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Ambition and Anxiety: Ezra Pound's Cantos and Derek Walcott's Omeros as Twentieth-Century Epics
Cross/Cultures 88. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006.
xxiii + 342 pp. ISBN 9-789042-021495 cloth.
Line Henriksen's book is a cogent and meticulous comparison of two treatments of the epic genre that reflect vastly divided historical and ideological vantage points. Pound's Cantos express a culturally supremacist intent, exhibiting what Walcott has himself diagnosed in "the Muse of History" as a dangerous tendency to prophesy: "[T]he polemic poet, like the politician, will wish to produce epic work, to summon the grandeur of the past, not as …