If Not Higher

Lectures on the Poetics of Spiritual Presence and Absence

by Bruce Ross (Author)
Monographs VIII, 225 Pages
Series: Studies in Modern Poetry, Volume 10


This collection of lectures considers the postmodern «hermeneutics of exile» that disrupts our humanity and estranges us from nature. There needs to be a redefinition of our relation to things and of subjectivity itself through new or recovered spiritual and phenomenological ontologies such as evidenced in Kabbalah and Zen Buddhism. Overtures to this end are explored in contemporary American nature poetry, American Transcendentalism and its deconstruction, Russian émigré literature and the art of nostalgia, Kabbalistic poetic responses to the Holocaust, Hasidic metaphysics and its artistic expressions, and Zen Buddhist poetics of presence in Japanese and American haiku and haibun.


VIII, 225
ISBN (Book)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Paris, Wien, 1999. VIII, 225 pp., 3 ill.

Biographical notes

Bruce Ross (Author)

The Author: A teacher in the Japanese Studies Program of the University of Vermont, Bruce Ross received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Buffalo, New York. In addition to articles in professional journals, he wrote The Inheritance of Animal Symbols in Modern Literature and World Culture (Peter Lang, 1988) and edited Haiku Moment and Journey to the Interior, American Versions of Haibun. He has studied with the contemporary authority on Kabbalah, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi.


Title: If Not Higher