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清華學報 Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
清華學報 Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies

   

In Search of the Meaning of Hsing from Pre-Chin Era to Six Dynasties: Reading Diachronic Discourse from Its Distinct Perspective

Vol. 28 No. 2   6/1998  

Title
In Search of the Meaning of Hsing from Pre-Chin Era to Six Dynasties: Reading Diachronic Discourse from Its Distinct Perspective
Author Kuen-yang Yan
Genre Article  
Pages
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Key words
diachronic discourse,Hsing, reader’s response, authorial intention, allegory and metaphor, pathetic response to Nature,hsing-hsiang (image-making)
Abstract

      Proposing “reading diachronic discourse from its distinct perspective” as a crucial idea, this study attempts to decipher the multiple meanings of the literary terms hsing by tracing how it evolves semantically from the Pre-Chin era to Six Dynasties. It upholds a hermeneutic thesis: the same critical epithet, when applied in literary discourses, may convey different meanings depending on which aspect of the literary activity-Nature, author, work, or reader-the discourse takes into regard. In other words, literally employing the same keyword to deal with a certain issue of literary activity, a seemingly analogous critical speech may in fact serve different theoretical functions in accordance with whose voice the critic is assuming to conduct his discourse: the voice of Nature, author, work, or reader. The hsing perused is from the trio- fu-bi- hsing.

    This study concludes: in the Pre-Chin era, hsing refers to “reader’s affective response” in the interpretative act; during the East-Han Dynasty, it varies to denote “allegory or metaphor” viewed as a “figurative speech” in the rhetoric act implicating “authorial intention”. In Six Dynasties, it turns to signify aesthetically “the poet’s pathetic response to Nature” as well as the power inhering autonomously in a poem to “evoke imagery”.

    From the Pre-Chin era to Six Dynasties,hsing recurs in various literary discourses. As critics of different periods employ this term to conduct discourses from distinct perspectives in regard to Nature, author, work, or reader, the meaning of hsing varies accordingly.

   

 

Author : Kuen-yang Yan
Genre : Article
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