KeywordsChinese poetry -- Song dynasty, 960-1279 -- History and criticism.
Ouyang, Xiu, 1007-1072.
AdvisorMiao, Ronald C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPoetry occupies an eminent position in the history of Chinese literature because almost all the traditional men of letters had experience in composing poems. However, it was not until the Sung Dynasty that the criticism of poetry became very popular; this was singled out by the appearance of a number of books called, shih-hua (icons omitted) (remarks on poetry). Since the Sung period on, shih-hua has received both praise and censure. Traditional critics tended to evaluate shih-hua from a practical viewpoint. For example, Wang Shih-han (icons omitted) criticised the content of shih-hua as trivial because it deviated from the subjects of filial piety, trust, and other Confucian merits. On the other hand, Kuo Shao-yu (icons omitted) proclaimed that shih-hua preserved a great deal of worthy materials for the study of poetry. Modern scholars tend to evaluate shih-hua from the aesthetic viewpoint. For instance, Yen Yuan-shu (icons omitted) describes shih-hua as "vague and obscure" and "lacking systematic discourse." Yet other scholars such as Yeh Wei-lien (icons omitted) claim that the shih-hua offers readers a chance to recapture the world of rich imagery in poetic composition. In order to make a more objective judgement between the above two extremely different evaluations of shih-hua, the following issues must first be resolved: the definition of shih-hua which is related to Ou-yang Hsiu's (icons omitted) Liu-i shih-hua (icons omitted) the first book titled shih-hua, what kind of poetic tradition the Liu-i shih-hua inherited, what kind of person its author was, under what kind of literary environment it was produced, what were the contents of the work, and what kind of influence it exerted on the development of the shih-hua genre. Then we may tentatively reach an answer: the practical criticism of poetry only covers one part of the content of shih-hua. To make a complete evaluation of a shih-hua book or the shih-hua genre itself, a critic must take all the issues above into consideration.
Degree ProgramOriental Studies