By Peipei Qiu
Although haiku is widely known in the course of the global, few open air Japan are conversant in its precursor, haikai (comic associated verse). Fewer nonetheless are conscious of the function performed through the chinese language Daoist classics in turning haikai right into a revered literary paintings shape. Bashō and the Dao examines the haikai poets’ version of Daoist classics, quite the Zhuangzi, within the 17th century and the eventual transformation of haikai from frivolous verse to excessive poetry. the writer analyzes haikai’s stumble upon with the Zhuangzi via its intertextual family members with the works of Bashō and different significant haikai poets, and likewise the character and features of haikai that sustained the Zhuangzi’s relevance to haikai poetic building. She demonstrates how the haikai poets’ curiosity during this Daoist paintings used to be rooted within the intersection of deconstructing and reconstructing the classical jap poetic culture.
Well versed in either chinese language and eastern scholarship, Qiu explores the importance of Daoist rules in Bashō’s and others’ conceptions of haikai. Her process includes an intensive hermeneutic interpreting of haikai texts, an in-depth research of the relationship among chinese language and jap poetic terminology, and a comparability of Daoist features in either traditions. the result's a penetrating learn of key principles which were instrumental in defining and rediscovering the poetic essence of haikai verse.
Bashō and the Dao provides to an more and more bright zone of educational inquiry―the advanced literary and cultural family among Japan and China within the early smooth period. Researchers and scholars of East Asian literature, philosophy, and cultural feedback will locate this booklet a important contribution to cross-cultural literary reports and comparative aesthetics.
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Extra info for Basho and the Dao - the Zhuangzi and the Transformation of Haikai
But this is not necessarily true. As I mentioned earlier, although those who devoted themselves to guji were not directly dealing with the Way (C. Dao; J. Dô), they actually attained the Way. Haikai is different from the way of government, but it teaches wonderful truth. Therefore, haikai is like guji: its design seems to be oratorical and witty, and its language makes “¤re” into “water,” or reveals wonderful truth through comedy. 36 Kigin’s work that contains this passage is titled Haikai umoregi (Haikai and the buried tree, 1673).
This attitude makes it immediately possible to discover wonderful meanings in the down-to-earth topics and vernacu- 38 Chapter 1 lar language of haikai and to generate poetic essence for them. In other words, the Daoist classic can help transform a newly invented haigon into a mediating sign, which translates the surface meaning of the verse into the intended signi¤cance and provides the context of the poetic dialogue. The last feature of the Zhuangzi, in particular, explains the Danrin poets’ lasting interest in the Daoist classic.
A selection of hokku by Kigin and other poets is appended at the end of the book. One of the pieces in the collection is titled “Desk”: A desk has two functions. One is for practicing writing, the other is for learning. Both are truly useful skills, unlike super¶uous skills such as singing. Singing is hard to learn but easy to forget. Even if you have learned nine-tenths of it, you still cannot make use of the skill until you have fully mastered it. But if you learn a character, you have the virtue of that character.