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Landscape architecture hutian and the variations in the literati ethos in the middle & late Tang Dynasty

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

In the Middle & Late Tang Dynasty, the capricious political situations and worsening struggles among the political groups drove the literati to escape from politics into hutian 壶天,a kind of landscape architecture built as a miniature of arcadia and an epitome of universe where they lived a carefree retired life without quitting their official positions. Compared with their Middle Tang Dynasty precursors, those Late Tang Dynasty literati felt it more difficult to maintain a balance between official career and reclusive life, and found themselves deep in a dilemma. They described elaborately their imagination or construct of a hutian-like garden in their writings, which shows an important change in the literati ethos that resulted from political marginalization of the whole literati class and the their new aesthetic taste.


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