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By Zong-qi Cai

Wenxin diaolong by way of Liu Xie (ca. 465-ca. 521) is arguably the main advanced and finished paintings of literary feedback in historical China. for hundreds of years it has intrigued and encouraged chinese language literati, and sleek English-speaking students have additionally stumbled on it a tremendous resource for inquiries into conventional chinese language poetics and aesthetics. the current quantity of ten essays is the 1st book-length examine in English of this vintage work.

The first elements of the ebook specialise in cultural traditions, exhibiting how Liu canonized the chinese language literary culture, assessing the place Liu's paintings stands in that culture, and demonstrating his accounts to the highbrow currents of his time. The 3rd half explores Liu's thought of literary production by utilizing modern serious views to investigate Liu's notion of mind's eye. The fourth half provides 3 targeted stories of Liu's perspectives on rhetoric: a detailed interpreting of his bankruptcy on rhetorical parallelism, a dialogue of his personal use of parallelism as a way of research and textual construction, and an research of his perspectives on adjustments and continuities in chinese language literary kinds. The publication concludes with a severe survey of Asian-language scholarship on Wenxin diaolong during this century.

The individuals are Zong-qi Cai, Kang-i solar Chang, Ronald Egan, Wai-yee Li, Shuen-fu Lin, Richard John Lynn, Victor H. Mair, Stephen Owen, Andrew H. Plaks, Maureen Robertson, and Zhang Shaokang.

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Additional info for A Chinese Literary Mind: Culture, Creativity, and Rhetoric in Wenxin Diaolong

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Again, Liu Xie claims that because of their distinguished writings and especially "their brilliance in words," these outstanding talents were able to attain literary immortality and forever shine "like the sun and moon" (WXDL 17/9-12). Most interestingly, in his attempt to emphasize the centrality of literary art in ancient civilization, Liu Xie went so far as to canonize the apocrypha, which had been conventionally attributed to some prehistorical, mythical figures. " Liu Xie realizes that such writings are of questionable authorship and that they do not represent the teachings of the sage.

I^ ' Hr "If %$ iNf] . He apparently believes that what is in the heart, be it called zhi or qing, manifests itself primarily in poetic verbalization. To support his elevation of words, he simply cites a passage from the "Record of Music" (Yueji He t£): "Emotions move within and take form in words. If words cannot express them adequately, we sigh them out. If sighing is not adequate, we sing them out. 37 A comparison of this passage with the "Canon of Yao" and "Speeches of Zhou" passages will show how it effectually reverses the conventional auxiliary role assigned to poetry.

Although readers might differ in background and abilities, they all seem to have the same goal in mind—they wish to learn from the great Chuci. Thus great talents borrow large conceptions from it; the mediocre but skillful writers steal sensory diction from it. Those who love to chant poetry sing its descriptions of mountains and streams; young poetic novices remember the names of fragrant grasses by reading it. ( WXDL 5/130—33) The notion of literary influence through reading was by no means a new concept for Liu Xie's contemporaries.

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