Publications

2021
Tian X. 遠想--晉宋之際的回顧詩學及其前後. 中國文哲研究通訊. 2021;31 (2) :7-32. Publisher's VersionAbstract

公元五世紀前期的作家,普遍地對文學過去產生一種前所未有的強烈意識,並與詩歌傳統發展出一種特別的敷衍之關係,我稱之為回顧詩學(retrospective poetics)。前人在談到晉宋之際文學發展時,宏觀方面的論斷是晉與宋,文盛而質衰,從語言之聲律對仗的後視角度來看,指出詩至於宋,古之終而律之始也,體制一變,便覺聲色俱開;微觀方面,也即從作者作品的角度來看,目光不離幾位經典作家以及這些作家在傳統上因之著稱的題材或詩體,言陶必田園,言謝即山水,言鮑稱樂府。然而,如果我們對五世紀前期存留下來的所有詩歌作出全面而又細緻的審視,就會注意到這一時期的作家對文學過去作出了普遍的瞻望和鋪陳。所謂歌行至宋益衰,惟明遠颇自振拔的說法(胡應麟語),是帶有審美主觀性的價值判斷,當然可以見仁見智;但如果從文學史書寫的角度來說,則並不符合歷史的實際。如果我們以文學史家的眼光來觀察五世紀前期,就不能說這是一個古風沉滯古意寖微的時代,而必須說這是一個古意復興的時代。這自然引發了一系列問題:為何在五世紀前半,人們對漢魏古詩樂府舊題會突然重新發生興趣,發展出這樣一種回顧詩學?如果說是古意復興,那麼這種風氣應該被視為單純的保守的復古,還是超越了玄言詩風的新變?本文即以謝靈運(385–433)、謝惠連(407–433)、顏延之(384–456)和沈約(441–513)的樂府為中心,探討五世紀前期的回顧詩學的樣貌表現及其後果前因。

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Tian X. Family Instructions for the Yan Clan and Other Works by Yan Zhitui (531–590s). 1st ed. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2021 pp. 628. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Yan Zhitui (531–590s) was a courtier and cultural luminary who lived a colourful life during one of the most chaotic periods, known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties, in Chinese history. Beginning his career in the southern Liang court, he was taken captive to the north after the Liang capital fell, and served several northern dynasties. Today he remains one of the best-known medieval writers for his book-length “family instructions” (jiaxun), the earliest surviving and the most influential of its kind. Completed in his last years, the work resembles a long letter addressed to his sons, in which he discusses a wide range of topics from family relations and remarriage to religious faith, philology, cultural arts, and codes of conduct in public and private life. It is filled with vivid details of contemporary social life, and with the author’s keen observations of the mores of north and south China. This is a new, complete translation into English, with critical notes and introduction, and based on recent scholarship, of Yan Zhitui’s Family Instructions, and of all of his extant literary works, including his self-annotated poetic autobiography and a never-before-translated fragmentary rhapsody, as well as of his biographies in dynastic histories.
Tian X, Huang W-yi. Introduction to a Forum on Migration in Early Medieval China. Journal of Asian Studies. 2021;80 (1) :95-97. 2021_jas_introduction_to_forum_on_migration_in_early_medieval_china.pdf
Tian X. Migration, Identity, and Colonial Fantasies in A Fifth-Century Story Collection. Journal of Asian Studies. 2021;80 (1) :113-127.Abstract

The fourth-century migration of northern Chinese was a traumatic event. Fleeing non-Han invaders, the migrants crossed the Yangzi River and settled in the south, where they asserted their sovereignty over local peoples. Using the concept of settler colonialism to redefine the northern émigré elite, this article explores the complex issues of class, ethnicity, and gender in their fraught encounters with the local population. The source is a fifth-century collection of “anomaly accounts,” An Account of the Hidden and Visible Realms (You ming lu). Compiled by Liu Yiqing (403–444), an imperial prince representing the northern émigré elite, this story collection is a record of incidents that took place on the borders of the knowable world and the indigenous spirit realm, embodying the tensions and conflicts in the violent process of migration and colonization.

 

 

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2020
Tian X. 从经国大业到吃时下饭:文选,文话,文运. 清華大學學報. 2020;35 (6).Abstract

本文检视中古时期文学选本编纂历史中的三个重要时刻,分别以南朝时期特别是公元6世纪的《文选》和《玉台新咏》、唐代特别是公元8世纪的唐人选唐诗、以及12至13世纪的文章选本和一部兼“文话”与“选本”为一身的著作为代表。通过这样跨越不同历史阶段的长镜头观察,从选本角度出发,对比南朝与南宋对“文”的认识,本文提出“文的扩散化”,也就是说,在“文”的领域,发生了一种范式的改变。在中古时期,对"文"或者说"文学"的认识和四部分类中的"集"部基本重合,但是南宋以降,“文”的疆域扩展到了被萧统排除在《文选》之外的经、子、史部,而且对儒家经典作出纯属修辞学方面的技术性考量。从表面上看来也许可以说”道“凌驾于”文“,但在实际上看来,在”四部“边界日益模糊的情况下,”文“呈现出扩散的趋势,这一现象一直持续到现代,促使我们对“文学”概念的生成、变化、发展进行自觉的思考

Tian X. 影子與水文: 秋水堂自選集. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press; 2020.Abstract
This is a collection of eleven articles, translated into Chinese, on classical Chinese literature from the early medieval period through the nineteenth century.
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Tian X ed. Reading Du Fu: NIne Views. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press; 2020.Abstract

This is the first collection of essays in English, contributed by well-known experts of Chinese literature as well as scholars of a younger generation, dedicated to the poetry of Du Fu, commonly regarded as the greatest Chinese poet. These essays are engaged in historically nuanced close reading of Du Fu’s poems, both canonical and less known, from new angles and in various contexts, and discuss a series of critical issues, including the local and the imperial; the body politic and the individual body; poetry and geography; perspectives on the complicated relation of religion and literature; materiality and contemporary reception of Du Fu; poetry and visual art; and tradition and modernity.

