Free Shipping on Order Over $90
AfterPay Available
Testing the Literary

Testing the Literary

Prose and the Aesthetic in Early Modern China

by Alexander Des Forges
Hardback
Publication Date: 30/04/2021
  $118.75
or 4 easy payments of $29.69 with
afterpay
This item qualifies for FREE delivery

The civil service examination essay known as shiwen (modern or contemporary prose) or bagu wen (eight-legged essay) for its complex structure was the most widely read and written literary genre in early modern China (1450-1850). As the primary mode of expression in which educated individuals were schooled, shiwen epitomized the literary enterprise even beyond the walls of the examination compound. But shiwen suffered condemnation in the shift in discourse on literary writing that followed the fall of the Ming dynasty, and were thoroughly rejected in the May Fourth iconoclasm of the early twentieth century.

Challenging conventional disregard for the genre, Alexander Des Forges reads the examination essay from a literary perspective, showing how shiwen redefined prose aesthetics and transformed the work of writing. A new approach to subjectivity took shape: the question "who is speaking?" resonated through the essays' involuted prose style, foregrounding issues of agency and control. At the same time, the anonymity of the bureaucratic evaluation process highlighted originality as a literary value. Finally, an emphasis on questions of form marked the aesthetic as a key arena for contestation of authority as candidates, examiners, and critics joined to form a dominant social class of literary producers.

ISBN:
9780674251182
9780674251182
Category:
Literature: history & criticism
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
30-04-2021
Language:
English
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):
240x166x24.33mm
Weight:
0.54kg

This title is in stock with our UK supplier and is sent from our Sydney warehouse within 15 working days of you placing an order.  

Once received into our warehouse we will despatch it to you with a Shipping Notification which includes online tracking.

Please check the estimated delivery times below for your region, for after your order is despatched from our warehouse:

ACT Metro  2 working days

NSW Metro  2 working days

NSW Rural  2 - 3 working days

NSW Remote  2 - 5 working days

NT Metro  3 - 6 working days

NT Remote  4 - 10 working days

QLD Metro  2 - 4 working days

QLD Rural  2 - 5 working days

QLD Remote  2 - 7 working days

SA Metro  2 - 5 working days

SA Rural  3 - 6 working days

SA Remote  3 - 7 working days

TAS Metro  3 - 6 working days

TAS Rural  3 - 6 working days

VIC Metro  2 - 3 working days

VIC Rural  2 - 4 working days

VIC Remote  2 - 5 working days

WA Metro  3 - 6 working days

WA Rural  4 - 8 working days

WA Remote  4 - 12 working days

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review Testing the Literary.