Josh responds to my "pastoral" comments of the 17th. Thanks, Josh.

I think I wouldn't characterize my original take as simply "Christian" or "too Christian"; I see it, anyway, as simply literary. I'm not promoting a particular version of pastoral; rather, I'm trying to understand how the literary mode called pastoral might be seen as combining both Pound's "eclogic" and his didactic impulses.

The eclogue or the pastoral may, as Josh says, evoke a fragile, trespassable, "synchronous", aesthetic (imagined) space; but I think the same always implies what has been rejected or kept outside (history, violence, etc.). & I think the trajectory of Pound's career indeed represents an attempt to fuse these contradictory/complimentary meanings of pastoral : his "epic" project itself was an effort to go beyond the closed circle of fin de siecle art-for-art's-sake; it was an attempt to fuse the aesthetic eclogue-pastoral with the rhetorical-didactic "shepherding"-pastoral. Unfortunately the authoritarian structure of his plans for world-renovation led him further & further into his own political anti-paradise. & I agree with you, that the partial peripeteia of this personal melodrama or tragedy appears in the Pisan cantos, when he's in the jail cage, looking at birds on the phone wires and ants in the sand.

(I say partial peripeteia, because Pound, like many a Sophoclean or Shakespearean tragic character, came to only a partial recognition of his mistakes. Yet even that partial recognition allowed him, sometimes, a new tone in the poetry.)

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