This is an ongoing project and I hope for a full methodology and justification of it at some point. The Timeline is one of several tools from a suite created by MIT’s SIMILE Project. The Timeline populates data I’ve entered into a spreadsheet that you can view here. Please contact me if you’re interested in contributing to this spreadsheet; since it’s a Google Doc, I can freely share access. I am especially interested in hearing from textual scholars as I see the project expanding toward composition history and the social, economic, and political pragmatics within which Pound composed The Cantos over the course of over fifty years.
I used the 1996 fourth printing of The Cantos as my primary text. As the Table of Contents indicates, the text is organized according to the most prominent publication groupings in which The Cantos appeared. While this organization is certainly logical, performing research into the social, economic, artistic, and political climates in which each canto was written could provide significant insight into the elements that contributed to the composition of Pound’s masterwork.
This project would not have been in any way possible without Carroll F. Terrell’s, A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Using Terrell’s notations, I listed all the source texts and authors that Pound drew on in each canto. I also relied on Terrell for much of the composition scholarship having to do with each canto (and I have only scratched the surface of the work he references in that area). There were several instances in which Terrell’s Companion differed from the edition of The Cantos I used (e.g. the cantos that appeared, untranslated, in Italian but were not annotated in the Companion). Perhaps most importantly, however, I relied on Terrell’s nuanced explanation of Pound idiosyncratic translations from the different languages he integrates into The Cantos. Terrell’s explanations of Pound’s understanding of Chinese and Provencal, for instance, were invaluable in a way that direct reference to dictionaries would not have been. All in all, Terrell’s Companion was indispensable.
As I mentioned above, at this point, I am highly interested in gearing this project toward delineating the composition history of The Cantos. Below I have embedded a Google Doc of a bibliography of the textual scholarship I have consulted in my attempt to trace the composition history of each canto. So far, this has been difficult going and so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for work that would help.
This project was created as part of Dr. Jeffrey Drouin’s Digital Humanities and Modernism class in The University of Tulsa’s Graduate English program. Because this is my first digital humanities project and because I had to use html programming language for the first time, I would not have been able to complete the project without Dr. Drouin’s help.
Textual Scholarship Bibliography (suggestions welcome):