Philosophy for All Fargo-Moorhead: East Meets West: Journey-Narratives of 2 Poets

June 15, 2017
7:00 pmto8:00 pm

Philosophy for All Fargo-Moorhead is open to everyone interested in philosophy. Its aim is to approach philosophical problems in a non-technical way to enable everyone to participate in discussion and debate. It aims to combine serious philosophical activity with an informal exchange of ideas and views.

Topic: East Meets West: Journey-Narratives of 2 Poets

We will examine the inward and outward journey-experiences of two authors who composed their autobiographical accounts in an interweaving of poetry&prose, a traditional genre of Japanese literature – nikki, or literary journal, with poems and prose-passages echoing each other. The American poet James Lenfestey*, native Minnesotan, imitated this Japanese genre, as he was inspired by the haiku master-poet, Matsuo Basho (d. 1694). Both journeyers created their interweaving of prose and poetry as they traveled with friends, while also incorporating poems by other poets. Basho will guide us as he visits Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and celebrated natural sites in 17th-century Japan – The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin pbk). James Lenfestey will guide us as he visits places of similar renown in China, with the goal of reaching the cave-residence of the T’ang dynasty poet Han-shan (fl. 750s CE) – Seeking the Cave: A Pilgrimage to Cold Mountain (Milkweed Eds., Minneapolis, 2014)

*James Lenfestey will be speaking at MSUM on April 26. When the reminder for April’s Phil. for All meeting goes out mid-April information about time and location will be included.

Presentation by Konrad Czynski, MSUM, followed by discussion.

Free and open to the public.