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The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons
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The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons is the first comprehensive work of literary criticism in Chinese, and one that has been considered essential reading for writers and critics since it was written some 1,500 years ago. A vast compendium of all that was known about Chinese literature at the time, it is simultaneously a taxonomy and history of genres and styles, and a manual for good writing. Its chapters, organized according to the I Ching, cover such topics as “Emotion and Literary Expression,” “Humor and Enigma,” “Spiritual Thought or Imagination,” “The Nourishing of Vitality,”“Organization,” and “Literary Flaws.” “Mind” is the ideas, impressions, and emotions that take form—the “carving of the dragon”—in a literary work. Full of examples and delightful anecdotes drawn from Liu Hsieh’s encyclopedic knowledge of Chinese literature, readers will discover distinctive concepts and standards of the art of writing that are both familiar and strange. The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons is not only a summa of classical Chinese literary aesthetics but also a wellspring of advice from the distant past on how to write.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. ix-lxx
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  1. Preface (Hsü-chih)
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. On Tao, the Source(Yüan-Tao)
  2. pp. 8-14
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  1. Evidence from the Sage (Cheng-sheng)
  2. pp. 15-19
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  1. The Classics as Literary Sources (Tsung-ching)
  2. pp. 20-26
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  1. Emendation of Apocrypha (Cheng-wei)
  2. pp. 27-31
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  1. An Analysis of Sao (Pien-Sao)
  2. pp. 32-39
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  1. An Exegesis of Poetry (Ming-shih)
  2. pp. 40-49
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  1. Musical Poetry (Yüeh-fu)
  2. pp. 50-58
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  1. Elucidation of Fu (Ch’üan-fu)
  2. pp. 59-64
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  1. Ode and Pronouncement (Sung Tsan)
  2. pp. 65-70
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  1. Sacrificial Prayer and Oath of Agreement (Chu Meng)
  2. pp. 71-77
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  1. Inscription and Exhortation (Ming Chen)
  2. pp. 78-84
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  1. Elegy and Stone Inscription (Lei Pei)
  2. pp. 85-90
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  1. Lament and Condolence(Ai Tiao)
  2. pp. 91-96
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  1. Miscellaneous Writings (Tsa-wen)
  2. pp. 97-102
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  1. Humor and Enigma (Hsieh Yin)
  2. pp. 103-110
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  1. Historical Writings (Shih-chuan)
  2. pp. 111-124
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  1. Speculative Writings (Chu-tzu)
  2. pp. 125-133
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  1. Treatise and Discussion (Lun Shuo)
  2. pp. 134-143
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  1. Edict and Script (Chao Ts’e)
  2. pp. 144-153
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  1. War Proclamation and Dispatch (Hsi I)
  2. pp. 154-160
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  1. Sacrifices to Heaven and Earth (Feng-shan)
  2. pp. 161-166
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  1. Memorial, Part I (Chang Piao)
  2. pp. 167-172
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  1. Memorial, Part II (Tsou Ch’i)
  2. pp. 173-180
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  1. Discussion and Answer (I Tui)
  2. pp. 181-190
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  1. Epistolary Writing (Shu Chi)
  2. pp. 191-203
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  1. Spiritual Thought or Imagination (Shen-ssu)
  2. pp. 204-209
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  1. Style and Nature (T’i-hsing)
  2. pp. 210-214
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  1. The Wind and the Bone (Feng-ku)
  2. pp. 215-218
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  1. Flexible Adaptability to Varying Situations (T’ung-pien)
  2. pp. 219-223
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  1. On Choice of Style (Ting-shih)
  2. pp. 224-229
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  1. Emotion and Literary Expression (Ch’ing-ts’ai)
  2. pp. 230-235
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  1. Casting and Cutting, or,on Editing of Ideas and Rhetoric (Jung-ts’ai)
  2. pp. 236-239
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  1. Musicalness (Sheng-lü)
  2. pp. 240-244
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  1. Paragraph and Sentence (Chang-chü
  2. pp. 245-250
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  1. Linguistic Parallelism (Li-tz’u)
  2. pp. 251-256
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  1. Metaphor (Pi Hsing)
  2. pp. 257-261
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  1. Hyperbole (K’ua-shih)
  2. pp. 262-266
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  1. Factual Allusionand Textual Reference (Shih-lei)
  2. pp. 267-274
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  1. Philology and Choice of Words (Lien-tzu)
  2. pp. 275-282
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  1. The Recondite and the Conspicuous (Yin-hsiu)
  2. pp. 283-285
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  1. Literary Flaws (Chih-hsia)
  2. pp. 286-292
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  1. The Nourishing of Vitality (Yang-ch’i)
  2. pp. 293-297
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  1. Organization (Fu-hui)
  2. pp. 298-302
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  1. Discussion on the Art of Writing (Tsung-shu)
  2. pp. 303-307
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  1. Literary Development and Time (Shih-hsü)
  2. pp. 308-322
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  1. The Physical World (Wu-se)
  2. pp. 323-328
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  1. Literary Talents (Ts’ai-lüeh)
  2. pp. 329-339
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  1. An Understanding Critic (Chih-yin)
  2. pp. 340-346
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  1. The Capacity of a Vessel (Ch’eng-ch’i)
  2. pp. 347-354
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