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Journal Article

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Chen, Y., & Steipe, B. (2017). Phenomenological comparison: Pursuing Husserl's "time consciousness" in poems by Wang Wei, Paul Celan and Santoka Taneda. Comparative and Continental Philosophy, 9(3), 241-259. DOI: 10.1080/17570638.2017.1359925

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Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




“Time-consciousness” (Zeitbewusstsein) constitutes the core of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. Extending from a project of reviving the comparative method, we develop Husserl’s phenomenological analysis of timeas a method of literary comparison. Three views of time set the stage: the quatrain “Luán’s Fall” (⟪欒家瀨⟫) by the eighth-century Chinese poet Wang Wei, a stanza from the poem “Etched off‌” (Weggebeizt‌) by Paul Celan, the quintessential post-war poet in German language, and the haiku “Walking, on and on” (歩きつづける…) by the Japanese itinerant monk and free-verse haiku pioneer Santoka Taneda. What makes these poems relevant is not merely their superficially shared theme of time, but an intrinsic affinity, manifested in different poetic “time-objects” (Zeitobjekte), to the very notion of time-consciousness. Through poetic analysis in the context of Husserl’s philosophy of time-consciousness, these poetic experiences, embodied in a phenomenological concept of “walking,” emphasize time as being.



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