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Murmured ConversationsA Treatise on Poetry and Buddhism by the Poet-Monk Shinkei$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748636

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.001.0001

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The Issue of Fame as Index of Poetic Value

The Issue of Fame as Index of Poetic Value

(p.64) Nineteen The Issue of Fame as Index of Poetic Value
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

In rejecting the notion that popular taste is the arbiter of poetic authenticity, Shinkei acknowledges that the common people or the majority, who are incapable of appreciating the greatest minds, must necessarily remain in obscurity. This does not mean that Shinkei himself considers obscurity as necessarily evidence of virtue, or that he welcomes it. His allusion to Bai Juyi's poem on the lonely pine implies that Shinkei is aware of being remote from any worldly fame at this time. As if to prove Sasamegoto right even at its author's expense, Shinkei always chose to stay just beyond the limelight, not only in his lifetime but also afterward.

Keywords:   Shinkei, Japanese poetry, fame, Bai Juyi, Sasamegoto

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