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CRIBS FOR CATHAY & OTHER POEMS Ernest Fenollosa et al. 73 Editorial Conventions / line break // new paragraph or strong line break {insertions} deletions [editor’s insertions] [Pound’s poetry]   In his notebooks, Ernest Fenollosa used dashes indiscriminately at the ends of terms, phrases, clauses, and sentences. In some cases they are clearly intended as periods, but there has been no attempt to distinguish among the different kinds or lengths, and they are all transcribed as “em” dashes (—). As an aid to readers without Chinese, characters cited in the annotations are identified by the Sino-Japanese rōmaji (romanizations) in the notebooks in square brackets after the italicized Mandarin pronunciation, and followed by the character and a provisional definition such as: chang [cho] 長 (lengthy). Modern Mandarin pronunciations are also merely a convenience: The last line of “The River Merchant’s Wife,” for example, would now be pronounced zhi dao Changfengsha (直至長風沙) but in Middle Chinese it would sound something like djhiək ji Djhiαngbiungshra; see Hugh Stimpson, Fifty-five Tang Poems: A Text in the Reading and Understanding of T’ang Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976). Insertions from the verso (left-hand) page are placed where they are most relevant, sometimes before and sometimes after what they annotate. Page numbers are placed where a new page begins, except for verso insertions, which appear at the end like citations . All irregularities of spelling, phrasing, and grammar have been accurately reproduced according to the conventions of diplomatic transcription. My guiding editorial principles have been to explain anything that might raise a question for the undergraduate reader, to draw attention to salient points of comparison between Pound’s poems and the notebooks, and to try to give some dimension to the Chinese poetry itself. Although some notes are intended for advanced students of Chinese poetry, most are intended for the reader with no knowledge of Chinese. In many cases, I am answering questions asked by my students. I have never been shy to point out when Pound seems to have misunderstood his sources, but those instances are relatively few, since it is impossible to tell most of the time whether Pound’s “deviations” are intentional or not. I have pointed out everything in the cribs that leaped out at me as curious, notable, interesting, or misleading, but I have also tried to remain tentative about alternative translations. 74 Cribs for Cathay & Other Poems All of the manuscripts transcribed here are conserved among the Ezra Pound papers at the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Yale University under YCAL MSS 43, so theyareherecitedonlybyboxandfoldernumber,e.g.,100–4235.Fortheconvenienceofthose who do not have the luxury of visiting the Beinecke, I have also included the folder numbers used in Yale’s microfilms (hereafter MF) which are, unfortunately, completely different from the current box and folder numbers—a dismaying prospect for researchers in the absence of a cross-reference list. Copies of the microfilms are available in some archives like the one at Hamilton College and can also be purchased online from the Beinecke for about $100. Since none of Fenollosa’s previous transcribers ever fully learned how to read his handwriting, it was decided that including a collation of textual variants would be pointless. (See Editor’s Introduction.) ...


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