, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 78-89
Date: 10 Feb 2011

“One cane, one life”: On the cultural implications of the cane for song dynasty writers


The cane is a frequent subject in Song Literature. Its tremendous variety is starting. Meanwhile, cane-related materials, costumes, circumstances and activities reflect distinct inclination, carrying rich cultural and aesthetic implications. From the “cane literature,” we see clearly the evolution of worldviews, values, aesthetic tastes and literary claims of Song writers, as well as the selective inheritance of Song culture from preceding literatures. It can be concluded that, in a certain sense, the cane of ancient Chinese writers embodies a history of literature, of aesthetic, and of philosophy.

Translated from Xinhua wenzhai 新华文摘 (Xinhua Digest), 2007, (10): 15–24 by WANG Yuhong
Shen Jinhao 沈金浩, Professor in School of Literature, Shenzhen University, obtained his PH. D. from Soochow University in 1989. His academic interests lie in Chinese classical documents and poetics in the Qing dynasty. His published works include Zhongguo wenxue yu zhongguo wenhua 中国文学与中国文化 (Chinese literature and culture) and 元明清诗鉴赏辞典 (Dictionary of Yuan, Ming and Qing poetry appreciation).