Ou-Yang Hsiu

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ou-Yang Hsiu


(second name, Yung-shu). Born 1007 in Luling (present-day Chi-an, Kiangsi Province); died 1072. Chinese writer. Representative of classical prose and one of the “eight great masters of the T’ang and Sung dynasties” (seventh through 13th centuries).

Ou-yang Hsiu held high government posts. He attacked the formalistic “parallel style” then dominating prose and urged writers to learn clarity and pithiness by studying the ancient classics. Ou-yang wrote in virtually all the genres of “high literature”: historical, didactic, descriptive, and philosophic prose, in addition to poetry (the fu, shih, tzu, and other genres). He invented the genre of the shih-hua (judgments on poetry), which later became popular. Ou-yang also wrote the poem of keen social criticism “On Those Who Eat Distillery Refuse.” His prose miniatures “The Tipsy Elder’s Pavilion” and “Funeral Speech on Shih Man-ch’ing” and the fu “Voice of Autumn” have become anthology pieces.

Ou-yang Hsiu’s laconic, clear, and exceptionally refined style is considered a model of its kind. He was one of the compilers of the New History of the Tang Dynasty and the compiler of the Historical Notes on the Five Dynasties. In the latter, he advanced the principles of the historical legality and ethical nature of political power, treating theses aspects of political power in a feudalistic-Confucian spirit. Ou-yang Hsiu also wrote A Collection of Ancient Inscriptions With Explanations Thereof, which contains transcriptions of and commentaries on hundreds of inscriptions engraved in metal and stone during the course of two millennia on vessels, bells, walls, and gravestones and in palaces and temples.


Ou-yang Yung-shu chi, vols. 1–3. Shanghai, 1958.
In Russian translation:
In Kitaiskaia klassicheskaia proza, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1959.
Poeziia epokhi Sung. Moscow, 1959.


Chung-kuo wen-hsüeh shih, vol. 3. Peking, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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