Abstract

Abstract:

This paper examines Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s feminist lyric poetry and poetics, focusing on how her writing explores the middle ground between French feminism and the Mahayana lineage of Chinese Buddhism. While scholars have discussed Berssenbrugge’s feminist consciousness and its impacts on her innovative lyric practice, little attention has been given to her life-long involvement in the Chinese Buddhist tradition. In this respect, this essay traces the development of her feminist-Buddhist (or Buddhist-feminist) writing from the 1980s through 1990s, suggesting that the Chinese Buddhist bodhisattva Guanyin, a popular female deity known as the “Goddess of Compassion,” plays a significant role when Berssenbrugge yields an antiessential form of feminist ethics. Berssenbrugge’s transnational feminist imaginary seeks to promote Guanyin’s ethics of compassion, an ethics that fleshes out the bodhisattva’s maternity and her openness to the suffering other.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9595
Print ISSN
0004-1610
Pages
pp. 83-119
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-25
Open Access
No
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