Court Culture and Literature in Early China: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Court Culture and Literature in Early China

1st Edition

By David R. Knechtges


296 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788843
pub: 2002-05-15

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The studies brought together here focus upon the literary and cultural activity of the Chinese court during the Han and early medieval period. The first section concerns court literature in the Former Han and deals with the role of literature, especially poetry, at both the imperial and princely courts, including one study of the writings attributed to an imperial concubine, who used poetry to express her resentment at falling from the emperor’s favour. The next section looks at a leading court writer of the Late Western Han dynasty, Yang Xiong, while the third part deals with the leading poetic genre of this period, the fu or rhapsody. These papers examine major themes such as praise, travel, dating and authenticity, and problems of translation. The volume concludes with two articles on food culture in early and medieval China.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Court Literature in the Former Han: Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju's Tall Gate Palace Rhapsody; The emperor and literature: Emperor Wu of the Han; The fu in the Xijing zaji; The poetry of an imperial concubine: the Favorite Beauty Ban; Yang Xiong, A Court Poet of the Late Western Han: Narration, description, and rhetoric in Yang Shyong's Yeu-lieh fuh: an essay in form and function in the Hann fuh; Uncovering the sauce jar: a literary interpretation of Yang Hsiung's Chü Ch'in mei Hsin; The Liu Hsin/Yang Hsiung correspondence on the Fang yen; Themes and Problems in Fu Studies: Problems of translating descriptive binomes in the Fu; Poetic travelogue in the Han fu; To praise the Han: the eastern capital fu of Pan Ku and his contemporaries; A journey to morality: Chang Heng's The Rhapsody on Pondering the Mystery; Pao Chao's Rhapsody on the ruined city: date and circumstances of composition; Food and Literature: A literary feast: food in early Chinese literature; Gradually entering the realm of delight: food and drink in early medieval Chinese literature; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General