Questions of the nature of understanding and interpretationâ€”hermeneuticsâ€”are fundamental in human life, though historically Westerners have tended to consider these questions within a purely Western context. In this comparative study, Zhang Longxi investigates the metaphorical nature of poetic language, highlighting the central figures of reality and meaning in both Eastern and Western thought: the Tao and the Logos. The author develops a powerful cross-cultural and interdisciplinary hermeneutic analysis that relates individual works of literature not only to their respective cultures, but to a combined worldview where East meets West. Zhang's book brings together philosophy and literature, theory and practical criticism, the Western and the non-Western in defining common ground on which East and West may come to a mutual understanding. He provides commentary on the rich traditions of poetry and poetics in ancient China; equally illuminating are Zhang's astute analyses of Western poets such as Rilke, Shakespeare, and MallarmĂ© and his critical engagement with the work of Foucault, Derrida, and de Man, among others. Wide-ranging and learned, this definitive work in East-West comparative poetics and the hermeneutic tradition will be of interest to specialists in comparative literature, philosophy, literary theory, poetry and poetics, and Chinese literature and history.