Monthly Archives: October 2010

a reading list

photograph by Sylvester Jacobs

photograph by Sylvester Jacobs

photograph by Sylvester Jacobs

photograph by Sylvester Jacobs

After my gallery talks a few people expressed interest in pursuing the topics further, so I am including a list of works that were informative and influential in my own preparation. Black Robe White Mist includes an excellent set of essays, by far the most comprehensive source that I found regarding the life and works of Rengetsu.  Francois Cheng’s Empty and Full has been a source of inspiration and understanding in my own work for several years now, and was worth re-reading.  The other texts vary widely in their density, some being quite accessible and others requiring a slow and careful read with no distractions.  In any case I hope that this list will get you started on your own search.

Empty and Full: The Language of Chinese Painting, by Francois Cheng

Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism, by N. J. Girardot

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Lotus Moon: The Poetry of the Buddhist Nun Rengetsu, translated by John Stevens

Black Robe White Mist: Art of the Japanese Buddhist Nun Rengetsu, catalog for the exhibition, National Gallery of Australia

Emptiness: A Study in Religious Meaning, by Frederick J. Streng

Religion and Nothingness, by Keiji Nishitani, translated by Jan Van Bragt

Poetics of Emptiness: Transformations of Asian Thought in American Poetry, by Jonathan Stalling

Metamorphosis of the Private Sphere: Gardens and Objects in Tang-Song Poetry, by Xiaoshan Yang

77 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy by Poets, Monks, and Scholars, 1568-1868, by Stephen Addiss

Working Emptiness: Toward a Third Reading of Emptiness in Buddhism and Postmodern Thought, by Newman Robert Glass

The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound

The Structure of Emptiness, by Graham Priest, Philosophy East and West, Volume 59, Number 4, October 2009, pp. 467-480 (Article)

Emptiness as a Paradigm for Understanding World Religions, by John P. Keenan, Buddhist-Christian Studies, Volume 16 (1996), pp. 57-64