Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Gary Snyder's green Dharma
Author: Harmsworth, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 7070
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Twentieth-century environmentalist discourse often laid the blame for environmental degradation on Western civilization, and presented the religious traditions of the East as offering an ecocentric antidote to Western dualism and anthropocentrism. Gary Snyder has looked to Chinese and Japanese Buddhism to inform his environmentalist poetry and prose. While Snyder often writes in terms of a dualism of East and West, he synthesizes traditional forms of Buddhism with various Western traditions, and his green Buddhism ultimately undermines more simplistic oppositions of East and West. The first chapter reads Snyder's writing of the mid-1950s alongside several of his West Coast contemporaries - Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen and Jack Kerouac - showing that these writers evoked the natural world together with Buddhist themes before the advent of the modern environmental movement in order to mount a critique of Cold War American culture. Snyder's early interest in Buddhism was motivated largely by translations of Chinese poetry and Chapter Two examines his own translations of the Tang Dynasty poet Hanshan. In Snyder's translations and contemporaneous original poetry, Buddhist poetics mingle with American conceptions of wilderness. Chapter Three shows how Snyder's Buddhism was influenced by Anglophone writers such as D.T. Suzuki and Alan Watts, and argues that from the late 1960s Snyder aimed to Americanize Buddhism as ideas of localism became more central to his environmentalism. Chapter Four examines Snyder's synthesis of Hua-yen Buddhism and Western scientific ecology in the 1970s and 1980s. Chapter Five examines 'The Hokkaido Book,' an unfinished prose work on environmental attitudes in the Far East in which Snyder considers the relationship between the civilized and the primitive. Chapter Six examines the influence of Chinese landscape painting and Japanese No drama, two forms steeped in Buddhist ideas, on the poems of 'Mountains' and 'Rivers Without End'.
Supervisor: Bate, Jonathan Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zen poetry ; American ; Buddhism--United States--History--20th century ; Counterculture--United States--History--20th century ; United States--Intellectual life--20th century