Wind and Bone

found in Liu Hsieh, Chamberlain for the Surrogate Secretary in the Easter Palace, in his book The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons, represented here by Eliot Weinberger…

Weinberger - Elemental Thing

“The twenty-eighth of the fifty chapters in his book is called “WIND BONE,” wind and bone, and is the most mysterious.  To express emotions one must begin with WIND; to organize the words, one must have BONE.  He whose bone structure is well-exercised will be well-versed in rhetoric; he who is deep of wind will articulate well his feelings.  It would seem that WIND is sentiment and ideas, and BONE is language, but Liu also says that to be thin in ideas and fat in words, confused and disorganized, is a sign of the lack of BONE.  And yet when ideas are incomplete, lifeless and without vitality, it is also a sign of the lack of WIND.  What is WIND and what is BONE have never been conclusively determined by generations of Chinese critics, but what is certain, according to Liu Hsieh, is that the perfect combination or balance of WIND and BONE, the metaphor for the ideal poem, is a bird.”

–Eliot Weinberger, An Elemental Thing


One thought on “Wind and Bone

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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