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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 Mark of Temporality in Talent, Training, and Fame or Obscurity

The Mark of Temporality in Talent, Training, and Fame or Obscurity

(p.182) Fifty-Six The Mark of Temporality in Talent, Training, and Fame or Obscurity
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

In this chapter, Shinkei addresses the issue of disparity between two people in ability and effort at the beginning of their poetic careers, arguing that time and circumstance play an important role because neither is fully under one's control. Not even the utmost dedication can win over the force of circumstance, such as the condition of one's birth, for example, or one's distance from or proximity to power. It is therefore not surprising to see a person who by all rights should be celebrated remain obscure and vice versa. The anecdotes of poets in this chapter indicate a medieval sense of temporality and the aesthetics of the privative that arose from it. Shinkei notes the permanent disappointment felt by poets who died in obscurity, lamenting the fact that the world was indifferent or unable to understand their poetry.

Keywords:   Shinkei, poets, Japanese poetry, temporality, obscurity, time, circumstance

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