The book is a study of the works of the Northern Song Chinese poet Chen Yuyi (1090–1139) as he fled the invading Jurchen soldiers in the political throes of a dynastic transition. Author Yugen Wang demonstrates how Chen’s poems epitomize the new style of writing in the Song that is markedly different from that of his Tang predecessors. Underscoring this stylistic and aesthetic analysis is a comparison of Chen and his model, the Tang master Du Fu (712–770).
This is the first book-length study of Chen’s poetry in English. Through detailed analysis of Chen’s poems, and of the political and psychological conditions under which they were written, the reader gains intimate insights into not only how a classical Chinese poet conducted his business, on the road, in crisis, but also the sources of the poet’s inner strength, what culturally, psychologically, and emotionally sustained him on the long dreadful journey. This was an important moment for Chen Yuyi and for Chinese literary history. Chen’s poems bring to focus the changing dynamics of the classical Chinese poet’s relationship to the world.
by Yugen Wang
Cambria Press, Devember 2020 (ISBN 9781621965466)