Asia in Western fiction

Robin W. Winks, James R. Rush

Research output: Book/ReportBook

1 Scopus citations


Ezra Pound, perhaps more than any other Western writer, faced the problem of transmitting Chinese thought into terms which would be meaningful to readers with Western literary sensibilities. Here he sought to reduce from ten lines to three a translation (introduced in 1901 by H. A. Giles) of a poem overlaid with tones of nostalgia, as the West would understand the term. Pound saw the original meaning clearly, in all its ambiguity, and he reduced 'The Fan Piece' for her Imperial Lord virtually to haiku, expressing the differences between the rights of an imperial lord who may simply lay aside a lady, that is, truly neglect her, while romantically yearning for the time when she still had favour in his eyes and lay beside him.1 In these lines Pound also shows us just how difficult it is for Western readers truly to see - as opposed to look at - Asia without fastening onto that which is seen in stereotypes which originate from Western needs and experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages229
ISBN (Electronic)9781526123534
ISBN (Print)9781526142696
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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