This paper focuses on Ezra Pound's Chinese creative translations or adaptations in Cathay (1915). Evidence is given why the poems in this volume should not be considered to be regular translations, failing to obey the most evident requirements of "translation" proper. Although adaptations of Cathay retain foreign peculiarities of the original poems, some additional features of Western 20th-century literature are also infused into them. After some preliminary theoretical considerations about Pound's translation theory, a few exemplary poems of the volume will be analysed with respect to the techniques of adaptation Pound applied. The Fenollosa manuscripts Pound used as a source will be taken into account for comparative purposes.
The translation of Chinese poems in Ezra Pound's collection 'Cathay' attempts to inveigle the ordinary Western reader to sympathize and participate in a culture that is strange and unfamiliar. It counterbalances what Pound considers a trend of displacement in elegiac lyricism that prevailed in the mid- and late-Victorian era. Pound made use of the persona to establish sympathetic resonance with which the reader can relate to.
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