Fluidities of gender in Ezra Pound



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Texas Tech University


This study of Ezra Pound explores the locus of the fluidities in his poetic writings through the lenses of gender and sexuality Rather than fixed categories of the feminine or the masculine, I attempt to find the locus of the blurring of gender in Pound's poetry and poetics, and this blurring appears to be an ambivalence or ambiguity

Chapter I introduces the fluidities into a critical tradition of Pound that considers him contradictory. I argue that his gender representation is fluid, somewhat ambiguous or ambivalent, in that he appropriates and deploys the feminine fluidities. In Chapter II, I argue that Pound's transition from soft to hard, rather than a real transition or eventual evolution, is an oscillation between the binaries of soft/hard, fluid/solid, feminine/masculine, 3.nd yin/yang. In the first section of Chapter III, psychoanalysis is presented as about the unconscious, sexuality, and, above all, the body which has been repressed, and the second section mainly discusses Pound's fluid experiments with gender (his use of personae) in terms of English and French feminist approaches

In the first section of Chapter VI, I broadly explore androgyny in the modernist period, in order to discern and confirm the fluidities of gender in Pound, and these fluidities are examined in Pound's poetics, economics, and politics in the second section Chapter V is about his connection of the feminine with the Orient, seeing Pound's objectification of the feminine and Oriental Other as a paradoxical combination of absence and excess Pound's anti-Semitism is also explained as a mother sacrifice in terms of Kristeva's notion of the abject and Freud's totem Yet, as several critics note, this nothing and excess belong, rather than to the feminine or the Orient, to Pound, because he presents his own ambivalence and ambiguity through these mirrors of the Other.

Chapter VI is about gender issues in Pound's scientism, the interrelated mechanisms of science and poetics in the vortex, the ideogram, and Pound's mysticism In Chapter VQ, citing Irigaray's notion of fluids, I conclude that Pound's appropriation of the fluidities results in his own nothing/excess, because these fluidities blur the boundaries of fixed categories such as poetics, economics, and politics. This blurring and transgression ultimately create his own marginalization and victimage.