60 College Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401
Tutor Patricia Locke presents her lecture "Hair, Clothes, Brush: On Becoming Human in The Tale of Genji."
In the hothouse of courtly life in Heian Japan, people cultivated themselves and their relationships through deliberate attention to hair, clothes and the aesthetic realm dominated by arts of the brush: calligraphy, painting, and poetry. What can the material aspects of their highly refined lives tell us about becoming human? What is it to be members of a species immersed in our environment, yet able to affectively distance ourselves enough to create and sustain poetic meaning? Genji, the radiant and accomplished prince, paradoxically devoted himself to both amorous adventures and religious rituals. He caused heartache in his sometimes violent encounters, yet he suffused the world with beauty wherever he appeared. Through practices of reading and writing aligned with The Tale of Genji, we are invited to participate in becoming more attuned to loveliness and suffering, invited to become more fully human.
This lecture is free and open to the public.