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East-West Exchange and Late Modernism

Williams, Moore, Pound
Zhaoming Qian

BUY Paper · 208 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813940670 · $29.50 · Nov 2017
BUY Cloth · 208 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813940663 · $70.00 · Nov 2017
BUY Ebook · 208 pp. · ISBN 9780813940687 · $29.50 · Nov 2017

In East-West Exchange and Late Modernism, Zhaoming Qian examines the nature and extent of Asian influence on some of the literary masterpieces of Western late modernism. Focusing on the poets William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Ezra Pound, Qian relates captivating stories about their interactions with Chinese artists and scholars and shows how these cross-cultural encounters helped ignite a return to their early experimental modes. Qian’s sinuous readings of the three modernists’ last books of verse—Williams’s Pictures from Brueghel (1962), Moore’s Tell Me, Tell Me (1966), and Pound’s Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII (1969)—expand our understanding of late modernism by bringing into focus its heightened attention to meaning in space, its obsession with imaginative sensibility, and its increased respect for harmony between humanity and nature.


This is an outstanding book by an excellent scholar-critic that breaks genuinely new ground and is also a real detective story. Makes for very absorbing reading.

Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University and the University of Southern California

The meticulous scholarly labors of Zhaoming Qian’s new book, East-West Exchange and Late Modernism, reveal how the late volumes of writers such as Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, and W.C. Williams were shaped by the dialogues they shared with the interesting characters in their daily lives. These dialogues had powerful and formative effects on each poet as they explored new strategies to rejuvenate their verse, and Qian’s careful, dynamic scholarship generates exciting narrative and an intense spirit of formal discovery.

Charles F. Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

Qian takes the somewhat unusual tack of arguing—successfully—that William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Ezra Pound’s interactions with Asian literature, triggered by interpersonal contact with Chinese figures, enjoyed a late florescence in the post-modern period after World War Two.

George Bornstein, University of Michigan

Zhaoming Qian, a dominant figure in the field of Modernism and China, documentssimilar cases of cross-cultural correspondences in his newest contribution, The East - WestExchange and Late Modernism. The book delivers captivating anecdotes of how William CarlosWilliams, Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound collaborated with their Chinese friends on theirpoetic projects.

Kent Su - University College London

About the Author: 

Zhaoming Qian is the Qiantang Professor of Comparative Literature at Hangzhou Normal University and the Chancellor’s Research Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Orleans. He is the author of The Modernist Response to Chinese Art (Virginia), among other works.

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