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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Traditional Chinese poetics grew out of hermeneutic tendencies associated with the Shijing, as commentators linked the poems to specific personal responses to historical events. This led to the valorization of self-expression and the obligation to “read” the author behind the text. While this remained a basic assumption, how it was interpreted and applied changed over time. In the pre-Tang era, the growth of court culture and the development of self-conscious literary history produced a series of important texts that addressed the interactions of literary texts with the polity; the evolution of genres and their relationship to personality; metaphysical sources for the imagination; and the historical development of literary forms and literary influence. In the Tang, the popularity of technical manuals demonstrates the increasing importance of shi composition. The ninth century saw the rise of theories that emphasized individual self-expression and authenticity in presentation. These views would come to dominate poetics.

Keywords: poetics, aesthetics, poetry, shi, literary criticism, genre

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