Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape

Overview

Come along with David Hinton on a series of walks through the wild beauty of Hunger Mountain, near his home in Vermont—excursions informed by the worldview he’s imbibed from his many years translating the classics of Chinese poetry and philosophy. His broad-ranging discussion offers insight on everything from the mountain landscape to the origins of consciousness and the Cosmos, from geology to Chinese landscape painting, from parenting to pictographic oracle-bone script, to a family chutney recipe. It’s a ...
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Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape

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Overview

Come along with David Hinton on a series of walks through the wild beauty of Hunger Mountain, near his home in Vermont—excursions informed by the worldview he’s imbibed from his many years translating the classics of Chinese poetry and philosophy. His broad-ranging discussion offers insight on everything from the mountain landscape to the origins of consciousness and the Cosmos, from geology to Chinese landscape painting, from parenting to pictographic oracle-bone script, to a family chutney recipe. It’s a spiritual ecology that is profoundly ancient and at the same time resoundingly contemporary. Your view of the landscape—and of your place in it—may never be the same.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whether in his poetry, prose, or translations, Hinton, a leading modern translator of classical Chinese poetry, explores landscapes and consciousness and their inseparability in Chinese art and philosophy. In these 21 personal essays, Hinton burrows into China's protolingual Paleolithic Age and the 6th century BCE origins of Tao and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. Eschewing any hint of the dualism encoded in Western thought and religion, Hinton reverently unwraps the deep meanings of primary Chinese pictographs until only the vibrating word-seed lies exposed. "The primary word for poetry is written using pictographic elements," writes Hinton, "meaning 'spoken word' and 'temple'." He pairs his own metaphysical insights from living, working, and walking around Vermont's Hunger Mountain with those of China's classical sage-poets (K'uang Su, T'ao Ch'ien, Tu Fu, and more) to masterful effect. While this may be rigorous reading for those unfamiliar with Hinton's specialized topics, there are wonderful stories for all to enjoy, especially that of poet Summit-Gate, who made a library of autumn leaves with her poem written on them and, at first snowfall, released them one by one to the mountain wind.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"A gorgeous book, a book of power, the very opposite of mystical. If you have a special mountain in your life, you'll read it with understanding; if you don't, it will make you want to get one!"—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

"A beautiful and compelling meditation on consciousness and the cosmos through a series of peregrinations around and beyond the intricacies of Chinese philosophy. The erudition is staggering, the spiritual aspiration profoundly moving. I couldn’t put this guidebook down, into the night, a diamond moon over my shoulder, and suddenly it was radiant dawn. A unique and dazzling achievement."—Anne Waldman, author of The Iovis Trilogy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611800166
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 537,836
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hinton, through his many translations of classical Chinese poetry, has earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in over a century to translate the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: the Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, the Analects, and Mencius. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and both of the major awards given for poetry translation in the United States: the Landon Translation Award, from the Academy of American Poets, and the PEN Translation Award, from the PEN American Center. His most recent book is his monumental Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology
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