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Reconstructing Mysticism as Epistemological Endeavor in Haizi’s Poems

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Most scholarship on Haizi’s mystical poetry has not highlighted his mysticism and has failed to identify its general epistemological significance in the life and writing of poets. While mysticism after Misty poetry has been confined to the mystification of nature, the secrecy of destiny, or the elusiveness of truth—a spiritual heritage that struggles to maintain one’s national pride—Haizi’s dramatic verses feature monotheistic mysticism and center on the paradoxical and ineffable experiences of divinity. With this epistemological breakthrough, he attempted to unify Chinese culture with Christian tradition, to write “real poetry,” and to replace condescendingly objective and external descriptions of human experience and truth with an empathetic and active participation that blurs the line between subjectivity and objectivity, living and writing. His Sun: Seven Books demonstrates a gradual but steady transition from Greek pantheism to the Judeo-Christian tradition, such as in his Book of Regicide. As a modern rendition of Oedipus the King, the Book of Regicide takes on Greek “elements,” but transcends its maternal inheritance and rejuvenates it in modern dramatic verses, enriched with poetic means of expression, and offered as an alternative approach for Chinese intellectuals to engage in spirituality and self-realization.

Affiliations: 1: English Department, School of Foreign Studies, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan430070,


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