Venturing Upon Dizzy Heights: Lectures and Essays on Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts
This book assembles lectures and essays on literature (William Wordsworth, Walter Benjamin, Chinese mountain poetry, Friedrich Nietzsche, the Tao Te Ching), art (Paleolithic cave art, Vincent Van Gogh, American landscape painting), and Japanese poetry forms (haiku, haibun, tanka) that were originally presented and published between 2000 and 2007. The essays identify strategies to counter the so-called postmodern condition. Matters of will, ethics, and consciousness are examined in comparative contexts with the aim of formulizing models of enlightened states of being and their aesthetic expressions. This study focuses on Wordsworth's rainbow epiphany; Walter Benjamin's aura and monad ; Chinese mountain poetry's cosmic emptiness; Nietzsche's Hyperborean; Paleolithic cave art's transpersonal expression; Van Gogh's dizzy heights of natural beauty; American landscape painters' depiction of the sublime; haiku's absolute metaphor epiphany; and tanka's connection between natural beauty and erotic feeling. The collection is a re-examination of Ralph Waldo Emerson's fundamental unity between humanity and nature, as well as an examination of often-unmediated affective experience and its expression in this context through literature and art.
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Table of Contents
The Willing Subject and the NonWilling Subject
The Essence of Haiku
On Defining Haibun to a Western Readership
Note on the Lectures and Essays
absolute metaphor aesthetic sublime animal artists Basho Benjamin bright Buddhist cave art celebration centered cherry blossoms Chinese mountain poetry clouds Cold Mountain color connection with nature consciousness contemporary cosmic culture D. T. Suzuki David Lewis-Williams deconstructive depicted earth embedded emotion emptiness energy epiphany essence evoked existential experience expressed feeling flowers Fools Crow Gogh's Grotte haibun haikai haiku haiku poet Heaven higher highlighted Hopper's human figures hyperborean Ibid imagery images Japan Japanese haiku Kabbalah light lives Malkut meditation metaphysical mind modern moodiness narrative natural beauty natural world ness painters particular perhaps philosophic poem poetic postmodern condition present prose Psalms rainbow reflects river scene sense Shekhinah space spiritual Steinweg style suggests symbol T.S. Eliot tanka Tao Te Ching Taoist Taoist leader Tawara Machi things thought Tiferet traditional transformation trees vase Vincent Van Gogh virtue wilderness window words wu-chi Wyeth's yin and yang Zohar