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The Aesthetics Of Tradition: Making The Past Present

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Chapter Summary

The poets' actual concern was mainly poetic in the sense that they aimed at creating the language of poetry, and making poetic language work differently from other types of language. To summarise the hermeneutical strategies followed in the past and in the present to explain Fujiwara Teika's verse, one can say that in the past, a rhetoric was discovered in the poem that reminded readers of the paradoxical logic of a developing Buddhist school which was struggling for recognition at a time when the literati in the capital were not particularly impressed with the antics of Zen masters. In the present, the vocabulary of aesthetics is consistently used to talk about the poem in terms of aesthetic categories while, at the same time, grounding local aesthetic categories in the Buddhist logic of negation-a logic that came to structure the philosophy of "nothingness" proposed in Japan in the 20th century.

Keywords: aesthetic categories; Fujiwara Teika

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