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In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
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Abstract

The publication of The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature in 2010 stands as a significant achievement in the field of Chinese literary studies within the global field of Sinology. This groundbreaking work challenged the prevailing narratives of Chinese literary history in two key areas: writing style and perspectives of literary history. By employing updated methodologies, the authors addressed the practical question of how to effectively rewrite Chinese literary history. Additionally, they relied on historiographic principles to reconsider the theoretical issues surrounding the nature of Chinese literary history and the reasons behind its rewriting. Through a comprehensive investigation, this literary history offers a theoretical response to the question of what Chinese literary history truly entails. It sheds light on two fundamental compilation principles: the history of history and the history of literary culture. These principles revolve around the three core elements of history, literature, and China itself. By examining the book’s interactions with the mainstream Western theoretical community, insight may be gained into the motivations behind the writing process and the paradigmatic shifts within contemporary overseas Chinese literary history.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

In the study of literary history, how can we transcend the traditional models found in existing works? How can we take literary history research in new directions? For scholars of literary history who aspire to break new ground in the field, these are questions that must be properly considered. Published outside of China, The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature offers us a paradigm for literary history writing. While some of its features might be debatable, it offers much inspiration and food for thought. In this case study, the author shares with our readers some of his insights and opinions regarding the study of literary history.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature is based on a “history of literary culture” approach that differs clearly from the standard literary-historical narrative favored by most Chinese scholars. The conventional approach to literary history tends to focus on the most engaging elements of a literary canon, while the history of literary culture model attempts to study literary texts in conjunction with their historical contexts. Based on historical documentation, this approach seeks to rehabilitate literary works that have been misinterpreted over time. With this approach, both texts and contexts are at the heart of literary history. If literary texts are restored to the context of their literary production, we are asked to reconsider the following three important research questions. Where did the texts originate? Why were they selected as part of the literary canon? What are their special characteristics and how are they related to other texts? Answers to these questions make literary research more varied and three-dimensional. In terms of theory, the contributors to The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature clearly aspire towards historicism. In their own writing, however, they seem willing to compromise and follow “a middle way” between conventional and alternative narratives of Chinese literary history.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

In many respects, The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature consciously avoids traditional approaches to the compilation of literary history in order to emphasize its unique understanding of Chinese literature. The innovative approaches described by the editors have yielded practical results, particularly in the attempt to “avoid the division of the field into genres and to move toward a more integrated historical approach.” They chose a new approach to historical periodization, and the book “pays greater attention to the ways in which all received Chinese literary texts are filtered and reconstructed by later generations.” However, there are still some shortcomings, such as the neglect of certain literary genres, the perfunctory choice of the dividing moment between the two volumes, and the subjective nature of the historical reconstruction. Furthermore, two fundamental problems characterize the book’s discussion of literary history: the limitations of the editors’ and authors’ specialized research experience, and the work’s use of recent academic research. The editors also fail to adequately respect academic norms. Therefore, The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature is an innovative and unique work of literary history that nonetheless contains major shortcomings, leaving much room for improvement.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Free access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

Zhang Ruoxu’s poem “Chunjiang huayue ye,” reached Japan and Korea in the anthology Tangshi xuan compiled by the Ming dynasty scholar Li Panlong. In the mid-Edo period, under the influence of the “Kobunjigaku” (Ancient Rhetoric School) represented by Ogyū Sorai, the Tangshi xuan anthology enjoyed a phase of great popularity and became the widest-read Tang poetry work at the time. Because “Chunjiang huayue ye” was included in Tangshi xuan, it was also widely read. Many versions of Tangshi xuan containing abundant commentaries on “Chunjiang huayue ye” were published in Japan; most of these focus on art appreciation and comment on the poem in considerable depth. China, Japan, and Korea also produced many response poems and imitations of “Chunjiang huayue ye.” Of these, the Chinese imitations were closest to the original work, the Japanese ones had greater ideological depth and echoed the commentaries on the poem, and the Korean ones were all rhymed response poems that were integrated into Korean culture over time. As a literary classic, “Chunjiang huayue ye” transcended its original era and at the same time broke the barriers of space, becoming world literature appreciated by people in other countries.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

Since the 1980s, research on Sinographic literature has made significant strides. From the standpoint of academic history, this research has undergone three broad stages, which are represented respectively by new materials, new questions, and new methods. These have been the overall trends, which necessarily overlap each other. Research on Sinographic literature has diverged from a focus on new material toward the refinement of new questions and the exploration of new methodologies. One such exploratory approach is “the Sinosphere as methodology,” which addresses the shortcomings of four previous research models and seeks to put this new methodological concept into practice, to contain the expansionist impulses of cultural imperialism, and to prise apart nationalist parochialism.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities