From ascetic to poet
This chapter analyzes the aesthetic variant of the renunciation archetype. In Borges's poet stories, the king-and-ascetic pair morphs into a king-and-poet pair, with renunciation serving an artistic goal. The discussion traces this aesthetic appropriation back to the ancient and Renaissance tradition of artists' lives, and explores ascetic conceptions of art from Romanticism and Symbolism to modern art's debt to Cynicism, focusing on Borges's poet stories and artist stories from the Borgesian hypertext (by Flaubert, Schwob, Yourcenar, and Yi Mun-yol), where renunciation is a requirement of the creative process.
Jullien, D. (2019). From ascetic to poet: poetic renunciation, in Borges, Buddhism and world literature, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 47-81.
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