Summary

This chapter began by establishing the importance of literary tradition to Eliot and Pound, and noting that after his turn to classicism, Hulme also emphasized the value of tradition. Eliot's and Pound's extensive use of literary allusion is a means of bringing that literary tradition into their poetry, so that the texts and poets of the past are brought into the modern poetic text, collapsing historical time. All three poets reject the notion of history as progression or evolution, in favour of history as alternating cycles (classic ism-romantic ism-classic ism, religious-humanist-religious). We reviewed three sources that stand behind this use of spatial form. Frazer and Upward made their arguments about the development of myth through the juxtaposition of vivid descriptions, Fenollosa saw the same principle of juxtaposition creating meaning within Chinese ideograms. The visual arts were making related experiments, creating a style Hulme interpreted as a return to a religious attitude. Juxtaposition suggested an organizing principle that could present history in poetry as a 'simultaneous order'. The importance of translation to modernist poetry is part of the same commitment to literary tradition.

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