28/05/2018

Booklist of “Matsuo Basho”

The books about Matsuo Basho

 

 

Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings (Shambhala Classics) (Paperback)

Here is the most complete single-volume collection of the writings of one of the great luminaries of Asian literature. Basho (1644–1694)—who elevated the haiku to an art form of utter simplicity and intense spiritual beauty—is best known in the West as the author of Narrow Road to the Interior, a travel diary of linked prose and haiku that recounts his journey through the far northern provinces of Japan. This volume includes a masterful translation of this celebrated work along with three other less well-known but important works by Basho: Travelogue of Weather-Beaten Bones, The Knapsack Notebook, and Sarashina Travelogue. There is also a selection of over two hundred fifty of Basho’s finest haiku. In addition, the translator has provided an introduction detailing Basho’s life and work and an essay on the art of haiku.

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)

‘It was with awe
That I beheld
Fresh leaves, green leaves,
Bright in the sun’
 
In his perfectly crafted haiku poems, Basho described the natural world with great simplicity and delicacy of feeling. When he composed The Narrow Road to the Deep North, he was an ardent student of Zen Buddhism, setting off on a series of travels designed to strip away the trappings of the material world and bring spiritual enlightenment. He wrote of the seasons changin, of the smells of the rain, the brightness of the moon, and beauty of the waterfall, through which he sense mysteries of the universe. There’s seventeenth-century travel writing not only chronicle Basho’s perilous journeys through Japan, but they also capture his vision of eternity in the transient world around him.
 
In his lucid translation Nobuyuki Yuasa captures the Lyrical qualities of Basho’s poetry and prose by using the natural rhythms and language of the contemporary speech. IN his introduction, he examines the development of the haibun style in which poetry and prose stand side by side. this edition also includes maps and notes on the texts.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

 

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The Narrow Road to Oku (Paperback)

In the account which he named “The Narrow Road to Oku,” Basho makes a journey lasting 150 days, in which he travels, on foot, a distance of 600 ri.

This was three hundred years ago, when the average distance covered by travelers was apparently 9 ri per day, so it is clear that Basho, who was forty years old at the time, possessed a remarkably sturdy pair of walking legs. Nowadays with the development of all sorts of means of transportation, travel is guaranteed to be pleasant and convenient in every respect, so it’s almost impossible for us to imagine the kind of journey Basho undertook, “drifting with the clouds and streams,” and “lodging under trees and on bare rocks.”

During my countless re-readings of “The Narrow Road to Oku,” I would bear that in mind, and the short text, which takes up less than 50 pages even in the pocket-book edition, would strike me as much longer than that, and I would feel truly awed by Basho’s 2,450-kilometer journey.

I chose “The Narrow Road to Oku” as the theme of the exhibition marking the thirtieth anniversary of my career as an artist. As somebody who has been illustrating works from Japanese literature for many years, the subject naturally attracted and interested me. But once I’d embarked on the project, it wasn’t long before I realized I’d chosen a more difficult and delicate task than I ever imagined, and I wanted to reprove myself for my naivete.

Last year, to mark the centenary of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s birth, I produced a set of 54 pictures for his translation of “The Tale of Genji.” This was a formidable undertaking, as I had to grapple with the achievement of a literary genius whom I had personally known. But if producing a single picture to represent each chapter in “The Tale of Genji” was a matter of selecting a particular “face,” or “plane” to represent the whole, producing a picture to represent each haiku in “The Narrow Road to Oku” was without a doubt a matter of having to select one tiny “point”–a mere “dot.” One misjudgment in my reading, and the picture would lose touch with the spirit of Basho’s work, and end up simply as an illustration that happened to be accompanied by a haiku. I had to meticulously consider every word in those brief 17-syllable poems. Then, if I was fortunate, from the vast gaps and the densely packed phrases a numinous power would gather and inspire me: at times I felt as if I was experiencing what ancient people called the “kotadama,” the miraculous power residing in words.

