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The Poetics of Ruins in Renaissance Literature$
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Andrew Hui

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823273355

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823273355.001.0001

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Epilogue

Epilogue

Fallen Castles and Summer Grass

Chapter:
(p.223) Epilogue
Source:
The Poetics of Ruins in Renaissance Literature
Author(s):

Andrew Hui

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823273355.003.0008

The Epilogue departs from the Renaissance and returns to my Japanese friend’s perplexing question: why ruins after all? As it turns out, though there might not be physical ruins in East Asia, there is a long tradition of poems about ruins. When viewing the site of a fallen samurai castle in which only the tall summer grass remains, Bashō, in his fifteenth-century Journey to the Narrow North, re-writes an eighth-century Chinese poem by Du Fu. The poetics of ruins, East and West, is finally a poetics of mutability—not so much a mode of survival that depends on a work’s imperishability but rather an artistic process of continuous transmission, translation, and transformation.

Keywords:   Basho, Du Fu, East Asian poetics of ruins, poetic mutability

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