Designations of Poetry in Translations of Liu Xie's Work on Literary Genres

By Liu, Ying | CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, March 2015 | Go to article overview

Designations of Poetry in Translations of Liu Xie's Work on Literary Genres


Liu, Ying, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture


Liu Xie's ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 465-521 AD) (The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons) is one of the most important texts of literary theory of Chinese literature. Some scholars argue that the book consists of three parts: the first five chapters are regarded as a whole, the second part includes chapters 6 to 25, and the rest the third part. Others thought a dichotomous division is adopted where the first 25 chapters are the first part and the rest of further 25 chapters is the second part. Whatever approach is taken, what remains acceptable to almost all is that the definition and classification of literary genres are a significant part in the organic structure of the text, while another significant part is the analysis of the creation and criticism of different genres. Of course, we cannot ascertain which is closer to the original idea of Liu, but what we can extrapolate is that "genre" is one key concept in Liu's construction of the work and that the work contributed much to the development of genre theory in the history of Chinese literature and references to it are important to any study of genres in Chinese literature. The study on (sung) both as the name for the genre of classical poetry and a key concept in the discourse of Chinese literary theory is one effective endeavor to explore the field of genres.

Liu established a large number of genre designations and named most of them in the titles of chapters in his text. Generally speaking, the book is a framework of genre theory and sets the principle of naming genres or types of literature. For example, when indicating the origin of different literary genres in chapter three, sung is translated by Vincent Yu-chung Shih as "sacrificial poetry" (Liu Xie, The Literary 25) and as "panegyric" in The Book of Literary Design and translators Siu-kit Wong, Allan Chung-hang Lo, and Kwong-tai Lam explain that it includes "two types known as sung and zan (9 ) and Guobin Yang translated it as "hymn" (Liu, Dragon-Carving 31). At the same time, in The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons the title of chapter nine has been translated as "ode and pronouncement" by Vincent Yu-chung Shih (69), "eulogistic songs and summaries" by Wong, Lo, and Lam (30), and "hymn and eulogy" by Yang (Liu, Dragon-Carving 102). Yang is the only one who remains consistent in the translation. It is obvious that the translators perceive the subtle discrepancy between the different genres and that between Chinese words and their English counterparts. Clearly, they struggle to seek for the most suitable terms according to their comprehension. However, even a native Chinese reader may feel tortured to give clear definition of each of the genres.

sung is mentioned several times throughout in Liu's The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons and is discussed intensively in chapter three and four. In the chapter three, Liu developed the general principles of genres from their classic genesis and argued that five classics are "the great treasure house of literature" (Zhou 19; unless indicated otherwise, all translations are mine) and sung with other three genres "have their foundations in the Book of Songs" (Zhou 19). Later, in chapter nine Liu's focus is on the definition and historical variation of the two genres of sung and zan. According to comments on the Book of Songs--in order to make a differentiation between the genre mentioned in Liu's text--the former is written in italicized small caps while the latter is capitalized--sung is put in the final position in the list of the "four beginnings": feng, "greater ya" (da-ya"), "lesser ya" (xiao-ya) and sung. About the "four beginnings" there are two major explanations: one includes feng, da-ya, xiao-ya, and sung while the others as guan-ju as the beginning of feng, lu ming ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) as the beginning of da-ya, wen wang as the beginning of xiao-ya and qing miao as the beginning of sung. In either interpretation, sung follows the other three beginnings and occupies the final position. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Designations of Poetry in Translations of Liu Xie's Work on Literary Genres
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.