The Cantos Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Cantos.
This section contains 1,519 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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A Draft of XVI Cantos

The first installment of cantos appeared just as Pound was leaving Paris. Published in a small, limited, expensive edition with medieval-looking illuminated capitals, the book was self-consciously aimed at an exclusive public. In these first sixteen poems, Pound introduces the themes that he intends to pursue throughout his long "poem containing history."

The first canto, certainly one of the finest, is both a retelling of the story of Book 11 of Homer's Odyssey and a modeling of the "palimpsestic" mode of the construction of poetry that Pound uses throughout The Cantos. A palimpsest is an ancient piece of paper or parchment that has been written on a number of times at different points in history. On a palimpsest, the traces of the earlier writing are incompletely erased and are visible. Pound was fascinated by this idea. In this first canto, Pound uses a number...

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This section contains 1,519 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cantos Study Guide
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Gale
The Cantos from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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