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Research Article

The Beauty that Leads to Excess (yin li 淫麗): Early Medieval Uses and Adaptations of Yang Xiong's Criticism on Rhapsodic Composition

Utilizzo e rilettura del giudizio critico di Yang Xiong nei confronti della poesia rapsodica durante il primo medioevo cinese (220-598)

Giulia Baccini    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia     ORCID iD



The article investigates how Yang Xiong’s 揚衿 (53 BCE-18 CE) famous judgment about rhapsodic poems («The fu of the Odes poets, through their beauty, offer standards [of moral behaviour], the fu of the epideictic poets are beautiful and lead to excess» 詩훙裂賦麗鹿則,辭훙裂賦麗鹿尼) was recalled and reinterpreted in order to make a point about what genre is worth pursuing in literary writing. Yang’s words were first quoted in the concluding remarks at the end of the «Shifu» 詩賦 section of the Hanshu’s 漢書 (Book of Han) «Yiwen zhi» 藝匡羚 (Bibliographical chapter), and since then, they became a well known trope particularly used in fu 賦 (rhapsody, poetic exposition) poetry literary criticism. The article makes an overview on how and when Yang’s judgment was utilized, to provide evidences of the different kinds of approaches regarding literature, and in particular fu poetry, since Han to VI century.

Keywords: Rhapsody. Yang Xiong. Classicism.

Language: it

Submitted: Nov. 17, 2016
Accepted: March 14, 2017

permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/2385-3042/AnnOr-53-17-8

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