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From a historical perspective, this article attempts to explore the importance of friendship in traditional Chinese culture and its implications. It starts with the etymological study of the term ‘friend,’ and the value attached to it, followed by an examination of the concept of friendship in a broader socio-historical context—in particular the Confucian role ethics and the Chinese literati tradition; finally it briefly reflects on the impact of this concept on Chinese society today.

In traditional Chinese ethics, an individual is never defined by him-/herself, but by his/her various roles in relation to others around him/her. An etymological investigation explains why the relationship between friends was included in the ‘five cardinal human relationships.’ These roles and relations not only constitute one’s initial conditions, but also operate within the grand matrix of heaven-earth-human. Examples of friendship and its various types in classical philosophical and literary texts are analyzed to illustrate the significance of friendship as part of the narratives and moral particularities of Chinese people as well as its long-lasting impact.

In: Conceptualizing Friendship in Time and Place
Wen xuan Compiler Xiao Tong (501-531) and His Circle
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Scholarship on Xiao Tong in both China and the West has paid little attention to his own writings beyond the influential anthology compiled by the Liang Crown Prince. Adopting a philological approach, this book thorougly examines a multitude of texts written by Xiao Tong and his entourage, many of whom were powerful writers in their own right. In addition to drawing a picture of important aspects of Liang court culture such as education, literary composition, personal relations, and ideological and religious trends, this study also redresses a long-standing bias against court poetry. It will enhance our understanding not only of the early sixth-century but also, indirectly, of a significant portion of pre-modern Chinese literature in general.
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Lu Xun is arguably the most prolific user of pseudonyms of all writers in the world. The question, then, is why. While the diversity and multiplicity of Lu Xun’s pseudonyms defy clear classification, a close examination reveals much more than just the erstwhile political justifications for anonymity. This article argues that Lu Xun’s pseudonyms, with their rich literary allusions, satire, and humour, shed light on his complex character, and contributed to his sophisticated writing style. Through the author’s choice of pseudonyms, we see the inner workings of his mind, hear a voice of a national conscience, and feel his intense—albeit at times ambivalent—emotions. The pen-names Lu Xun ingeniously employed constructed his image as a solitary thinker and fighter embarked on a long and difficult journey in search of light in the darkness. Indeed, not only have the pseudonyms enriched the layered significance of his writing, they also have much to tell about Lu Xun both as an author and a person: his keen awareness of social and political issues, his deep insight into the weakness of the national character, and his passionate concern for the nation, as well as his eclectic approach to both classical discourse and modern narrative. And as such, these pseudonyms should form an integral part of the many queries posed and pondered by Lu Xun studies.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: The Age of Courtly Writing
In: The Age of Courtly Writing
In: The Age of Courtly Writing
In: The Age of Courtly Writing
In: The Age of Courtly Writing