The Gorilla and the Bird’: Modernism and the Pathology of Language



Pound’s modernist project for a poetry that would once again be read, without prejudice to its privileged capacities, involved a quest for techniques which would synthesise the special subjectivity of poetry with the social objectivity of ‘prose’. In other words, on the one hand we have the ‘Old World magic’ of the poetic vision, which we have observed in terms of ‘delightful psychic experience’, ‘the radiant world’, the world of myth and of the primitive qualities of the Chinese character, relating to chosen historical moments of Classical, Romance and Oriental culture. On the other hand, we have a modern world whose dominant ‘prose’ discourse is that of science: modern scientific energies, psychology, and the model of the mathematician-psychologist contained in empirio-criticism. Mediating between these two worlds we have Pound’s poetics and poetic practice, which we have looked at in terms of the notion of poetic energy, of the Image and the Vortex, and of the particularities of his theory of energetic grammar and metaphor.


Oedipus Complex Conditional Knowledge Pleasure Principle Patron Saint Social Conditionality 
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© Martin A. Kayman 1986

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