Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Buddhist Studies. Translation. This collection of essays, articles, and poems about Chinese and Japanese literature and culture celebrates the illustrious scholarly career of Burton Watson, whose range of excellent literary translations into English from Japanese and classical Chinese is second to none. Over half of the book's seventeen chapters are articles about Chinese or Japanese literature and culture with full scholarly apparatus; the remainder are tributes to Watson in the form of poetry or informal essays. Nearly all of the chapters are by veteran poets or scholars of East Asian culture. Topics include analysis of Watson's skills as a translator and practical critic; a cultural history of Chinese literati; masterpieces of the Ming essayist Zhang Dai; revisiting David Hawkes' interpretations of Du Fu's poetry; China's earliest science fiction from the late Qing; reflections on cultural change by the early Yuan Confucianist Hao Jing; the multi-dimensional symbolism in Hagiwara Sakutarô's poetry; the fictional portrayal of a self-sacrificing female Chinese Buddhist saint; key patterns of arboreal imagery in the 300 Tang Poems anthology; and Japanese linked verse across the centuries.
Contributors include Victor Mair, Robert Hegel, Hiroaki Sato, William Nienhauser, Jr., Jonathan Chaves, Lucas Klein, Hoyt Tillman, Yenna Wu, Yoko Danno, Hua Li, Duncan Campbell, Stephen Addiss, Robert Epp, Sam Hamill, Gary Snyder, Timothy Clifford, Philip Rowland, Jesse Glass, and Philip Williams. The book also contains a multi-page bibliography of major translations and studies by Burton Watson, as well as photographs and illustrations. Recommended for anyone interested in East Asian literature and culture, especially the time-honored literary classics.