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《Social Sciences in China》 2008-05
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"From the Higher to the Lower":A Convention in Referencing between Literary Forms in Ancient China

Jiang Yin  
Referencing between literary forms was quite common in ancient Chinese literary writings. The prevalence of referencing between different forms, such as ci and qu (two verse forms), classical and popular texts, fu (a prose poem) and historical biography, and even between the two literary categories of verse and prose was noted very early on. In such referencing, there was a convention that it was desirable to use the superior literary form to polish the inferior one, while the reverse was unacceptable. This orientation and its artistic effect are illuminated most clearly and directly in calligraphy, which therefore was often used by ancient critics to describe and explain this convention. The calligraphic term "hybrid style" (poti) was introduced into literary criticism in the Tang dynasty. In the Song dynasty, with its fine discrimination between styles, this and "original style" became a complementary pair of concepts in the discussion of such referencing, shaping the aesthetic evaluation of specific instances of this practice. The aesthetic foundations of the "higher to lower" convention can essentially be found in the "wooden barrel" theory. Specifically, this meant that the style and taste of a piece of literary work as a whole was determined by its lowest part; the borrowing of a superior form could elevate the style of the whole work, while reference to an inferior form would degrade it. But what makes the issue more complex is that because such referencing involves the literary function, there are different degrees of exceptions to the rule.
【CateGory Index】: I206.2
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【Citations】
Chinese Journal Full-text Database 2 Hits
1 MA Yan(Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences,Taiyuan 030006,China);On Southern Melody Writen with the Present Style in the Early Ming Dynasty[J];Academic Journal of Jinyang;2007-03
2 Jiang Yin;The“Ecosystem”of the Ming and Qing Literature under the Shadow of Imperial Examinations[J];Literary Heritage;2004-01
【Co-references】
Chinese Journal Full-text Database 10 Hits
1 YUAN Xiao-wei(Department of Chinese Language and Literature,Hefei Teachers College,Hefei 230061,China);HAN Yu's Canonization of LI Bai and DU Fu and the Alteration of WANG Wei's Poet Position——Discussing the Poetics Significance of Sole Glorification of LI Bai and DU Fu[J];Journal of Hefei Teachers College;2008-02
2 WU Cheng-xue, HE Shi-hai(Department of Chinese, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275 China);Stylistic Values in the Annotated Catalog of The Emperor's Four Treasuries[J];Journal of Peking University(Philosophy and Social Sciences);2007-04
3 Wong Waileung(Department of Literature,Fo Guang University,Tai wan);Literary Theory in the 20~(th) Century: China vs.the West[J];Journal of Peking University(Philosophy & Social Sciences);2008-03
4 ZHANG Ying(College of Chinese Language and Literature, Suzhou University, Suzhou 215123,China);Freedom of Anti-utilitarian Producing and Open Explanation in "No title"——About the resemblance in Li Shangyin's no title poems and the no title Ci in Tang & Song Dynasty[J];The Northern Forum;2008-02
5 HU Ke-xian,WEN Yan-rong;On the love theme of Bai Juyi's A Song of Everlasting Regret[J];Journal of Southeast University(Philosophy and Social Science);2008-02
6 YU Lin-bo;A textual research on A Collection of Antiphonies of Dali Era in Eastern Zhejiang[J];Journal of Southeast University(Philosophy and Social Science);2008-02
7 WANG Hui-bin(Department of Chinese,Xiangfan University,Xiangfan Hubei 441053,China);On Examination and Discrimination of Wang Wei's Poetry[J];Sichuan University of Arts and Science Journal;2008-04
8 XU Zhi-xiao(Chinese Institute,Fudan University,Shanghai 200433,China);Perspective of Another Person's Point——One Example of American scholar Study on Tang Poetry[J];Journal of Fujian Normal University(Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition);2008-05
9 ZHAO Song-yuan XU Ze-ping (Chinese dept.Hanshan Teacher’s College,521041,China);On Dufu’s Poetry about Drinking Wine[J];Journal of Ancient Books Collation and Studies;2008-04
10 ZHANG Ming-fei (College of Chinese Language and Literature,Guangxi Normal University,Guilin 541004,China);On the Symbolic Art of Li Shangyin's Poetry[J];Journal of Guangxi Normal University(Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition);2008-04
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