The Analects of Naneun (Pt. 1)

these are astonishing little nuggets of insight. slow, unending applause to Daniel Schnee for these.

I Am Daniel Schnee

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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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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Pablo Cuzco says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Daniel. It’s where my poetic vision is headed. The Analects of Confucius are a loose model I follow in one of my unpublished pieces (soon to come). I call it Roadmaps for the Soul, a rather blasphemous sounding title, but taken from a phrase in Bob Dylan’s Tombstone Blues. “Aphorisms” is also a term I’ve thought of using for the technique. A strange confluence of ideology, there.

    1. I’m in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues.
      Daniel is quite the talent & has had quite the career he never ceases to surprise me.
      I like some aspects of Confucius but living in a country where the spectre of Confucianism persists in it patriarchy, i can’t help but br irritated by men getting a better deal than men.

      1. Pablo Cuzco says:

        “And the national bank at a profit sells roadmaps for the soul, to the old folks home and the college.” I find Confucianism odd myself, the little I’ve read. It’s held those countries together for millennia, but this world needs a new guidance system. Traditions are failing.

      2. not so long ago, i’d have said traditions need to have the dominant place in society, but that just seems silly & naive to me now: it seems better to move forward, maintaining something of the spirit that made those traditions important to create new ones equally as strong for a new time— if the people whose traditions they are take control of where they are going they can perhaps find satisfaction. perhaps this is what is happening & we don’t even know it is due to the snail’s pace at which these things move.
        the whole “you should grieve (as in bewail daily) for three years over the death of loved one’s” is a bit of a stretch for me— just seems excessive.

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