Liu Hsieh

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liu Hsieh


(second name, Yen-ho). Born circa 465, in the province of Shantung; died circa 522. Chinese literary theoretician.

Liu Hsieh was a mentor to the heir to the throne. Before his death he became a monk. His book The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons is a classic work of Chinese literature. Liu Hsieh presented a detailed analysis of the development of literary genres and styles (including folk songs, reports, necrologies, and chronicles). In the unity of feeling and verbal expression, Liu Hsieh affirmed the primacy of content over form. He paid considerable attention to problems of inspiration and creative imagination, rhythmics, composition, descriptive resources, and the language of the work. Liu Hsieh’s book remained an unquestionable authority in the sphere of literary criticism throughout the entire Middle Ages. His religious-philosophical treatise On the Eradication of Errors has also been preserved.


Wen-hsing tiao-lung chu [With commentary by Fan Wen-Ian.] Peking, 1959.
The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons. New York, 1959.


Lisevich, I. S. “Voprosy formy i soderzhaniia v rannikh kitaiskikh poetikakh.” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1968, no. 1.
Tökei, F. Genre Theory in China in the Third-Sixth Centuries. Budapest, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons by Liu Hsieh. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 22: 280-88.
Liu Hsieh, The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons.
Genre Theory in China in the 3rd-6th Centuries (Liu Hsieh's Theory on Poetic Genre).