Prologue : a historical overview of Six Dynasties aesthetics

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Like Western aestherics, that of the Six Dynasties is often silent about the ethical, sociopolitical, and utilitarian. Yet it was precisely these factors that made its birth and rapid growth possible. In particular, the rise of an aristocratic literati culture after the collapse of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) was crucial. The evoluation of such a culture would more or less shape the trajectory of Six Dynasties aesthetics. For that reason, it seems useful to look at how aristocratic culture influenced the Wei-Jin, (Liu) Song, and Qi-Liang periods, especially as exemplified by works discussed in the ten essays assembled here. As I examine the common concerns and themes in these works, I will address the larger issue of aesthetic ideals for these periods and consider how those ideals may be traced to different philiosophical sources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese aesthetics : the ordering of literature, the arts, and the universe in the Six Dynasties
PublisherUniversity of Hawaii Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780824827915
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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