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Shiyi and tiwu—On the artistic description tradition of Chinese classical poetry

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This paper systematically surveys the shared artistic issues that arose in both poetry criticism and creative practice in the Wei, Jin and the Northern and Southern dynasties and continued through the Tang and Song dynasties and up to the present time. In this way the long-standing artistic tradition of tiwu 体物 (embodying objects) in Chinese classic poetry, which has long been neglected or disparaged, is uncovered. Furthermore, by analyzing the historical relationship that Chinese classical poems had, principally, with ci 词 (a form of Chinese lyric poetry) and prose, but also with painting, the author hopes to establish a connection between Chinese classical poetry and the artistic goal of “embodying objects” which was prevalent throughout the Wei, Jin and the Northern and Southern dynasties and the Tang and Song dynasties. In this way it will be possible not only to identify a spirit of poetry that involves both artistic competition and scientific rationality, but also recognizes the specific forms of creative consciousness that contribute towards the realization of artistic originality in the practice of true artistic practice.

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