Canadian-Daoist Poetics, Ethics, and Aesthetics: An by John Z. Ming Chen, Yuhua Ji

By John Z. Ming Chen, Yuhua Ji

This monograph takes an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural method of twentieth and twenty first -century Canadian Daoist poetry, fiction and feedback in comparative, leading edge and interesting methods. Of specific curiosity are the authors’ fresh insights into such holistic and topical concerns because the globalization of options of the Dao, the Yin/Yang, the Heaven-Earth-Humanity triad, the 4 Greats, 5 stages, Non-action and so forth, as expressed in Canadian literature and feedback – which produces Canadian-constructed Daoist poetics, ethics and aesthetics. Readers will come to appreciate and savor the social and ecological importance of, formal techniques, ethical sensitivity, aesthetic rules and ideological complexity in Canadian-Daoist works.

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But shortly after this scene of natural peace and quiet, they “had decided to stay,” “swimming every day” (234). From the narrator’s retrospective point of view, the unruffled water functioning like a “dark mirror” (230, 286) first induces and then parallels the stillness and tranquillity of the narrator’s otherwise troubled inner world. It is here that we hear some distant echoes to a few lines from the Taoist text which vividly describe the mirror-like quality of water and its quieting and tranquillizing capacity: “So if the stillness of water fosters sight, we will see even more when our inner gods are still!

Lowry’s narrator, we may suggest, arrives precisely at that tranquil state of mind when his boat is afloat on the limpid and calm water. One may argue, of course, that such a plentitude of water could well be a natural occurrence in the inlet close to the ocean, but Lowry definitely works more meanings into a simple object by counterpointing water against fire, the elemental yang, and its social counterparts such as wars and civilization. We are reminded that the narrator’s first two shacks, together with his manuscripts, were consumed by fire and that forest fire, too, poses a constant threat to the couple.

Chicago: U. of Chicago P, 1980. Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism After Structuralism. : Cornell UP, 1982. Derrida. Jacques. Of Grammatology. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, trans. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1976. Duke, Michael. “The Problematic Nature of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Fiction in English Translation,” Howard Goldblatt, ed. Worlds Apart: Recent Chinese Writing and Its Audiences. : Sharpe, 1990. 198–227. Eagleton, Terry. The Ideology of the Aesthetic. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1990.

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