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dc.contributor.advisorMoloughney, Brian
dc.contributor.authorCook, Johannah Mary
dc.identifier.citationCook, J. M. (2015). Fleeing the Dusty Net: Reclusion and Reclusive Ideals in the Poetry of the Wei-Jin Period (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractReclusive poetry has been an integral part of the Chinese poetic tradition since ancient times. But it was not until the Wei-Jin 魏晉 period (220-420) that poetry written around the theme of the recluse became popular amongst the literary elite, as poets began to express interest in the life of a recluse to a greater extent than they had in the past. During the Wei-Jin period, the concept and definition of the recluse was influenced and broadened by the popularity of xuanxue 玄學 (Dark Learning/Studies of the Abstruse). It is mainly due to the influence of xuanxue that reclusive poetry written during the Wei-Jin period differs from the reclusive poetry that came before it in the sense that Wei-Jin reclusive poetry contains a metaphysical aspect. I will demonstrate in this thesis, by way of a selection of representative works from the Wei-Jin period, that it was primarily a reclusion of the mind, rather than a reclusion based on physical location, that would be explored and developed in the reclusive poetry of the Wei-Jin period and that this development was closely related to the flourishing interest in metaphysical philosophies by the literati of the time. This thesis aims to demonstrate that the Wei-Jin poets were all influenced, in some way, by xuanxue philosophies, which emphasized the desire of the individual to live in a way that accorded with their inner spirit, by detaching and lifting themselves aloft from their immediate environment. The reclusive ideals, as expressed in Wei-Jin poetry, evolved according to the cultural and political milieu in which they were produced. But throughout the Wei-Jin period, reclusive poetry conveyed the ethos of the Wei-Jin period itself in that it represented the right of individuals to live a dignified existence that accorded with their own conscience during a time of violence and despair. In this way, the reclusive poetry of the Wei-Jin period transcends borders and cultures and has relevance for us today.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectreclusive poetry
dc.subjectWei-Jin period
dc.subjectWei-Jin poetry
dc.subjectxuanyan shi
dc.subjectmetaphysical lyric
dc.subjectabstruse learning
dc.subjectabstruse philosophies
dc.subjectstudies of the abstruse
dc.subjectJian’an poetry
dc.subjectJian’an poets
dc.subjectJian’an period
dc.subjectCao Zhi
dc.subjectZhengshi period
dc.subjectRuan Ji
dc.subjectJi Kang
dc.subjectWestern Jin period
dc.subjectZuo Si
dc.subjectZhang Xie
dc.subjectEastern Jin poetry
dc.subjectTao Yuanming
dc.subjectXie Lingyun
dc.subjectEastern Jin period
dc.titleFleeing the Dusty Net: Reclusion and Reclusive Ideals in the Poetry of the Wei-Jin Period
dc.language.rfc3066en and Cultures of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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