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  • 1 University of Miskolc Faculty of Arts H-3515 Miskolc-Egyetemváros Hungary H-3515 Miskolc-Egyetemváros Hungary
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Abstract  

Ezra Pound's Canto I (1917), and the Hungarian Lőrinc Szabs first volume of poetry, Fld, Erdő, Isten (Earth, Forest, God — poems published between 1920 and 1921) seem to represent the same kind of discourse. Both poets employed classicist filters to induce modern sensibility and anxiety. Their poems are quasi narratives or scenes from ancient literature. Between 1917 and 1921 their response was similar to the same aspects of the past and to its textually and philologically relatable remains so that one particular citation allows manifold interpretation. There appears a borderline, a difference between the intertextual techniques of classical modernity and those of the second phase of modernity. The poets of classical modernity (Browning, Verlaine or the Hungarian Mihly Babits) built up a fictive world to provide the scenery of the poem. The construction, the composition, the designable whole gained emphasis as an integral part of the work. The texts cited by Pound or Szab are not integrated in the composition, they are left to appear as alien elements to demonstrate unidentifiability. They prove that no text can be a definite part of the composition because they all imply diverse and at times contradictory interpretations in different eras. This kind of intertextualization of classical materials differs not only from the method of classicization of the earlier, classical modernity, but also from the fashionable neo-classicism of the 1930s. In classical modernity and neo-classicism loan-texts emphasize the shaped character of classical culture. While classical modernity valued aspects of composition, neo-classicism aimed at mimicry of tone, rhetorical and poetic forms. In contrast, the second phase of modernity valued intertextuality in itself, free from all formal and logical restrictions.

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