She covers reading and writing in early medieval China, Xi Kang and the poetics of bricolage, the poetic repertoire of Sun Chuo, the lanting excursion and poetry on the mysterious, the "spontaneous" poet Tau Yuanming as an intertext, and reading and roaming the landscape: the Classic of Changes in Xie Lingyun
In the early medieval period--early third to late sixth centuries AD in the Western calendar--literary works display a complexity due to the unstable political conditions, he says, and he is concerned with authors' thoughts on how to deal with the "end." Among his topics are Wang Yi on integrity and loyalty, Ruan Ji on apocalypse, and Xie Lingyun
Mountain and water both figure in each line of the third couplet, rather than separately in parallel lines (which would become the dominant formula after the great landscape poet Xie Lingyun), (30) and are shown in interaction or relation to one another.
(41) The creative use of verbs in the Lanting collection, in fact, presages what later readers admired in the landscape poems of Xie Lingyun (often credited as the founding master of this genre).
I turn now to one more poem, this one by the poet Xie Lingyun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (385-433): "Reading within My Studio" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In the past, I traveled to the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] imperial capital, But never did I abandon my [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] hills and ravines.
Like Tao Qian before him, Xie Lingyun begins his poem by describing a leisurely scene, one that is conducive to study and contemplation.
Xie Hulian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (407-33), a notable author in his own right, was a younger cousin and close friend of the great poet Xie Lingyun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (385-433).
Xie Lingyun wrote a poem in response, presumably in the same year: Reply to My Younger Cousin Huilian (44) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
Our customary literary historical landscape is dotted by extraordinary figures standing in isolation: the Cao family, the Seven Masters of the Jian' an, the Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove, the Lu brothers, the three Zhangs, the two Pans, Tao Yuanming, Xie Lingyun
, and so forth; in intellectual history we have Ge Hong with his massive Inner and Outer Chapters of the Master of Embracing Simplicity.
The second volume contains eleven articles ("Immortality-Seeking in Early Chinese Poetry," "The Wang Ziqiao Stele," "Ts'ao Chih and the Immortals," "From Scepticism to Belief in Third-Century China," "The Cold Food Festival in Early Medieval China," "Songs for the Gods: The Poetry of Popular Religion in Fifth-centu ry China," "Une Fete chez Su Shih a Huang chou en 1082," "La Poesie de Ji Kang," "Folk Ballads and the Aristocracy," "Xie Lingyun
et les paysans de Yongjia," and "The Image of the Merchant in Medieval Chinese Poetry") that appeared from 1980 to 1994.