A Chinese Literary Mind: Culture, Creativity, and Rhetoric by Zong-qi Cai

By Zong-qi Cai

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

The first components of the e-book 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 bills to the highbrow currents of his time. The 3rd half explores Liu's thought of literary construction through the use of modern severe views to research Liu's notion of mind's eye. The fourth half offers 3 designated 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 method of study and textual creation, and an research of his perspectives on adjustments and continuities in chinese language literary kinds. The ebook concludes with a severe survey of Asian-language scholarship on Wenxin diaolong during this century.

The participants are Zong-qi Cai, Kang-i sunlight 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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In particular, Liu Xie speaks of Confucius as one "whose mind still shines after a thousand years" (WXDL 2/100). Liu concludes Wenxin diaalongwith a personal wish for literary immortality: "If literature truly carries mind,/Then my mind has found a lodging" (WXDL LIU XIE'S IDEA OF CANONICITY 3! J7 In fact, such a vision of literary immortality has deep roots in the Chinese tradition, and the example of the Grand Historian Sima Qian immediately comes to mind—precisely because of his wish to reach the minds of future readers through writing, Sima Qian decided not to take his own life in the face of a severe personal trauma.

Ij£f~v$ DJ( J| , p f In later texts written during the Warring States period, we can observe the continuation of these two changes. 44 In contrast to the foregrounding of the relationship between nature and man in the Zuo Commentary and "Speeches of Zhou," in these two texts the overriding concern is with human relationships in the tradition of Analects. D. when the "Great Preface" was written, poetry had become independent of music and the Confucian doctrine had been established as the state ideology.

All other activities are presented as complements to poetic verbalization. " Dance is mentioned only in the passage cited above. Nor is music discussed for its own sake. Indeed, even when the author cites another passage from the "Record of Music" about sheng^ (sounds) and yin % (tones), he seems to refer exclusively to the emotive tonality of poetic verbalization. "Emotions are discharged in sounds. ' The tones of a well-governed time are peaceful and joyful; the governance is marked by harmony.

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