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The Great Clod

Notes and Memoirs on Nature and History in East Asia
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Counterpoint
 | 
June, 2020
ISBN:
9781640093911
Quantity: 
2
$16.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Throughout his remarkable career, Gary Snyder has continued his study of Eastern culture and philosophies. From the Ainu to the Mongols, from Hokkaido to Kyoto, from the landscapes of China to the backcountry of contemporary Japan, from the temples of Daitokoji to the Yellow River Valley, it is clear how this work has influenced his poetry, his stance as an environmental and political activist, and his long practice of Zen.

The Great Clod collects eight essays—with titles like “Wild” in China,” “Ink and Charcoal,” “Walls Within Walls,” “Wolf-Hair Brush” and “All He Sees is Blue”—which turn from being memoirs of travel to prolonged considerations of art, culture, natural history and religion. Filled with Snyder's remarkable insights and briskly beautiful descriptions, this collection adds enormously to the major corpus of his work, certain to delight and instruct his readers now and forever.

Tsung Ping, an early fifth-century painter whose work does not survive, is described as having done mountain landscapes when ill and no longer able to ramble the hills he loved. He wrote the perfect program for a recluse:

 

“Thus by living leisurely, by controlling the vital breath, by wiping the goblet, by playing the ch’in, by contemplating pictures in silence, by meditating on the four quarters of space, by never resisting the influence of Heaven and by responding to the call of the wilderness where the cliffs and peaks rise to dazzling heights and the cloudy forests are dense and vast, the wise and virtuous men of ancient times found innumerable pleasures which they assimilated by their souls and minds."

“Classical poetry, calligraphy, the best source of temple incense—all figure in the text, which has something of the feel of a valediction. Elegant and thoughtful, with much to read between the lines in commentary on a long life's work. Students and admirers of Snyder will be enchanted and intrigued.” —Kirkus Reviews)

Among Gary Snyder’s many books are Mountains and Rivers Without End and The Real Work.

Publisher’s Description: 

Classical poetry, calligraphy, the best source of temple incense—all figure in the text, which has something of the feel of a valediction. Elegant and thoughtful, with much to read between the lines in commentary on a long life's work. Students and admirers of Snyder will be enchanted and intrigued. (Kirkus Reviews)

Throughout his remarkable career, Gary Snyder has continued his study of Eastern culture and philosophies. From the Ainu to the Mongols, from Hokkaido to Kyoto, from the landscapes of China to the backcountry of contemporary Japan, from the temples of Daitokoji to the Yellow River Valley, it is clear how this work has influenced his poetry, his stance as an environmental and political activist, and his long practice of Zen. The Great Clod collects eight essays, which turn from being memoirs of travel to prolonged considerations of art, culture, natural history and religion. Filled with Snyder's remarkable insights and briskly beautiful descriptions, this collection adds enormously to the major corpus of his work, certain to delight and instruct his readers now and forever.

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