Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 48–77

Changing old tune to new tune: Liu Yong’s urban narrative and the urban cultural construction in the mid-song dynasty

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11702-011-0118-x

Cite this article as:
Wang, X. Front. Lit. Stud. China (2011) 5: 48. doi:10.1007/s11702-011-0118-x


In the 1920s, the Japanese scholar Naito Konan put forward the famous theories of “the Song dynasty is the beginning of modern China” and “the cultural transformation was completed during the Tang and Song dynasties,” which exerted far-reaching influence in the academic circle. However, although full of the “numerous academic growth points and exuberant academic vitality, the theories have not been well explored and illustrated yet.” This paper, taking Liu Yong as a case study, is intended to provide concrete examples to Naito’s theories. The urban narrative in Liu Yong’s lyrics—the multi-role discourse practice of a prodigal poet, a talented lyricist, and a traveling official—inherited the discourse splitting trend of the late-Tang and Five dynasties and finished the transformation from the elite to the mass discourse. Accordingly, it set the narrative mode of amorous themes and discourse mode of “talented lyricist plus amorous affairs,” which exerted far-reaching influence on the construction of the new urban culture in the Song dynasty.


urban narrativecultural constructiontalented lyricisttraveling official

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of LiteratureChinese Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina