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The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition$
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Zehou Li

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833077

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833077.001.0001

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Beauty in Deep Emotion

Beauty in Deep Emotion

(p.117) Chapter 4 Beauty in Deep Emotion
The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition

Li Zehou

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how Qu Yuan, believed to be the author of much of the collection Songs of Chu (Chuci), and the Wei-Jin metaphysicals extended and advanced Confucian ethical emotion and the practice of moral analogy through the noumenal experience of the unity of the deep emotions with wisdom, as well as through imaginary reality. It considers how the Daoist and Confucian strains encounter the tradition surrounding the Songs of Chu and demonstrates the importance of the “deep emotion” Qu Yuan experiences in his ruminations on mortality. It also discusses the role of natural imagery in the Songs of Chu and its impact on Chinese aesthetics. It argues that the unity of the deep emotions with wisdom occurred on the level of feeling and content. It shows how the confluence of Zhuangzi, Qu Yuan, and Confucianism in the Wei-Jin period forged the basic psychological character and rational mechanisms of Chinese art and aesthetics.

Keywords:   mortality, Qu Yuan, Songs of Chu, Wei-Jin, emotion, wisdom, deep emotion, Chinese aesthetics, Zhuangzi, Confucianism

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