The poetry of the Ming dynasty has been relatively neglected in scholarship of the past century, and the 'Archaist' poets of the middle Ming especially so. This book attempts to redress this neglect by presenting by far the most detailed treatment available in any language of the life, milieu, and work of Ho Ching-ming (1483-1521). While Ho's participation in the Archaist circle of Li Meng-yang in his youth is confirmed, the later development of his ideas is shown to move toward a stance usually thought more representative of the following century. The book also argues that 'May Fourth' accounts of the pre-modern literary tradition are seriously flawed and require replacement.
Daniel Bryant, Ph.D. (1978) in Chinese, University of British Columbia, is Professor of Chinese at the University of Victoria. His work has concentrated on poetry of the T'ang, Five Dynasties, and Ming periods.
The Great Recreation is a major contribution that not only introduces us to the often neglected world of literature and poetics in mid-Ming China, but also asks broader questions about literary historiography. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the Ming dynasty and in Chinese poetry, and the exemplary scholarship demonstrated throughout the book will undoubtedly reward its readers.'
Tian Yuan Tan
Readers interested in Chinese poetry and its history, textual criticism, the history of Ming dynasty, and the problem of 'late' literature and its antecedents.