2015-12-07 ☼ writing

China Dialogue: Hermits & Butterflies

Nature writing in China has deep roots. At the turn of the fifth century, poets like Tao Yuanming (陶渊明) were extolling the benefits of a simple bucolic existence, renouncing the crass vulgarity of court life in favour of honest agricultural labour, good wine, and lengthy contemplation of chrysanthemums — most people’s archetypal image of the classical Chinese poet. Yet it’s also a patch of literature that has been highly receptive to pollination from western writers. As we were putting together our nature issue of Pathlight magazine, one figure who loomed up at every turn, bewhiskered and faintly malodorous, was Henry David Thoreau.

*Read the whole essay at China Dialogue.**