The Cantos Essay

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In the following essay, M. L. Rosenthal discusses Pound's Cantos as a work that must be read "experientially" rather than "schematically" and how this reading exposes its historical scope and its multiple voices.

Space forbids our going into the Cantos in even as much detail as we have into Mauberley. We have already, however, noted some of the leading ideas behind this more involved and ambitious work, and though we cannot here trace their handling throughout its winning, Gargantuan progress, a few suggestions concerning its character as a poetic sequence may be useful. First of all, we may take as our point of departure the fact that in motivation and outlook the Cantos are a vast proliferation from the same conceptions which underlie Mauberley. The difference lies partly in the multiplicity of "voices" and "cross-sections," partly in the vastly greater inclusiveness of historical and cultural scope, and partly...

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This section contains 2,886 words
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The Cantos from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.