Chen-ou Liu




Chen-ou Liu

Confessions of A Germanophile

First and foremost, I confess I am a Germanophile who can’t read German, but who is willing to do his best to read anything about German literature, cinema, philosophy, theology,... etc.

Why? It’s because I’m a person who is intensely interested in reflective thoroughness. According to Slovenian continental philosopher Slavoj Žižek, “Hegel was among the first to interpret the geographic triad of Germany-France-England as expressing three different existential attitudes: German reflective thoroughness, French revolutionary hastiness, English moderate utilitarian pragmatism.”
(By the way, I don’t like Žižek’s use of a toilet analogy to describe these three existential attitudes)

In the 1990s, one of the most tumultuous and ideologically charged eras in the Taiwanese history, everything was easily reduced to support for or opposition to Taiwan Independence. Through reading and living in an identity-seeking society at the time, my worldview was influenced by European existentialism, postcolonial literature, and Taiwan native soil literature, a literary movement that arose in opposition to both mainland-centered governmental geopolitics and the West-oriented modernist movement. I constantly asked myself the following questions: in what contexts were my identities situated? What kind of life would I like to live fully?

I stared reading the Bible, Bible commentaries, and theologies for and against the Bible. Eventually, I found out that any account of the development of modern theology has been largely centered on Germany and on those most influenced by German-language theology and philosophy.
(For further information, read The Modern Theologians: An Introduction To Christian Theology Since 1918, edited by David F Ford Rachel Muers, pp. 1-16)

My love affairs with Germany began with my reading of theological writings by Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Hans Küng, later I studied their philosophical/literary roots, then slipped and fell into the magic net of New German Cinema . . .

The haiku/senryu posted here are my story poems that narrate my captivity among these German giants


Short Biography:

Chen-ou Liu was born in Taiwan and emigrated to Canada in 2002. He lives in a suburb of Toronto, where he continues to struggle with a life in transition and translation.

Chen-ou Liu is the author of the forthcoming book, entitled Ripples from a Splash: A Collection of Essays on Haiku with Award-Winning Haiku, and a contributing writer for Rust+Moth. His poetry has been published and anthologized worldwide. His tanka and haiku have been honored with 10 awards, including Grand Prix in the 2010 Klostar Ivanic Haiku Contest in English, 特選 (Prize Winner) in the 12th Haiku International Association Haiku Contest, and Tanka Third Place in the 2009 San Francisco International Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Rengay Competition.
Read more of his poems on his poetry blog
Poetry in the Moment


. WKD : Chen-ou Liu - Urban Haiku


. Chen-ou Liu in the World Kigo Database


. Chen-ou Liu in the GERMAN SAIJIKI  



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