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Modernism and the Orient

ENGL 210.401
instructor(s):
TR 3-4:30

Ezra Pound insisted that a few hours work on the Chinese ideogram goes further to jog a man out of fixations than a months work on a great Greek author. In this course, we will consider modernisms drive both to unfix and to fix by looking closely at the place of the Orient in this literature. We will see how and when this reference elsewhere steps in: in a call to artistic renewal, during a crisis of authority, or, most importantly, in order to elaborate the artist's position vis-a-vis home. The readings are divided between those artists who use the east in a nativist vein and those who espouse internationalism. We will read, among others: Williams and Sandburg in America, Pound and Stein abroad, and the curious case of Amy Lowell. Course requirements: presentation, short essay, midterm exam, final paper.