Writing as Enlightenment: Buddhist American Literature into the Twenty-first Century

Writing as Enlightenment: Buddhist American Literature into the Twenty-first Century

by John Whalen-Bridge
     
 

This timely book explores how Buddhist-inflected thought has enriched contemporary American literature. Continuing the work begun in The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature, editors John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff and the volume’s contributors turn to the most recent developments, revealing how mid-1970s through early twenty-first-century literature… See more details below

Overview

This timely book explores how Buddhist-inflected thought has enriched contemporary American literature. Continuing the work begun in The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature, editors John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff and the volume’s contributors turn to the most recent developments, revealing how mid-1970s through early twenty-first-century literature has employed Buddhist texts, principles, and genres. Just as Buddhism underwent indigenization when it moved from India to Tibet, to China, and to Japan, it is now undergoing that process in the United States. While some will find literary creativity in this process, others lament a loss of authenticity. The book begins with a look at the American reception of Zen and at the approaches to Dharma developed by African Americans. The work of consciously Buddhist and Buddhist-influenced writers such as Don DeLillo, Gary Snyder, and Jackson Mac Low is analyzed, and a final section of the volume contains interviews and discussions with contemporary Buddhist writers. These include an interview with Gary Snyder; a discussion with Maxine Hong Kingston and Charles Johnson; and discussions of competing American and Asian values at the Beat- and Buddhist-inspired writing program at Naropa University with poets Joanne Kyger, Reed Bye, Keith Abbott, Andrew Schelling, and Elizabeth Robinson.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781438439204
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
08/01/2011
Series:
SUNY series in Buddhism and American Culture Series
Pages:
207
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Jan Willis xi

Introduction John Whalen-Bridge Gary Storhoff 1

Part I Widening the Stream: Literature as Transmission

Chapter 1 The Transmission of Zen as Dual Discourse: Shaku Soen and Okakura Kakuzo Jane Falk 19

Chapter 2 Black American Buddhism: History and Representation Linda Furgerson Selzer 37

Part II The New Lamp: Buddhism and Contemporary Writers

Chapter 3 Some of the Dharma: The Human, the Heavenly, and the "Real Work" in the Writings of Gary Snyder Allan Johnston 71

Chapter 4 "Listen and Relate": Buddhism, Daoism, and Chance in the Poetry and Poetics of Jackson Mac Low Jonathan Stalling 89

Chapter 5 A Deeper Kind of Truth: Buddhist Themes in Don DeLillo's Libra Gary Storhoff 109

Part III Speaking As Enlightenment: Interviews with Buddhist Writers

Chapter 6 "The Present Moment Happening": A Conversation with Gary Snyder about Danger on Peaks Julia Martin 133

Chapter 7 Embodied Mindfulness: Charles Johnson and Maxine Hong Kingston on Buddhism, Race, and Beauty John Whalen-Bridge 141

Chapter 8 Poetry and Practice at Naropa University John Whalen-Bridge 157

List of Contributors 185

Index 189

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