The Analects of Naneun (Pt. 1)

Read Daniel Schnee’s poetic slivers of brilliance!

Dr. Daniel Schnee


The Analects of Naneun

Here for the first time is the English translation of the first few pages of my work The Analects of Naneun (ナヌンの論説: “nanun no ronsetsu”), a free-form mixture of haibun and poetry (zuihitsu) I self-published in Japan nearly 20 years ago. Each poem-form in the original work was postfaced by commentary in the form of a Zen koan, but for now I am posting the initial form of each analect. It all will be posted in six parts, so I hope you come back to read each posting, o-negaishimasu!

Original 1999 Japanese Preface

This work is the quest to think and feel through the artfully polite evasion of directness, the supreme beauty of Japanese “not-saying-as-such”, infused with kotodama (言霊: word-soul) that moves noiselessly through Japanese language. Thus, I have sought to understand the kotodama and psychological rhythm of Yukio Mishima, Kōbō Abe, Dōgen…

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