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The Modernist Response to Chinese Art: Pound, Moore, Stevens
by Zhaoming Qian
University of Virginia Press, 2003
Cloth: 978-0-8139-2175-4 | Paper: 978-0-8139-2176-1
Library of Congress Classification PS310.A76Q53 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 811/.5209357

"[A] richly illustrated and convincingly argued book.... Qian has opened wide the gates of understanding and appreciation to a subject few had the linguistic and cultural background to explain. Highly recommended."


What role did Chinese art play in the poetic development of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens? How could they share Chinese artists' Dao, an aesthetic held to be beyond verbal representation? In this sequel to his critically acclaimed study Orientalism and Modernism, Zhaoming Qian investigates the ways in which these three modernist poets received Chinese artistic notions and assimilated them into their literary masterpieces. With forty rare and previously unpublished photographs presented with accompanying analysis, this study reconstructs the three poets' dialogue with the Chinese masters.

In addition to examining Canto 49, "Nine Nectarines," and "Six Significant Landscapes," by Pound, Moore, and Stevens, respectively, Qian provides indispensable historical and cultural material never before recorded in a single work. The Modernist Response to Chinese Art pays long-overdue attention to the role of several early collections of Chinese art in England and America; it clarifies some common misconceptions about Confucianism and Daoism; it identifies in the modernist poets both linkage to and revolt against their predecessors'--and peers'--hegemonic Orientalism; and it intensifies awareness of modernist Orientalism not as a monolithic and constant conception but as a slippery and shifting process.


Zhaoming Qian, Professor of English at the University of New Orleans, is the author of Orientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of China in Pound and Williams and the editor of Ezra Pound and China.
    PART 1 China in Galleries
       1. Pound and Chinese Art in the "British Museum Era"  3
       2. Chinese Art Arrives in America: Stevens and Moore  22
    PART 2 Remaking Culture
       3. Pound and Pictures of Confucian Ideals             47
       4. The Eternal Dao: Pound and Moore                   64
       5. Stevens and Chan Art                               81
    PART 3 Picturing the Other
       6. Stevens's "Six Significant Landscapes"             99
       7. Moore and Ming-Qing Porcelain: "Nine Nectarines"  1ll
       8. Pound's Seven Lakes Canto                         123
    PART 4 The Poets as Critics and Connoisseurs
       9. Pound, Fenollosa, and The Chinese Written Character  141
       10. Stevens as Art Collector                          155
       11. Moore and The Tao of Painting                     167
    PART 5 Late Modernism and the Orient
       12. Moore and 0 to Be a Dragon                        181
       13. Nothingness and Late Stevens                      193
       14. The Chinese in Rock-Drill and Thrones             207
    Appendix: Moore's Typescript for "Tedium and Integrity"  225
    Notes                                                 229
    Index                                                 263