Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

“Literature” is a discursive field that is bounded by other discursive fields that are “not literature.” Reflection on that field as such can be traced to the early second century ce under the category wen. Wen was a much older and broader category that characterized certain qualities in a text, a person, or even the condition of an age. Critical reflection on wen was sustained for about four centuries, but the elusiveness of the term blurred the bibliographical category. Gradually, in the eighth and ninth centuries, critical discourse shifted to the large genre categories, to poetry and to wen redefined as “prose.”

Keywords: literature, wen, collections (ji), genre

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.