Written on water: The poetics of Anglo-American exchange
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This project argues that national models are problematic in accounting for both literary production as well as aesthetic value. In the place of such models, this project argues that translation theory informs those writing practices that deliberately undercut official and nationalistic literary models and can better account for the literary practices that respond to the particular problems of modernism after the Second World War. Chapter one of this dissertation begins by examining how Ezra Pound develops his particular modernist techniques of fragmentation as a response to cultural dislocation. It also questions the problematic and unlikely roles Eliot and Auden play in Anglo-American exchange and national literary traditions. Chapter two investigates the ways in which form and texture, in particular, have figured in the reformation and (re)imagining of national literary traditions. Chapter three examines the difficult relationships between American and British after the Second World War, decades in which notions of national identity were particularly problematic and an often bitterly contested terrain. The fourth chapter continues this line of inquiry by focusing on how Charles Tomlinson negotiates his so-called "conversion" from British to American poetics.