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Products for Grant FA-51420-05

FA-51420-05
The Literature of Friendship in Late Medieval China
Anna Shields, University of Arizona

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-51420-05

Remembering When: The Uses of Nostalgia in the Poetry of Bai Juyi and Yuan Zhen (Article)
Title: Remembering When: The Uses of Nostalgia in the Poetry of Bai Juyi and Yuan Zhen
Author: Anna M. Shields
Abstract: This article examines the changing character of nostalgia for their Chang'an youth in the exchange poetry of the mid-Tang poets Bai Juyi and Yuan Zhen. It argues that the passage of time led the two poets to rewrite their past in very different ways, such that poetic exchanges in which they once "matched" (?) each others' sentiments evolved into a debate about the meaning of their shared experiences. Bai Juyi's relatively prosperous and tranquil exile in Jiangnan led him to see both past and present circumstances with greater equanimity, while Yuan Zhen's exile in Sichuan, where he came close to dying of malaria, made him far more bitter about lost opportunities and despondent about the future. The two poets' use of exchange poetry to celebrate nostalgia and then to revise their nostalgic visions reveals the extraordinary dynamism of ninth-century poetry, and its new importance as a means to explore personal and shared identities.
Year: 2006
Primary URL: http://www.worldcat.org/title/remembering-when-the-uses-of-nostalgia-in-the-poetry-of-bai-juyi-and-yuan-zhen/oclc/101723301&referer=brief_results
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
Publisher: Harvard University

Words for the Dead and the Living: Innovations in the Mid-Tang Prayer Text (jiwen ??) (Article)
Title: Words for the Dead and the Living: Innovations in the Mid-Tang Prayer Text (jiwen ??)
Author: Anna M. Shields
Abstract: This article examines the new uses of the medieval genre of the prayer text (jiwen ??) in mourning close friends. In particular, it demonstrates the new rhetorical and emotional range of early ninth-century prayer texts written by and for literati companions. In Liu Zongyuan's 811 prayer text for his fellow exile Lu Wen's youthful death, Liu uses the prayer text as a vehicle for political anger and resentment of their collective fates in the wake of the Shunzong debacle. In Liu Yuxi's 819 prayer text for Liu Zongyuan, the prayer text becomes a performance of friendship for the literati community and a powerfully emotional communication to the spirit of Liu Zongyuan himself. Finally, in Bai Juyi's lengthy 831 prayer text for his longtime friend Yuan Zhen, the prayer text becomes a literary and personal biography of friendship, and it commemorates the ninth century's most famous set of poetic companions. In conclusion, the article argues that the transformation of the prayer text in the hands of these mid-Tang writers demonstrates the reach of their personal and literary ambitions towards the craft of _wenzhang_ ??, which extended even to the most conservative of literary genres, medieval funerary texts.
Year: 2009
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: T'ang Studies
Publisher: T'ang Studies Society

The Limits of Knowledge: Three Han Yu Letters to Friends, 799-802 (Article)
Title: The Limits of Knowledge: Three Han Yu Letters to Friends, 799-802
Author: Anna Shields
Abstract: This article examines the epistemological implications of friendship as they are explored in three letters by the mid-Tang literatus Han Yu (768-824). In these letters written to close members of his circle (Li Ao and Meng Jiao) and to a colleague who was also a patron (Cui Qun), Han Yu extends the concept of social knowing, "knowing people," _zhiren_, to that of knowing and understanding the Dao. Drawing on both personal experience and canonical arguments, Han creates three very different texts that nevertheless share the same fundamental argument: the ability to know, _zhi_, was a flexible and powerful force for shaping the human realm. Particularly in his letter to Cui Qun, Han Yu's explicit claim to social knowledge, or wide experience of friendship, becomes an important foundation for his even stronger claim to knowledge of the Way and its implementation in the world. These claims were both innovative and radical for their moment, but they were also a coherent element of Han Yu's defense of individual literary creativity and autonomy.
Year: 2007
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: T'ang Studies
Publisher: T'ang Studies Society


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