Ernest Fenollosa, Ezra Pound, and the Chinese Written Character
This chapter argues that Ernest Fenollosa's anxieties over the aesthetic tragedy of machine culture and the role of Asia's technê as an antidote to that dilemma point directly to an important complication in the traditional story about how his theories were interpreted and disseminated by his literary executor, Ezra Pound. The typical account of Fenollosa/Pound operates under the commonsensical notion that since Pound edited, published, and continually championed Fenollosa's manuscripts, the two figures were more or less of the same mind regarding the operative dynamics of the Chinese ideograph. However, when we consider the role of the machine in—and as—art, striking discontinuities and tensions between Fenollosa and Pound begin to emerge.
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