Traces of Hatchet and Chisel

Stephen McDowall

in Qian Qianyi's Reflections on Yellow Mountain

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9789622090842
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207318 | DOI:
Traces of Hatchet and Chisel

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Qian Qianyi's essay “Account of My Travels at Yellow Mountain” was written as a supplementary piece to a set of poems made about the mountains, and the essay was based on Qian's trip in 1641 (the xinsi year). Jonathan Chaves has emphasized that the essay contained two different styles. The first represented a narrative part that provides a detailed account of Qian's journey, while the second part, the lyrical part, draws attention to the major sites that Qian visited. A further distinction was made between the two parts through pointing out the differences in their metre. However, part of the essay proved to be problematic in terms of external textual evidence. After reconstructing the skeletal form through examining available sources, it is revealed that Cheng Jiasui served as an important mortal presence in the essay.

Keywords: Jonathan Chaves; narrative; lyric; metre; textual evidence; Cheng Jiasui; mortal presence

Chapter.  11237 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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