Harmony Garden: The Life, Literary Criticism, and Poetry of Yuan Mei (1716-1798)

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Psychology Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 758 pages
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This is the first complete study of China's most popular eighteenth-century poet in any Western language. The work consists of a detailed biography, a study of Yuan's revolutionary reinterpretation of Chinese literary theory, and an analysis of his many contributions to the more original genres of Qing-dynasty (1644-1911) poetry such as narrative, historical, didactic, eccentric, and nature verse. The study is concluded by a generous and representative sampling of Yuan's poetry in translation, the first to do justice to the wide variety and richness of his oeuvre. Although many shorter poems are selected, this is the first translation to include his outstanding longer poetry.
Harmony Garden will completely revise current attitudes in the west concerning classical Chines literature during the eighteenth century, a period that was long viewed as one of decline, but now appears to equal the golden ages of antiquity.
  

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Contents

Chapter Two In Harmony Garden
46
Chapter Three The later years
96
Chapter Four The principles of poetry
153
Chapter Five The practice of poetry
209
Chapter Six Evaluation
244
Chapter Seven Songdynasty verse and Yuan Meis
289
Chapter Eight The historical style and the Qing
338
Chapter Nine The political style and the Literary Inquisition
368
Chapter Ten The didactic style
393
Chapter Eleven Narrative poetry
415
Chapter Twelve Eccentric verse and the Yangzhou artists
452
Chapter Thirteen The exploration of nature
496
Bibliography
712
Index
740
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