April 18 lecture to discuss mountain imagery in medieval Chinese poetry

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 9:23am
Western Today staff

David Knechtges, a professor of Chinese literature at the University of Washington, will speak about mountain imagery in medieval Chinese poetry Thursday, April 18, in a presentation sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies at Western Washington University.

Knechtges is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has authored or edited 11 books, including three volumes of Wenxuan, or Selections of Refined Literature. Knechtges' free, public lecture, titled “Dwelling in the Mountains: Nature Poetry of Xie Lingyun (385-433),” will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Library Room 164.

In his presentation, Knechtges will focus on the various ways in which mountain viewing was portrayed in medieval Chinese writing. Beginning with a brief survey of European treatment of the mountain, with special mention of Francesco Petrarch, he will turn to Xie Lingyun (385–433), one of the greatest of all Chinese poets and perhaps the genre's most avid mountain lover. Audience members, with appropriate English-language supporting materials, will follow Xie in the mountain ramblings portrayed in his long rhapsody “Dwelling in the Mountains.” In these roamings, Xie takes a deep delight. Nevertheless, by the end of the piece the great poet has decided that he must go beyond mere physical journeying to seek a deeper spiritual truth in the Buddhist faith.

Professor Knechtges' visit is sponsored by Center for East Asian Studies with support from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

This event is free open to the public. Parking information is available online.