Pound. From the early moments of his career in London to his final days in Italy, Pound made China part of his general project to rethink the nature of the West, to discover in poetry the best that humans had ever said or thought, painted or sung, and renew it. In Lon- ...

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Chapter 2. BRECHT

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pp. 54-102

On January 28, 1934, Ezra Pound answered T. S. Eliot’s standing question, “What does Mr. Pound believe?” with “I believe the Ta Hio,” the Confucian Da Xue, which Pound had translated in 1928 as The Great Learning. Such a moment justifies and gives reason to a project on “Pound and China” by affirming the intensity and depth of Pound’s com- ...

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Chapter 3. TEL QUEL

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pp. 103-175

This description takes place in two movements, in a vision that can only be called cinematic. First, the long shot of the dirt road, the hot day, the peasants, the children, the ritual of burial, the elaborate historical parenthesis: in these few images the countryside is imbued with all its rhetorical and cultural importance, its timelessness, its endless cycle of life (the ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 176-188

What seems naive about it all, ultimately, is the goal of the Chinese dream itself. At the century’s twilight most of us were sophisticated enough to scoff at utopian pursuits, in China and elsewhere; today we favor smaller, more local interventions. I have tried in the last chapter to imagine, however, what it might have been like to have faith in a utopian vision, and to ...

Notes

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pp. 189-206

References

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pp. 207-214

Index

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pp. 215-220


E-ISBN-13: 9780472024933
E-ISBN-10: 0472024930
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472034864
Print-ISBN-10: 0472034863

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2003