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T'ang Studies 13 (1995) I The Old-Style Fu of Han Yu DAVID R. KNECHTGES UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON It is a commonplace of scholarship on Chinese literature that each dynasty has its own literature. The Han was the golden age of the fu, the Tang saw the flowering of the shi, the Song brought the blossoming of the ci, and the Yuan produced the quo Eager to study the prime blossoms of Chinese literature, scholars have concentrated their studies on the Ilgolden ages." However, with so much attention devoted to the great literary periods, histories of genres often stop with the golden ages and say virtually nothing about subsequent developments in the genre. A good example of a genre the later history of which scholars generally have neglected is the fu. Thefu was the dominant literary form in the Han dynasty, and along with the shi was a common form of literary expression in the SixDynasties and Tang periods. Modem scholarship has focused particularly on thefu of the Han period, and in the past few years a number of important books devoted to the study of the Han.fu have been published.2 We also are beginning to see some good work being done on thefu of the Wei-Jin-Nanbeichao period.3 However, very little attention has been paid to the fu of the Tang. The prevailing view of the Tangfu is that most fu composition 1 An abridged Chinese version of this article has been published in Han Yu xueshu taolun hui zuzhi weiyuanhui ~~~~li1~fti"'flH.~ ft11(Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 1988), 174-89. For other studies of Han Yu's fu see Yamasaki Jun'ichi UJ~#l\!-,"Kan Yu no kofu ni tsuite" .~C7)t!iM.r."'Jl.r'-C, TiJyo bungaku kenkyii19 (1971): 22-34; Part II, Tnyobungaku kenkyu 20 (1972): 1-13; Huang Ting 'lim, "Lun Han Yu fu" ~Ol:@Jljl:,Hanshan shizhuan xuebao 13.3 (1984): 44-48; Gong Kechang P1l~, "Liie lun Han Yu dfu" ~till.$iI$Jlit, Wen shi zhe (1992: 3): 31-37. 2For a survey of recent scholarship on the fu, see He Xinwen foJ~)l::, Zhongguo fu lun shigao lf1lillJlitMi'~~ (Beijing: Kaiming chubanshe, 1993). 3 See Cao Daoheng wmm, Han Wei Liuchao cifu ilR~~MJlit (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1989); Liao Guodong, Weifin yongwu fu yanjiu (Taipei: Wen sm zhe chubanshe,1990). 51 Knechtges: Han Yu's Old-Style iu consisted of "regulatedfu" (iii fu ).4 Thus, thefu anthologist Zhu Yaom~ (jinshi 1318),after examining thousands offu in the collected works of Tang writers as well as the Wenyuan yinghua :Jc~~~, concluded that "regulated fu were many and ancient style fu were few" (Iii duo er gu shao ~~ffijt5P).5 The reason for the popularity of the regulated fu in the Tang is well known: it was required for the jinshi examination . The Qing dYnastyfu authority Li Tiaoyuan ~mI7G (1734-1803) aptly characterizes the extent to which the regulated fu became an important literary form by the middle of the Tang: At the beginning of the Tang, the jinshi were tested by the bureau for the examination of merit, and most important was the examination on excerpts from the classics. They also could substitute admonitions, disquisitions, memorials, and encomia, but during the period when men were not tested in poetry and rhyme-prose, those who specialized in composing regulated fu were still small in number. During the Dali (766-779) and Zhenyuan (785-804) periods, the writing of regulated fu gradually became the fashion. By the eighth year of Dahe (834), the composition exams entirely consisted of poetry and rhyme-prose, and famous specialists in the fu multifariously vied with one another. Li Cheng *m (ca. 765-ca. 841) and Wang Qi x~ (760-847) lay claim to the greatest fame in their time. Jiang Fang Jl4Wi (fl. 820-824) and Xie Guan llMlll (n.d.) were as flank horses following the lead. As a whole they adhered to the standards of lucid freshness and classical elegance . Of those that galloped on their flank and dashed in separate directions, Yuan Zhen 5CfJi (779-831) and Bai Juyi sm*lT (772846 ) were most venerable.6 Although the regulated...


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