Was Ezra Pound a new historicist? Poetry and poetics in the age of globalization

Alternative Title

庞德是新历史主义者吗? : 全球化时代的诗歌与诗学

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Foreign Literature Studies = 外国文学研究

Publication Date






First Page


Last Page



Central China Normal University


Ezra Pound, Globalization, New Historicism, Poetics, 庞德, 新历史主义, 诗学, 全球化


This essay explores the family resemblance between the poetics of Ezra Pound and the critical methodology of New Historicism. I argue that such a resemblance does not simply pertain to the relationship between Pound and the New Historicists: it alternatively functions as an organizational principle in each of their works: whether in Pound's poetry or in a New Historicist's critical work, the vast array of materials is often assembled by means of an apparent family resemblance among the Luminous Details. The larger implication of this compositional method becomes clear when we consider a resemblance at another level: both Pound's and the New Historicist's works are global in scale-they tend to use Luminous Details to reveal large pictures of a society or culture. In Pound's words, it is to use "a sufficient phalanx of particulars" to capture recurring paideumatic structures of civilization: in New Historicist terms, it is to put tiny tissues of textual traces under a microscopic lens in order to reveal a picture of a "sublime confrontation between a total artist and a totalizing society." This concern with the passage from a local detail to a global panorama will put both Pound and the New Historicists at the center of our current discourse of globalization. Pound's lifelong commitment to designing a pan-cultural program and New Historicism's recent turn to the study of cultural mobility further suggest that the New Historicists share with Pound a vision not only for a cultural poetics but also for a poetry that circulates and exchanges meanings across cultures.


Print ISSN


Publisher Statement

Copyright © Foreign Literature Studies. All right reserved.



Recommended Citation

Huang, Y. (2006). Was Ezra Pound a new historicist? Poetry and poetics in the age of globalization. Foreign Literature Studies, 28(6), 28-44.

This document is currently not available here.