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    A Zen Poet of Medieval Japan
     
    [ 作者: James W. Heisig   来自:期刊原文   已阅:3178   时间:2006-12-28   录入:douyuebo


    ·期刊原文


    Ikkyuu and the Crazy Cloud Anthology:  A Zen Poet of Medieval Japan

    Translation with an Introduction by Sonja Arntzen.

    Foreword by Shuuichi Katoo. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.

    James W. Heisig

    Philosophy East & Weast

    Volume 41, Number 2  
    P.264-265




    P.264

    This  volume  is primarily  an annotated  translation, and as
    such represents an important contribution  on a difficult but
    fascinating  subject   the kaleidoscopic, bigger-than-life,
    profanely sacred figure of Ikkyuu Soojun.  The sixty pages or
    so of introductory  matter  that  precede  it make  a fitting

    P.265

    portal  back to life in fifteenth-century  Japan and into the
    life of this most complex of Zen masters.  Unfortunately, the
    crossing is made uncommonly ponderous.
    From  the  very  first  page, a translation  of a comment  by
    Yanagida Seizan on Ikkyuu which serves as a fitting motto for
    the book, one realizes  that the English  is going to be less
    than natural.  ("This man will now continue  for some time to
    summon up a new concern among various people.") One can almost
    reconsturct  the original Japanese without tracking  it down.
    The Foreword by Katoo Shuuichi  (who is called Shuuichi Katoo
    on the cover  and  title  page) jerks  and  sputters  through
    irregular punctuation and clumsy phrasing. As one plods along
    through  its otherwise  simple  content, one is aware  that a
    great deal of red-penciling  has been done, erasing  virtually
    all  of the rhuthm  and grace  the  text  was meant  to have.
    Things   are  not  much   better   throuthgout   the  lengthy
    introduction. However carefully organized and familiar much of
    the content  was, it took me an inordinate  amount of time to
    get through it.  I expected  the worst of the translation  of
    the poems thenselves. Happily, I was wrong.
        Dr.  Arntzen's touch seems just right for the poems.  One
    cannot  read  them  hastily, or even  once, and one  is never
    allowed to forget that they were written  in Chinese  and in a
    somewhat   eccentric   Chinese  at  that.   The  accompanying
    annotation is stimulating  without overwhelming  the poems of
    getting detoured in technical  details.  I found the poems so
    good, in fact, that I began to regret that she had not chosen
    to do more of them. Her overt reason for restricting the work
    to roughly  15 percent  of the Anthology  is that "a complete
    translation  would not only be unwieldy, but its necessity is
    debatable" (p.60). On the former, perhaps; as for the latter,
    let us see more and save the debate for later.
        The attention  to detail  is everywhere  in evidence, and
    Tokyo  University  Press has done the work the tribute  of an
    elegant  layout  and beautiful  reproduction  at a reasonable
    price.  The wide outer margin words well in the translations,
    making the original Chinese immediately  accessible;  to have
    set  the notes  for the  introductory  material  in a similar
    arrangement might have worked equally well.  The inclusion of
    a comprehensive  index of the poems, and the combination of a
    general index with a glossary  for Chinese  terms are further
    refinements  that show how carefully  the whole  project  was
    thought  out.  (I  did  wonder, however, why  Saakyamuni  was
    singled out among the Sanskirt terms for diacritical markings,
    whereas all Japanese terms were uniformly marked.)
        Ikkyuu  and  the  Crazy  Cloud  Anthology  puts  new  and
    important  material  in  the  hands  of  students  of Japanese
    history  and Zen Buddhism, and makes a fitting complement  to
    Dr. Arntzen's earlier work, Ikkyuu Soojun: A Zen Monk and His
    Poetry (Bellingham, 1973).  She is obviously  someone in love
    with her work. And it shows.


     

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