Many of the poems discussed in this book were written in the backwater town of Kuizhou, far from Du Fu’s earlier residence in the capital city Chang’an, at a time when the Tang dynasty was going through devastating social and political disturbances. The authors contend that Du Fu’s isolation from the elite literary establishments allowed him to become a pioneer who introduced a new order to the Chinese poetic discourse. However, his attention to details in everyday reality, his preoccupation with domestic life and the larger issues embroiled in it, his humor, and his ability to surprise tend to be obscured by the clichéd image of the “poet sage” and “poet historian”—an image this collection of essays successfully complicates.

 

The Cultural Politics of Old Things in Mid-Tang China. Journal of American Oriental Studies. 2020;140 (2) :317-343. 2020_the_cultural_politics_of_old_things_in_mid-tang_china_jaos_140.2.pdf
2019
Tao Yuanming's Poetics of Awkwardness. In: A Companion to World Literature. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd ; 2019. tao_yuanmings_poetics_of_awkwardness.pdf
Chinese Travel Writing. In: The Cambridge History of Travel Writing. Cambridge University Press ; 2019. pp. 175-190. chinese_travel_writing.pdf
2018
覺悟敘事: 杜甫紀行詩的佛教解讀. 上海師範大學學報. 2018;47 (1) :106-113. 2018_du_fu_travel_poetry_pdf.pdf
Each Has Its Own Moment: Nie Gannu and Modern Chinese Poetry. Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. 2018;12 (3) :485–525. 2018_nie_gannu_and_modern_chinese_poetry.pdf
Tian X. The Halberd at Red Cliff: Jian'an and the Three Kingdoms. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Asia Center Publications; 2018.Abstract

The turn of the third century CE—known as the Jian’an era or Three Kingdoms period—holds double significance for the Chinese cultural tradition. Its writings laid the foundation of classical poetry and literary criticism. Its historical personages and events have also inspired works of poetry, fiction, drama, film, and art throughout Chinese history, including Internet fantasy literature today. There is a vast body of secondary literature on these two subjects individually, but very little on their interface.

The image of the Jian’an era, with its feasting, drinking, heroism, and literary panache, as well as intense male friendship, was to return time and again in the romanticized narrative of the Three Kingdoms. How did Jian’an bifurcate into two distinct nostalgias, one of which was the first paradigmatic embodiment of wen (literary graces, cultural patterning), and the other of wu (heroic martial virtue)? How did these largely segregated nostalgias negotiate with one another? And how is the predominantly male world of the Three Kingdoms appropriated by young women in contemporary China? The Halberd at Red Cliff investigates how these associations were closely related in their complex origins and then came to be divergent in their later metamorphoses.

2017
Collections (Ji). In: The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE). Oxford University Press ; 2017. pp. 219–234. oxford_handbook_literary_collections_ji.pdf
Literary Learning: Encyclopedias and Epitomes. In: The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE). Oxford University Press ; 2017. pp. 132–146. oxford_handbook_encyclopedias_and_epitomes.pdf
Castrating Pigs for the People: The Politics of Revision and the Structure of Violence in Hao Ran's Short Stories. In: The Making and Remaking of China’s Red Classics: Politics, Aesthetics and Mass Culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press ; 2017. pp. 93–111. 2017_castrating_pigs_for_the_people.pdf
The Wound that Speaks: Traumatic Memory in the Late Qing Manuscript The World of a Tiny Insect 會說話的傷口: 晚清抄本<微蟲世界>中的創傷記憶. 中華文史論叢. 2017;125 (2017.1) :371-396.
庾信的記憶宮殿: 中古宮廷詩歌中的創傷與暴力. 上海大學學報. 2017;34 (4) :52-64.Abstract

 

 

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Tian X ed. The Poetry of Ruan Ji translated by Stephen Owen. De Gruyter; 2017. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The poetry of Ruan Ji has been previously translated several times, with one fully scholarly translation of both the poetry and the fu (poetic expositions). The present translation by Stephen Owen not only provides a facing page critical Chinese text, it addresses two problems that have been ignored or not adequately treated in earlier works. First, it traces the history of the current text. The rather serious problems with this text will be, if not soluble, at least visible. Second, translations have been shaped by the anachronistic assumption that Ruan Ji was loyal to the declining Wei dynasty, when actual power had been taken by the Suma family, who founded the Jin dynasty after Ruan Ji's death. The introduction shows how and when that assumption took full shape five centuries after Ruan Ji lived and why it is not tenable. This leads to a different kind of translation, closer to what a contemporary reader might have understood and far less certain than referring it to some political event. 
The Emperor's New Music. Lapham's Quarterly. 2017;X (4) :203-207.

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