Poetry Criticism from the Qing Period

Qing shi hua 清詩話 [Qing Talks on Poetry].

Ten vols. Small 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. title slips, orig. stitching. Shanghai: Yi xue shu ju 醫學書局, 1927.

A nice set of this work of poetry criticism, or shihua, from China’s last imperial dynasty. “Shih-hua 詩話 (talks on poetry) is a form of literary criticism that consists of a critic’s comments on various aspects of Chinese poetry. A comment may contain the original thoughts of the writer himself, or quotations from other critics, which are then criticized by the writer. It may be as short as one or two lines or as long as a page or more, but each is a unit in itself.” It is a subgenre of biji 筆記, or “jottings,” applied to the field of poetry (The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, Vol. 1, 695-96).

Ding Fubao gathered 43 “talks on poetry” from the Qing period and assembled this work. Writers whose works feature in the collection include 17th-century political outsider Wang Fuzhi 王夫之 (1619-92), the prolific poet Wang Shizhen 王士禎 (1634-1711), court scholar and paleographer Weng Fanggang 翁方綱 (1733-1818) — both Wang Shizhen and Weng are represented in the collection by several titles each — and bon vivant writer Yuan Mei 袁枚 (1716-98).

Ding Fubao (1874-1952) was a book collector, bibliographer, Buddhist scholar, and translator. Our book was published by Ding’s publishing venture, Yixue shuju, Medical Book Company. The book was first published in 1916.

Fine set, preserved in two hantao.

Price: $500.00

Item ID: 9905

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