A self-styled “beggar of winds and madness,” Basho originated and refined a unique genre of fictional travel literature, which used poetry that enabled one to render, empty-handedly, all of creation. I believe that I could ask for no greater favor from my painter’s brush than that I too be able to glean the merest fragment of what the saint of haiku Basho saw, and be able to reproduce it in my work. — Miyata Masayuki


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Basho: The Complete Haiku (Hardcover)

Basho stands today as Japan’s most renowned writer, and one of the most revered. Wherever Japanese literature, poetry or Zen are studied, his oeuvre carries weight. Every new student of haiku quickly learns that Basho was the greatest of the Old Japanese Masters.

Yet despite his stature, Basho’s complete haiku have not been collected into a single volume. Until now.

To render the writer’s full body of work into English, Jane Reichhold, an American haiku poet and translator, dedicated over ten years of work. In Basho: The Complete Haiku, she accomplishes the feat with distinction. Dividing his creative output into seven periods of development, Reichhold frames each period with a decisive biographical sketch of the poet’s travels, creative influences and personal triumphs and defeats. Scrupulously annotated notes accompany each poem; and a glossary and two indexes fill out the volume.

Reichhold notes that, “Basho was a genius with words.” He obsessively sought out the right word for each phrase of the succinct seventeen-syllable haiku, seeking the very essence of experience and expression. With equal dedication, Reichhold sought the ideal translations. As a result, Basho: The Complete Haiku is likely to become the essential work on this brilliant poet and will stand as the most authoritative book on the subject for many years to come. Original sumi-e ink drawings by artist Shiro Tsujimura complement the haiku throughout the book.


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On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)

Basho, one of the greatest of Japanese poets and the master of haiku, was also a Buddhist monk and a life-long traveller. His poems combine ‘karumi’, or lightness of touch, with the Zen ideal of oneness with creation. Each poem evokes the natural world – the cherry blossom, the leaping frog, the summer moon or the winter snow – suggesting the smallness of human life in comparison to the vastness and drama of nature. Basho himself enjoyed solitude and a life free from possessions, and his haiku are the work of an observant eye and a meditative mind, uncluttered by materialism and alive to the beauty of the world around him.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


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Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times: Selected Haiku of Basho (Paperback)

Vivid new translations of Basho’s popular haiku, in a selected format ideal for newcomers as well as fans long familiar with the Japanese master.

Basho, the famously bohemian traveler through seventeenth-century Japan, is a poet attuned to the natural world as well as humble human doings; “Piles of quilts/ snow on distant mountains/ I watch both,” he writes. His work captures both the profound loneliness of one observing mind and the broad-ranging joy he finds in our connections to the larger community. David Young, acclaimed translator and Knopf poet, writes in his introduction to this selection, “This poet’s consciousness affiliates itself with crickets, islands, monkeys, snowfalls, moonscapes, flowers, trees, and ceremonies…Waking and sleeping, alone and in company, he moves through the world, delighting in its details.” Young’s translations are bright, alert, musically perfect, and rich in tenderness toward their maker.


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Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary (Paperback)

This book has a dual purpose. The first is to present in a new English translation 255 representative hokku (or haiku) poems of Matsuo Basho (1644-94), the Japanese poet who is generally considered the most influential figure in the history of the genre. The second is to make available in English a wide spectrum of Japanese critical commentary on the poems over the last three hundred years.

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Basho’s Haiku: Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho (Paperback)

A wonderful new translation of the poetry of Basho―Zen monk, poet of nature, and master of the haiku form.

Basho’s Haiku offers the most comprehensive translation yet of the poetry of Japanese writer Matsuo Basho (1644–1694), who is credited with perfecting and popularizing the haiku form of poetry. One of the most widely read Japanese writers, both within his own country and worldwide, Basho is especially beloved by those who appreciate nature and those who practice Zen Buddhism. Born into the samurai class, Basho rejected that world after the death of his master and became a wandering poet and teacher. During his travels across Japan, he became a lay Zen monk and studied history and classical poetry. His poems contained a mystical quality and expressed universal themes through simple images from the natural world.

David Landis Barnhill’s brilliant book strives for literal translations of Basho’s work, arranged chronologically in order to show Basho’s development as a writer. Avoiding wordy and explanatory translations, Barnhill captures the brevity and vitality of the original Japanese, letting the images suggest the depth of meaning involved. Barnhill also presents an overview of haiku poetry and analyzes the significance of nature in this literary form, while suggesting the importance of Basho to contemporary American literature and environmental thought.


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