Four huts: Asian writings on the simple life

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Shambhala, 1994 - Literary Collections - 132 pages
The short works collected in "Four Huts" give voice to one of the most treasured aesthetic and spiritual ideals of Asia-- that of a simple life lived in a simple dwelling. The texts were written between the ninth and the seventeenth centuries and convey each author's underlying sense of the world and what is to be valued in it. "Four Huts" presents original translations by Burton Watson-- one of the most respected translators of Chinese and Japanese literature. The qualities that emerge from these writings are an awareness of impermanence, love of nature, fondness for poetry and music, and an appreciation of the quiet life. "Four Huts" features eleven brush paintings by artist Stephen Addiss.

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User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

This small book contains English translations of four works from China (one) and Japan (three) that were written between the ninth and seventeenth centuries but all share a common theme: a simple life ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Burton Watson, award-winning translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry, was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1925. When he was 17 years old, he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. He experienced Japan through his weekly shore leaves while stationed at Yokosuka Harbor in 1945. Consequently, Watson attended Columbia University and majored in Chinese and Japanese studies. In 1951, he received a Ford Foundation Overseas Fellow and returned to Kyoto. Watson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1956. He has taught English at Doshisha University in Kyoto, and Chinese at Stanford and Columbia. Columbia University's Translation Center awarded Watson the Gold Medal Award in 1979. Watson also won the PEN Translation Prize in 1981 for his translation of Hiroaki Sato of From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry. He won this award again in 1995 for Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o. Watson moved to Japan in 1973, where he currently resides.

Stephen Addiss serves as Tucker-Boatwright Professor in the Humanities: Art, University of Richmond.

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