Blake and Joyce



So true is it that the nineteenth century is an age both of realism and romance — of realist novels and romantic poems, for instance — that sometimes moderns are inclined to forget the unstable effects this collocation could bring about: inclined to forget, also, that when moderns came to react against the nineteenth century, nevertheless both partners in this strange couple could continue to have effects. This is true, for instance, of Ezra Pound, whose hunt for accuracy and precision can be linked backwards to the realist tendency in nineteenth-century sensibility, but whose early immersion in medieval Provençal literature fostered a lifelong admiration for romance. This issued not only in such works as The Spirit of Romance, but also encouraged the persistence in his poetry of elements we would now call ‘Romantic’, or possibly ‘late Romantic’. Thus, as late as the final Cantos, one may encounter a lyric plangency — and, indeed, a use of slightly archaic English — which makes one think back to the poetry Pound was reading in his formative years.


Romantic Poet Realist Tendency Unstable Effect Early Immersion Library Edition 
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© Edward Larrissy 2006

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