Limited Views: Essays on Ideas and Letters

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This translation of 65 pieces from Qian Zhongshu's Guanzhui bian (Limited Views) makes available for the first time in English a representative selection from Qian's massive four-volume collection of essays and reading notes on the classics of early Chinese literature. First published in 1979, it has been hailed as one of the most insightful and comprehensive treatments of themes and motifs in early Chinese writing to appear in this century. Scholar, novelist, and essayist Qian Zhongshu (b. 1910) is arguably ...
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Overview


This translation of 65 pieces from Qian Zhongshu's Guanzhui bian (Limited Views) makes available for the first time in English a representative selection from Qian's massive four-volume collection of essays and reading notes on the classics of early Chinese literature. First published in 1979, it has been hailed as one of the most insightful and comprehensive treatments of themes and motifs in early Chinese writing to appear in this century. Scholar, novelist, and essayist Qian Zhongshu (b. 1910) is arguably contemporary China's foremost man of letters, and Limited Views is recognized as the culmination of his study of literature in both the Chinese and the Western traditions.
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Meet the Author

Ronald C. Egan is Professor of Sinology in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Meaning Surpasses the Image 29
Worldly Frustration and Literary Composition 35
Personal Conduct and Literary Style 41
Poetic Landscapes and Fidelity to Nature 48
The Corruption of Consciousness 56
The Writer as Critic 61
Sadness as the Primary Value in Music 67
Saddened by a Height 74
Complex Emotions in Literature 83
The Origins of "Delighting the Mind" in Landscape 86
Script and Nature, Script and Painting 91
"Resonance" in Criticism on the Arts 97
The Misreading of Xie He's "Six Canons" 97
The Early History of the Concept 100
Resonance and Concealment 104
A Lost Twelfth-Century Treatise 109
From Music to the Literary and Visual Arts 112
Metaphors Have Two Handles and Several Sides 121
"Human Life Is Like Ice" 130
Imagery in the Changes and the Songs 134
Gifts with Symbolic Meanings 141
Reverse Symbolism 144
The Domesticating Metaphor 148
Inflated Language 152
Synaesthesia 155
Constant Qualities, Variant Perceptions 160
The Name but Not the Reality 163
Impossible Tropes 171
On Not Recognizing Mirrors 180
Using Sound to Emphasize Silence 185
The Motif of the Other Shore 189
The Hermeneutic Circle 195
Characters with Multiple Meanings Used Simultaneously 202
Dialectics in Words and Emotions 208
Chiasmus 215
Quoting Out of Context 221
Degrees of Grammaticalness 224
Poetic Conventions and the Problem of Distorted Meaning 231
"Difficulty" in Prose Style 236
Literary Style and the Detection of Forgeries 239
A Defense of Parallel Prose 243
Literary Writing and Utilitarian Prose 248
Event and Background in Early Historical Writings 251
The Way and Names 257
The Insights and Myopia of Mystical Philosophies 263
Heaven and Earth Are Inhuman, the Sage Is Inhuman 269
The Body as a Source of Trouble 274
Modeling Oneself on Nature 282
Fallacia Divisionis 290
On Not Speaking While Speaking 297
Right Words Look Like Contradictions 304
Fate Versus Divine Justice 311
Ghosts and Gods 316
Inconsistencies in The Zuo Commentary 316
Nomenclature: "Ghost," "Daemon," and "Heaven" 319
God on High and the King of Zhou 321
Ghosts and Daemons Are neither All-Seeing nor Just 323
Witchcraft 326
More Joy on Earth than in Heaven 332
Time in Heaven, Earth, and Hell 339
Rebuking Heaven 345
Ghosts That Die 350
"Born from a Brush" and "Killed by a Painting" 353
Poets in Hell 358
Stupefying the People 363
Critiques of "Driving Out the Foreigners" 368
The Concepts "Chinese" and "Barbarian" 373
Giving Books to the Barbarians 382
The Sage Does Not Experience Emotion 387
Marriage and Fate 393
Rivalry Between Shamans and Doctors 396
Monks and Lice 401
Vegetarians with Impure Minds 405
Tears at Partings 412
Works Cited 421
Finding List 463
Index of Proper Names, Titles, and Terms 471
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