The mythical T’ang poet Han-shan, placed somewhere between the camps of Daoism and Zen Buddhism and the alleged author of some three hundred poems, probably remains a post-T’ang literary invention – and a good one, it seems, since ‘his’ poetry is being read, translated and re-translated to this very day. In the present volume, Lars Rasmussen, whose collection of short stories, Come Raw, was published by Serving House Books in 2009, takes up the 900-year old tradition of ascribing newly composed poetry to Han-shan and gives a refreshing guess at what kind of lines the mad hermit would have produced, had he ever been alive. As a further addition to the Han-shan literature, the book also contains a number of homages to the master plus a selection of haiku-like miniature poems and a number of proverbs ascribed to him.
Lars Rasmussen is a man of many parts: He has owned and managed an antiquarian bookshop in the center of Copenhagen, The Booktrader, for over twenty years now. As a publisher, he has issued excellent and rare works on South African jazz, golf and other topics as well as a CD recording series which includes both jazz and many of the greatest living poets in Denmark. And he has published many books of his own stories, not to mention his annual Christmas journal containing fiction, poems, essays, and art by many of his customers — and he does have some impressive customers who include writers, musicians, artists, singers, actors, journalists, professors, and most of all — readers.
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