The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature [NOOK Book]

Overview

The encounter between Buddhism and American literature has been a powerful one for both parties. While Buddhism fueled the Beat movement's resounding critique of the United States as a spiritually dead society, Beat writers and others have shaped how Buddhism has been presented to and perceived by a North American audience. Contributors to this volume explore how Asian influences have been adapted to American desires in literary works and Buddhist poetics, or how Buddhist practices emerge in literary works. ...
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The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature

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Overview

The encounter between Buddhism and American literature has been a powerful one for both parties. While Buddhism fueled the Beat movement's resounding critique of the United States as a spiritually dead society, Beat writers and others have shaped how Buddhism has been presented to and perceived by a North American audience. Contributors to this volume explore how Asian influences have been adapted to American desires in literary works and Buddhist poetics, or how Buddhist practices emerge in literary works. Starting with early aesthetic theories of Ernest Fenollosa, made famous but also distorted by Ezra Pound, the book moves on to the countercultural voices associated with the Beat movement and its friends and heirs such as Ginsberg, Kerouac, Snyder, Giorno, Waldman, and Whalen. The volume also considers the work of contemporary American writers of color influenced by Buddhism, such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Charles Johnson, and Lan Cao. An interview with Kingston is included.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This collection offers an excellent and newly renovated place from which to continue the study of Buddhism in American literature. It will become an essential critical volume.— Religion and the Arts

"...signals a significant turn in critical understanding of Buddhism in U.S. literature-one whose methodology emphasizes the groundlessness shared by Buddhism and contemporary literature studies while also grounding itself, necessarily so, in the ways in which Buddhism is shaped by the particularities of history."— Beat Studies

"...a thought-provoking analysis of the myriad ways American literature has contributed to our Buddhist practice and vice versa."— Tricycle

"...a groundbreaking anthology of critical writings making vital new connections between buddhadharma and American literature..."— Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

"This book in your hands is a trove of the best we can do to put the Dharma into words."— from the Foreword by Maxine Hong Kingston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438426594
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 595 KB

Meet the Author

John Whalen-Bridge is Associate Professor of English at the National University of Singapore. He is the coeditor (with Sor-hoon Tan) of Democracy as Culture: Deweyan Pragmatism in a Globalizing World, also published by SUNY Press, and the author of Political Fiction and the American Self.

Gary Storhoff is Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford and the author of Understanding Charles Johnson.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Maxine Hong Kingston ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction John Whalen-Bridge Gary Storhoff 1

Part I Literature as Vehicle: Transmission and Transformation

1 The Emptiness of Patterned Flux: Ernest Fenollosa's Buddhist Essay "The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry" Jonathan Stalling 21

2 Gary Snyder's Selective Way to Cold Mountain: Domesticating Han Shan Yuemin He 45

3 John Giorno: Buddhism, Poetry, and Transgression Marcus Boon 63

4 Buddhadharma and Poetry without Credentials Michael Heller 83

Part II Zen, Vajrayana, and the Avant-Garde: A Pluralistic Poetics

5 Finger Pointing at the Moon: Zen and the Poetry of Philip Whalen Jane Falk 103

6 Keeping Vision Alive: The Buddhist Stillpoint in the Work of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg Erik Mortenson 123

7 Illumination Through the Cracks: The Melting Down of Conventional Socio-Religious Thought and Practice in the Work of Gary Snyder Tom Lavazzi 139

8 The American Poetic Diamond Vehicle: Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman Re-Work Vajrayana Buddhism Jane Augustine 155

Part III Widening the Circle: Buddhism and American Writers of Color

9 Buddhism, the Chinese Religion, and the Ceremony of Writing: An Interview with Maxine Hong Kingston John Whalen-Bridge 177

10 A Bridge between Two Worlds: Crossing to America in Monkey Bridge Hanh Nguyen R. C. Lutz 189

11 'Opening the Hand of Thought': The Meditative Mind in Charles Johnson's Dr. King's Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories Gary Storhoff 207

Afterword Charles Johnson 229

List of Contributors 243

Index 247

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