Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 477–510 | Cite as

The early philosophical discourse on language and reality and Lu Ji’s and Liu Xie’s theories of literary creation

  • Zong-qi CaiEmail author
Research Article


This paper is an attempt to investigate how Lu Ji and Liu Xie develop their theories of literary creation on the foundation of the early philosophical discourse on language and reality. The first part of the paper examines various key terms, concepts, and paradigms developed in the philosophical discourse. The second part pursues a close reading of Lu’s and Liu’s texts to demonstrate how ingeniously they adapt and integrate those terms, concepts, and paradigms to accomplish two important tasks: to establish a broad framework for conceptualizing literary creation and to differentiate the complex mental and linguistic endeavors at different stages of the creative process. The paper ends with some general reflections on the impact of the two essays on the subsequent development of Chinese literary and aesthetic thoughts.


theories of literary creation Lu Ji Liu Xie yi-xiang-yan (conception-image-words) 


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian Languages and CulturesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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