As a prominent representative figure of American Language poetry, Charles Bernstein has incorporated many themes concerning “nothingness” into his poetry. Contrary to the traditional Western philosophy that defines the concept of “nothingness” as meaninglessness and agnosticism, “nothingness” in Bernstein's poetics is endowed with profound poetic and aesthetic implications. Bernstein studied the works of Zen-Taoist philosophy in his early years. Understanding the Zen-Taoist connotations of “nothingness” is an important new dimension in interpreting Bernstein's echopoetics. Bernstein integrates the anti-traditional ideas in Zen-Taoist philosophy and aesthetics with the experiment of American avant-garde poetry. “The transformation between Xu (emptiness) and Shi (Being),” the beauty of “speechlessness,” and the expression of “defamiliarization” show the “epiphany” of language and the “nature” of language. The Chinese traditional Zen-Taoist philosophy is an important part of Bernstein's echopoetics.

You do not currently have access to this content.