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Dante and Han-shan: masters of visual communication

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Author(s)
Witcher, Diana
Advisor(s)
Menefee, Joan; Gjevre, Jonna
Date
2011
Subject(s)
Hanshan, 627-649; Alighieri, Dante, 1265-1321; Italian poetry; Chinese poetry
Abstract
This paper explores the works of poets Dante Alighieri and Han-shan, focusing on their communication through detailed visual descriptions of their subjects. This technique results in a vivid literary painting, informed by the poet's religiosity and personal experience. Dante was a known public figure in 12th century Florence, who later suffered exile from his home. His work is both political and overtly religious. He expresses a dynamic, dogmatic spirituality informed by the theology of 12th century Christianity. He was educated, versed in the science of optics and utilized allegory in his work. Han-shan was an educated recluse, his poems not as overtly religious. In his poetry, he addresses Buddhist concepts of stillness, endurance, and close observation of nature. The beauty of nature largely influenced his work. Both poets observe, criticize, and comment upon the spiritual and political issues of their time. Their poems enlighten, instruct, and provide inspired insight upon spirituality and the human condition.
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http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/53212 
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