Hu Yinglin (1551-1602) was one of the most prominent scholars of the late Ming. He contributed to fields as diverse as historiography, fiction criticism, poetics, philology, and bibliography; of the more than one thousand fascicles of writing attributed to him, some two hundred survive today. The works for which he is now mainly known are the Shaoshishan fang bicong 少室山房筆叢 (Notes from Shaoshishan Studio) and Shisou 詩藪 (Thickets of poetic criticism). The former focuses on matters of historical, philological,and literary scholarship, while the latter is a work of poetics. It is the Shisou that Professor Wang will discuss in this talk, providing an introduction to its contents, main themes, and arguments, as well as an analysis of its place in the larger literary historical debates of the Ming dynasty.
At the time of its composition, the Shi sou was the most complete treatise on poetry of its kind. The work is divided into four parts: “inner chapters” (nei 内編), “outer chapters” (wai 外編), “miscellaneous chapters” (za 雜編), and “sequel chapters” (xu pian 續編); in all, there are twenty fascicles. There are some unresolved questions as to the date when the work was completed, but scholars generally agree that it was no later than 1590. Different versions of the text circulated in China,Japan, and Korea. While the work as a whole attempted a systematic account of poetry from the Zhou and Han through the Ming, with discussions of major poets, line types, and genres, the main reason that Hu Yinglin wrote the Shi sou was to demonstrate how the famed “Former and Latter Seven Masters” 前後七子 of the Ming dynasty constituted a revivial of fugu 復古 (“archaist”) literary practice.
Wang Minghui 王明輝 (PhD, Theory of Literature and Art, 2004, Peking University) is an Associate Professor Chinese classical literary criticism in the School of Chinese Language and Literature, University of International Business and Economics 對外經濟貿易大學, and a Visiting Scholar with the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies. Among his publications are (in Chinese): The Poems of Liu Zongyuan (2008) and On the Poetics of Hu Yinglin (2006).