This book is a comparative study of the ninth-century Chinese poet and recluse Han Shan (Cold Mountain) and Gary Snyder, an American poet and environmental activist. Joan Tan explains how Chan Buddhism has the potential to be recognised as an important voice in contemporary ecopoetry. Mountain-seeing Chan/Zen theory and the nature -- Chan mirror are employed as aesthetic criteria to explicate the dual discourses -- spiritual and aesthetic -- which exist in Han Shan and Snyder's poetry and life work. Snyder's goal of establishing one ecosystem for all communities encouraged him to adopt Han Shan as an ideal (albeit Chinese mythical) model and Chan Buddhism as a global subculture representing environmental values. This book investigates how Snyder interweaves Chinese cultural sources in an eclectic way to impose a sense of place, a sense of mission and a sense of energy in his ecopoetry. His unique ideogrammatic method -- riprapping -- developed as a result of his literary indebtedness to the Oriental tradition, makes for a forceful statement on contemporary ecology. Through Snyder's successful translation, Han Shan has been revived as an immortal Beat Poet (Jack Kerouac features prominently in the chapters), while Cold Mountain has emerged as synonymous with enlightenment. Snyder himself has become an exemplary representative of an American Han Shan. The poetic line extending from Han Shan through to Chan/Zen to contemporary ecology is considered here as a continuum -- a continuum profoundly enhanced by Snyder's remarkable achievement of eco-wholeness -- the original goal of Han Shan in his ecopoetry. Complemented with full Chinese character text and Glossary.
Product code: BHPKH
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Dimensions: 24.5cm x 17.4cm
Publish date: 07/05/2009
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