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The Art of Chinese Poetry

This concise introduction to Chinese poetry serves as a primer for English-speakers eager to expand their understanding and enjoyment of Chinese culture. James J. Y. Liu first examines the Chinese language as a medium of poetic expression and, contrary to the usual focus on the visual qualities of Chinese script, emphasizes the auditory effects of Chinese verse. He provides a succinct survey of Chinese poetry theory and concludes with his own view of poetry, based upon traditional Chinese concepts.

"[This] books should be read by all those interested in Chinese poetry."—Achilles Fang, Poetry

"[This is] a significant contribution to the understanding and appreciation of Chinese poetry, lucidly presented in a way that will attract a wide audience, and offering an original synthesis of Chinese and Western views that will stimulate and inspire students of poetry everywhere."—Hans H. Frankel, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

"This is a book which can be recommended without reservation to anyone who wants to explore the world of Chinese poetry in translation."—James R. Hightower, Journal of Asian Studies

171 pages | 5.50 x 8.50 | © 1962

Literature and Literary Criticism: Asian Languages

Table of Contents

Part I. The Chinese Language as a Medium of Poetic Expression
1. The Structure of Chinese Characters
2. Implications and Associations of Words and Characters
3. Auditory Effects of Chinese and the Bases of Versification
4. Some Grammatical Aspects of the Language of Poetry
5. Some Chinese Concepts and Ways of Thinking and Feeling
Part II. Some Traditional Chinese Views of Poetry
1. The Didactic View: Poetry as Moral Instruction and Social Comment
2. The Individualist View: Poetry as Self-Expression
3. The Technical View: Poetry as Literary Exercise
4. The Intuitionalist View: Poetry as Contemplation
Part III. Towards a Synthesis
1. Poetry as Exploration of Worlds and of Language
2. Imagery and Symbolism
3. Allusions, Quotations, and Derivations
4. Antithesis
Note on Romanization
Index of Chinese Names and Book Titles

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