Ezra Pound and Neoplatonism. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2004.

Peter Liebregts’ masterful Ezra Pound and Neo-Platonism (Fairleigh Dickinson) is not a monograph; it is one of the most comprehensive readings of an important facet—perhaps the most important facet--that Pound ever attempted. When he opens by saying that “This book is a study of Ezra Pound’s explicit and implicit use of elements of the Neoplatonic tradition in his prose and poetry and of the way it informed his poetics as well as his political and social-economic views” he’s not overstating his project, which is to “look at Pound’s use of Neoplatonism in toto, not only in The Cantos.” As is well known, the image of light suffuses Pound’s poem, and the Neoplatonic connection has long been acknowledged; it just turns out that there is so much more to say. Pound’s reading in Neoplatonism began early and never ended; it’s a worldview, a way of being, an attitude towards existence. 



Table of Contents

  Acknowledgments 13
  Abbreviations 15
1. Plotinus, Neoplatonism, and Ezra Pound 19

Yeatsian Moods and Plotinian Ecstasy:

 The Question of the Self in Lume Spento

3. Eleusis, Neoplatonism, and the Medieval Love Ethic 60
4. Imagism, Vorticism, and Neoplatonic Poetics 80
5. The Cantos and Neoplatonism: General Introduction 97

The Occult Beginnings of The Cantos: 

Art versus Afterlife

7. Draft of XVI Cantos 132
8. Cantos XVII–XXX 166
9. Cantos XXXI–XLVI 200
10. Cantos XLVII–LXXI 232
11. The Pisan Cantos (LXXIV–LXXXIV) 249
12. Section: Rock-Drill: 8595 de los Cantares 291
13. Thrones: 96109 de los Cantares 329
14. Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CXCXVII 372
  Notes 388
  Bibliography 430




Alec Marsh. In American Literary Scholarship 2004. 151-53.




Biographical note:









Peter Liebregts graduated in Classics at the University of Utrecht in 1986 and took his doctorate cum laude at Leiden University in 1993. He was appointed Full Professor of Modern Literatures in English at Leiden University in 2006.

During the academic year 2008-09 he was co-leader of the international research Theme Group "The (Post)Modern Augustine" at The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies.

In recent years he has taught courses on the work of J.M. Coetzee, South African literature, "The Long Modern(ist) Poem", "Anglo-American Literature and Art in the Modernist Period", on James Joyce's Ulysses, and on the Iliad and the Odyssey in 21st-century literatures and films in English (e.g. Christopher Logue, Margaret Atwood, "Troy", David Malouf, the Coen Brothers).

In 1999, he received the Premio Letterario Internazionale 'I Siracusani' for his article "Nell'azzuro del mito (Luis Couperus in Sicilia)".












Research interests and current projects

Peter's research interests focus on the Nachleben of the classical tradition and on Modernist and contemporary literature.

He is currently involved in the project The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature

     Read more about Peter's research profile





Besides numerous publications on literatures in English, including articles on Jane Austen, J.M. Coetzee, Donna Tartt, and Jhumpa Lahiri, Peter published:

Centaurs in the Twilight: W.B. Yeats’s Use of the Classical Tradition (1993)

He co-edited five books on Modernisms in a European context, and is the co-editor of the three-volume The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine , which was published by Oxford UP  in 2013. 



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