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Emptiness and TemporalityBuddhism and Medieval Japanese Poetics$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748889

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748889.001.0001

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The Close Link and the Distant Link

The Close Link and the Distant Link

(p.65) Seven The Close Link and the Distant Link
Emptiness and Temporality
Stanford University Press

The renga link takes place in the poetic nexus where distance, the space-time, or différance, between any two verses is found. The concept of distance was originally the basis for describing the structural continuity or discontinuity of the five lines of a waka poem. In this context, shinku (the Close Link) refers to a poem with lines that constitute an immediately apprehensible unity. On the other hand, soku (the Distant Link) is characterized by a caesura that divides the poem into two disparate parts, resulting in a fragmented or discontinuous surface structure. The terms shinku and soku were first used in the Chikuenshō (ca. 1275–1288), attributed to Fujiwara Tameie's son Tameaki, to refer to continuous and discontinuous structures, respectively. What distinguishes the Close Link from the Distant Link is its comparatively predictable conception and an emphasis on verbal correspondence, whether discursive or figurative, as a means of connection. Shinkei's reading of Teika and Shinkokinshū poetry accounts for his emphasis on the intervening space between verses as the definitive element of renga.

Keywords:   renga, Close Link, Distant Link, différance, Shinkei, Japanese poetry, Shinkokinshū, shinku, soku, Chikuenshō

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