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Four Huts: Asian Writings on the Simple Life…
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Four Huts: Asian Writings on the Simple Life (edition 2002)

by Stephen Addiss, Burton Watson (Translator)

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531221,808 (3.56)3
Member:mkboylan
Title:Four Huts: Asian Writings on the Simple Life
Authors:Stephen Addiss
Other authors:Burton Watson (Translator)
Info:Shambhala (2002), Paperback, 98 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Chinese

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Four Huts: Asian Writings on the Simple Life by Burton Watson

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This small book contains English translations of four works from China (one) and Japan (three) that were written between the ninth and seventeenth centuries but all share a common theme: a simple life in a simple house, away from the hustle of urban society. Burton Watson, the translator, explains in his introduction, "read in series, the pieces show how a literary idea can evolve and expand in the hands of a succession of writers. Taken as a whole, they give eloquent expression to one of the most important ideals in the artistic and spiritual life of China and Japan, the simple life lived in a simple dwelling."

The pieces (with their dates of composition) are Po Chu-i, Record of the Thatched Hall on Mt. Lu (817); Yoshishige no Tasutane, Record of the Pond Pavilion 982); Kamo no Chomei, Record of the Ten-Foot-Square Hut (1212); and Matsuo Basho, Record of the Hut of the Phantom Dwelling (1690). The first and last are delightful; the second, bland; and the third is such a litany of disasters (literally: fire, pestilence, famine, earthquake) that it strikes an impressive note of gloom. ( )
  bezoar44 | Nov 30, 2013 |
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