The Institute for Chinese Studies presents the Re-Imagining China's Past and Present Lecture Series:
James Bryant Conant University Professor
"Bamboo in the Breast and in the Belly: Thinking Through Literature"
Flyer: Stephen Owen Flyer.pdf
Abstract: Literature can be a means to think through basic issues, grounded in human circumstance, that other forms of discursive prose could not do. We will look at eleventh century account by the famous Su Shi, when he unrolls a painting in his collection to air it. The story he tells brings together art theory, social history, money and art, body and mind, the serious and the very silly. The moment spontaneity becomes a value, it becomes out of reach.
Bio: Stephen Owen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard. He received both his B.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) from Yale University. After teaching for a decade at Yale, he moved to Harvard in 1982. He is the author of numerous books on Chinese literature and on comparative literature, and he has edited others. He has received various awards, including the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award (2007-2010). He has recently published a translation of the complete poetry of Du Fu (DeGruyter, 2015) in six volumes; and a manuscript on Northern Song song lyric is currently in press.