Marianne Moore and China: Orientalism and a Writing of America


Marianne Moore's poetry offers an extraordinarily rich site from which to analyze a tradition of American orientalism which focused upon China. Marianne Moore and China examines why she chose to participate in that tradition and analyses why her borrowing of Chinese models of all kinds--from poetry to painting and philosophy--was so critical to the formation of her verse. This book also examines the ways in which Chinese linguistic features provide Moore with models for her compound nouns and syntactical ellipses, and gathers evidence to show that her abiding concerns for precision, brevity and restraint have both Confucian and Puritan antecedents.

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