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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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Emptiness, or Linking as Différance

Emptiness, or Linking as Différance

(p.29) Three Emptiness, or Linking as Différance
Emptiness and Temporality
Stanford University Press

The concept of emptiness, a central feature of Mahayana philosophy, can be applied to establish Buddhism's two most important observations about dharmas, or phenomena: first, that they have no self-nature; and second, that they exist only due to circumstance. Thus, dharmas are at base “empty” and their identity is constituted entirely in relation to other phenomena. The isolated renga verse can also be said to be “empty,” which is consistent with Shinkei's description of it as “incomplete.” Tsukeai, the signifying event in renga and the link between any two verses, may be described as the generation of meaning through the mutual opposition, or difference, between two terms or among the units of a system. Jacques Derrida's concept of différance is relevant to Shinkei's analysis of renga structure. In renga, therefore, tsukeai can also be characterized by the concept of différance. A crucial word that traces the path from renga to différance is iinokosu (“to leave unsaid”), which is mentioned in the Sasamegoto.

Keywords:   emptiness, Buddhism, dharmas, renga, tsukeai, Jacques Derrida, différance, Shinkei, link, iinokosu

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