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Librarian’s Cache: The Haiku Aesthetics of Dietmar Tauchner

The Aesthetic Coordinates of Haiku: A Ginkō Towards Mount Fuji
by Dietmar Tauchner (translated from the German by Mag. Alexandra Bainschab)

As a student of haiku, I particularly like short essays that develop one, well-chosen, suggestive metaphor to get a message across quickly. For example, when Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York some years ago, he wrote a prescriptive essay for the Village Voice in which he saw the city as a living organism with multitudes of ailments he intended to treat, if elected: restricted vision, congested arteries, local infections, arthritis, cancers, gigantism, age, neglect, malnutrition, addiction, etc. The possibilities were endless, and although he didn’t win the election, the essay nevertheless made for interesting reading. In this essay, Dietmar Tauchner also uses an extended metaphor as framework for his discussion of haiku aesthetics. In it, he maps for the reader an instructive ginko walk in the mountains and points out as he goes the landmark techniques the student haiku mountaineer will need to acquire as s/he approaches the foot of Fuji, holy haiku mountain. After many a convoluted definition of haiku, it’s a breath of fresh mountain air.

 

eaton200x200Garry Eaton is the Digital Librarian for The Haiku Foundation. On the first Wednesday of each month he will highlight some part of the Foundation’s holdings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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