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Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: April 2, 2013 10:21:27 AM PDT
Professor to Discuss Mountain Imagery in Medieval Chinese Poetry at WWU April 18

Contact: Scott Pearce, Chair of the WWU Liberal Studies Department; (360) 650-3897 or scott.pearce@wwu.edu

BELLINGHAM – David Knechtges, professor of Chinese literature at the University of Washington, will speak about mountain imagery in medieval Chinese poetry from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, in Wilson Library Room 164 at Western Washington University.

Knechtges' talk, titled “Dwelling in the Mountains: Nature Poetry of Xie Lingyun (385-433),” is free and open to the public. 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.

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, 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. Parking information is available at: https://www.ps.wwu.edu/Parking/directions.html.

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