Texts on the Civilization of Medieval China- "The Poetics of Travel Writing--Masters of the Tang and Song" 234

In this seminar, we will examine how prose writing--particularly regarding travel, place and space--emerged as an effective vehicle for lyric expression for some of the most accomplished poets of this period. What accounted for this development? Why was the theme of travel particularly hospitable to the lyricization of prose writing, and, conversely, why would a poet choose prose over poetry as the mode of self-expression in this context? Among the issues to be considered are the shifting views of exile and travel, the complex interaction between representations of topography and history, the play of the senses and literary history in self expression, and the mechanisms driving genre-bending during this period. Prerequisites: graduate standing (or permission of the instructor), and a good command of literary Chinese.