BC. Laurence Binyon


9. The Flight of the Dragon: An Essay on the Theory and Practice of Art in China and Japan, Based on Original Sources. Wisdom of the East Series. London: Murray, 1911. Reprint, 1972.

Describes conceptions of nature and theories of art in China and Japan, and is particularly perceptive about the outlines of Zen thought and the relation of Zen to the arts. Offers frequent and insightful comment about similarities and differences in European and Asian aesthetic traditions, including a ‘corresponding attitude’ toward nature and art between Asian painters and some English poets, most notably Wordsworth, but also Shelley, Keats, and Meredith, an observation that anticipates by three decades R. H. Blyth’s (Ap) more famous exploration of the point in Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics (Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1942). Cites, among others, Okakura’s Book of Tea (see D16) and Taki Seiichi’s (Ap) Three Essays on Oriental Painting, (London: Quaritch, 1910), as well as an early essay by Chamberlain (see D5). In addition to editions noted above, Murray issued reprints in 1914, 1935, and 1948; a Grove Press edition appeared in 1961, a French translation, Introduction a la peinture de la Chine et du Japon, in 1968 (Paris: Flammarion). See BK140 and BK148 for notes about the influence of the work in Pound’s work, and BK18 for Pound’s own comments.





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