Pound's Translations of Confucius

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Yi-Kuan Su (University College London)
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Canto XIII of Ezra Pound’s modernist epic begins with the lines “Kung walked / by the dynastic temple / and into the cedar grove.” “Kung” is the idiosyncratic French spelling of the name of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. The clarity and precision of the word “dynastic” links the poem not only to the past, but also to the perpetuating of traditions. Pound perceived himself as a devoted disciple of “Kung” and proclaimed that he had a mission to translate and transmit the moral philosophy of his master to the West: “The blossoms of the apricot / blow from the east to the west, /And I have tried to keep them from falling” (Canto XIII…

4784 words

Citation: Su, Yi-Kuan. "Pound's Translations of Confucius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 January 2018 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19500, accessed 06 June 2023.]

19500 Pound's Translations of Confucius 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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