Liu Hsieh and Mark Turner: The Elucidation of Literary Minds

  • Nicholas O. Pagan


This chapter explores differing concepts of “the literary mind” articulated in the sixth century in Wên Hsin Tiao Lung by Liu Hsieh and more recently in The Literary Mind by Mark Turner. After sketching these authors’ contrasting views of the interplay between “mind”, “language”, and “literature”, the chapter places Turner’s instrumental view of the literary mind alongside Liu Hsieh’s more spiritual view. Using Liu Hsieh’s term “thinking with the spirit”, the chapter questions how Shahrazad (Turner’s exemplar of the literary mind) can possibly have a relaxed disposition when poor storytelling can mean an instant death sentence. Although very provocative, Turner’s model of the literary mind is shown to be less rich and convincing than that provided by his Chinese precursor, which benefits immensely from reliance on the silence of the Tao.


Literary mind Spirit Tao Shahrazad Mark turner Liu hsieh 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas O. Pagan
    • 1
  1. 1.Universiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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