Written at Imperial Command: Panegyric Poetry in Early Medieval China [NOOK Book]

Overview

This is the first book-length study of panegyric poetry-yingzhao shi or poetry presented to imperial rulers-in the Chinese tradition. Examining poems presented during the Wei-Jin Nanbeichao, or early medieval period (220-619), Fusheng Wu provides a thorough exploration of the sociopolitical background against which these poems were written and a close analysis of the formal conventions of the poems.

By reconstructing the human drama behind the...
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Written at Imperial Command: Panegyric Poetry in Early Medieval China

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Overview

This is the first book-length study of panegyric poetry-yingzhao shi or poetry presented to imperial rulers-in the Chinese tradition. Examining poems presented during the Wei-Jin Nanbeichao, or early medieval period (220-619), Fusheng Wu provides a thorough exploration of the sociopolitical background against which these poems were written and a close analysis of the formal conventions of the poems.

By reconstructing the human drama behind the composition of these poems, Wu shows that writing under imperial command could be a matter of grave consequence. The poets' work could determine the rise and fall of careers, or even cost lives. While panegyric poetry has been largely dismissed as perfunctory and insincere, such poems reveal much about the relations between monarchs and the intellectuals they patronized and also compels us to reexamine the canonical Chinese notion of poetic production as personal, spontaneous expression.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
There is much to recommend this volume, not least of which is the author's impressive knowledge of early medieval literature and history ... this volume is a welcome addition to English-language scholarship on medieval Chinese literature. Countless scholars and graduate students making their way through the understudied and often treacherous terrain of the early medieval period will be grateful to Wu for his erudition and scholarly generosity.— China Review International

"...[this] sophisticated study ... marks a great contribution to the field of Chinese poetry, and it ends a long period of neglect and disparagement of this type of poems."— Journal of Chinese Studies

"...this book is a welcome addition to the study of early medieval poetry. The number of poems and the time-span covered betrays an ambitious range."— Journal of the American Oriental Society

"Wu argues convincingly that authors of panegyrics were more concerned with the internal literary value of their verse than they were given credit for and that the praising/advising function often associated with yingzhao shi ... 'becomes secondary.' ... Wu writes well, and his scholarship is discerning, meticulous, and revealing."— CHOICE

"This book brings into focus a longstanding subgenre of classical Chinese poetry. The author's handling of the subject is historically informed and textually sensitive. His scholarship is meticulous."— Xiaoshan Yang, author of Metamorphosis of the Private Sphere: Gardens and Objects in Tang-Song Poetry
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791478721
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 15 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Fusheng Wu is Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature at the University of Utah and the author of The Poetics of Decadence: Chinese Poetry of the Southern Dynasties and the Late Tang Periods, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Han Epideictic Rhapsody: The Prototype of Panegyric Poetry     13
Self-Foregrounding in the Panegyric Poetry of the Jian'an Era     23
Archaic Elegance in the Panegyric Poetry of the Jin Dynasty     49
Addressing the Best and Worst of Rulers: Panegyric Poetry of the Liu Song Dynasty     75
Praising Rulers throughout Calm and Conspiracy: The Southern Qi Dynasty     103
The Flourishing of Panegyric Poetry during the Liang Dynasty     123
Poetry's Embarrassment: Panegyric Poetry of the Chen Dynasty     147
Becoming Chinese: Panegyric Poetry during the Northern Dynasties     165
Matching Poems with a Cruel but Talented Ruler: The Sui Dynasty     185
Conclusion     211
Notes     215
Bibliography     273
Index     283

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