About the author:
Elena M. Dyakonova, PhD in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia; Professor, Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, HSE University, Straraya Basmannaya 24/1, 105060 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2714-91-34
Medieval treaties about classical Japanese poetry can be classified in two large groups: the ‘books of rules” (shikimoku) and texts on the theory of poetry (ronbun), which were related to religious and philosophical tractates. The latter are important as a source of knowledge about complex system of literary genres in Japan, for which they set up formal and quality standards. Ronbun treaties also introduced an image of an ideal author and described a certain code of conduct for a medieval poet. This article focuses on a treaty about renga (‘linked stanzas’) poetry Murmured conversations (Sasamegotо, 1463–1464) composed by the Buddhist monk and writer Shinkei, and representative of several centuries of Chinese and Japanese poetic theory. The treaty is written in a literary form of a dialogue between a master and a provincial disciple, which was characteristic for the late Medieval period. It offers a variety of references to the most important texts of the literary tradition as well as multiple direct and indirect quotes from prosaic and poetic oeuvres of the time. This article includes the translation of several fragments of the treaty.