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Project "A Variorum Edition of Ezra Pound's Cantos"

Begun in 1980 at Bayreuth, the project was strongly supported by the University library which collected all available Pound material including xerox copies of missing published texts. Their collection is the most extensive in Europe (among earlier publications by Pound the library owns Pounds Canzoni (London: Mathews, 1911), and his translation Cathay: for the most part from the Chinese of Rihaku, from the notes of the late Ernest Fenellosa (London: Mathews, 1915). The library’s collection is complemented by research material in my possession, including extensive correspondence files. Based on work by the University of Bayreuth computer center, a personalized collation program in Fortran can still be used. It ultimately became obvious that a hypertext, screen readable publication was the only option, and that the data assembled required extensive documentation of how, why, and who had influenced the genesis of the text as well as its various published versions. Volumes of Pound's correspondence have been published, interim, but the really significant information lies in publishers' archives, unpublished letters in the public domain, and shoe boxes under various beds. I have spent twenty years tracking down as much of all that as possible and have about one thousand and two hundred pages of relevant quotations which correlate with Canto/Line references as well as disparate publications. Stemmae of individual cantos will be included as well as microfilm reproduction of 'de Luxe' (illuminated or not) editions and selected samples of presumed setting copy.

Over the years, a wider view of the poem's probable evolution and its metrical base emerged. These unpublished essays can now be accessed at <<www.richard-dean-taylor.de>>. The site contains a full C.V. and a selection of prior publications in obscure journals concerning African Literature in English as well as world drama.

Richard Taylor, Emeritus, University of Bayreuth

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