Chapter

The Distinctive Art of Chinese Fiction

Paul S. Ropp

in Heritage of China

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 1990 | ISBN: 9780520064409
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520908932 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520064409.003.0013
The Distinctive Art of Chinese Fiction

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This chapter presents a discussion on Chinese poetry. The Chinese had a rich vocabulary for writing poetry. Chinese poetry became a way to create community, both speaking to others in the present and creating a living community across time. The Book of Songs was the beginning of Chinese poetry, and it was a beginning in lyric rather than in epic and drama. The poetry of the T'ang dynasty set the model for poetry in traditional China for the next 1,000 years. Occasional poetry was an important form of participation in the social world. However, it was not the only kind of poetry that existed. As in Western poetry, there were poems on general topics; and although poets still preferred concrete occasions for composition, those occasions did not have to be social ones. Generally, Chinese poetry tried to be part of life, giving words to complex feelings.

Keywords: Chinese poetry; Book of Songs; T'ang dynasty; traditional China; occasional poetry; Western poetry

Chapter.  12168 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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