Wendy Swartz examines literary naturalness (ziran 自然) in Xie Lingyun’s poetic works from two vantage points. First, surveying how Southern Dynasties critics applied the term ziran to Xie, she demonstrates the need to historicize the term, whose significations shifted dramatically over time. Xie’s poetic works not only were “natural” according to the standards and expectations of his time but also followed a certain natural order: his representation of the natural landscape was significantly mediated by passages from the Yijing (Classic of changes). Second, by analyzing Xie’s representative landscape poems and his “Shanju fu” (Exposition on dwelling in the mountains), Swartz shows that Xie’s citations of the Yijing—which scholars today have largely ignored or misunderstood—in fact reveals much about the conceptual and structural framework of his mode of representation, and about how he orders the world he sees.


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pp. 355-386
Launched on MUSE
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