UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

High versus low : elite criticism and popular lyrics Lam, Lap 2000

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_2001-611310.pdf [ 13.56MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0090638.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0090638-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0090638-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0090638-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0090638-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0090638-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0090638-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0090638-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0090638.ris

Full Text

HIGH VERSUS LOW: ELITE CRITICISM AND POPULAR LYRICS by LAP LAM B.A. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1991 MPhil. The University of Hong Kong, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF D O C T O R O F PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Asian Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November 2000 © Lap Lam, 2000 In presenting this thesis i n partial fulfilment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty o f Br i t i sh Co lumbia , I agree that the library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying o f this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head o f my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying ior publ icat ion o f this thesis for financial gain shall not be a l lowed without my written permission. Department o f AsiO.^  ? ? U C The Univers i ty o f Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a Vancouver, Canada Date • Nfrue/v^tlg/v %*7 \ , 2-6 frQ Abstract Between the seventh and twelfth centuries, a new k ind o f popular song developed i n C h i n a through the merging o f Central A s i a n music wi th local folk tunes, enjoying widespread currency among urbanites, and then later among elite circles. Two strongly contrasting categories o f song lyr ics , or ci, emerged i n the course o f this development: the popular song, characterized by its directness, co l loquia l i sm, artistic s impl ic i ty and occasional "vulgari ty," and the elegant, refined pieces o f most elite writers. Today many readers are mis led by tradit ional elite c r i t i c i sm's v i ew o f ci as pr imari ly a "h igh" art, be l ieving that emotional restraint is its fundamental characteristics. This dissertation attempts to redress this misconception by studying the genre i n its or iginal his torical and cultural context and challenging the wholesale adoption o f the elite aesthetics o f ci cr i t i c i sm. W h i l e acknowledging the mutual influence o f popular and elite lyr ics , the thesis contends that the former served a different audience and had their own artistic functions, and thus a different aesthetic standard must be applied to their study and appreciation. The dissertation is in four chapters. Chapter one compares the attitudes o f Western and Chinese scholars toward popular art, suggesting that the class background o f the artists should not be the sole yardstick for aesthetic value judgements, that we should not exaggerate the po l i t i ca l implicat ions o f popular culture, and that "h igh" and " l o w " culture frequently influence each other. Chapter Two attempts to discern distinctive aesthetic qualities and stylistic features o f the anonymous Tang and Song popular lyr ics . The third chapter focuses on the "vulgar ' ' lyr ics o f the elite writer L i u Yong ( f l . 1034), asserting that popular art is accessible to audiences and cultural producers from a l l economic and intellectual classes. The last chapter is a study o f three strategies that the elite cri t ics used to elevate the status o f the ci, especially their attempts to establish a reputable genealogy for the genre, their imposi t ion o f elite aesthetics on popular lyr ics and their insistence on the practice o f selecting refined lyr ics for their anthologies. i i Table of Contents Abstract i i List o f Figures iv Acknowledgment v Inscription to my Ph.D. Dissertation v i I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 C H A P T E R I High Versus L o w 13 Part I: Cultural Eli t ism 14 Part II: The Moderate and Optimistic View 32 C H A P T E R II The Anonymous Tang and Song Popular Ci Lyrics 61 2.1 The Aesthetic Distinction between the Popular and the Elite Ci Lyric 62 2.2 The Characteristics of the Anonymous Tang and Song Popular Ci Lyrics 70 2.3 The Formal Irregularity of the Popular Lyric and the Dunhuang Manuscripts 93 C H A P T E R III L i u Yong and His "Vulgar Lyrics 105 3.1 The Economic and Cultural Background of L i u Yong's Popularity 106 3.2 L i u Yong:'An Elite "Alien"? ' i l l 3.3 The Popular Elements in L i u Yong's "vulgar" Lyrics 121 3.4 Elite Criticism of L i u Yong: Purge of the " A l i e n " 136 C H A P T E R IV Elevation and Expurgation: Elite Strategies in Enhancing Ci Reputation 149 4.1 The L o w Esteem for the Ci in its Early Stages 150 4.2 Strategy I: The Establishment of a Reputable Genealogy for the Cf 158 4.3 Strategy II: The Promotion of the "Elegant" Style in Ci Writing 168 4.4 Strategy III: The Selective Tradition in Ci Compilations 180 Conclusion 192 Bibliography 196 i i i List of Figures Figure 1: Mao Guangsheng's Emendation of the Yunyao ji 98 Figure 2: Pan Chonggui's Microf i lm Copy of the Yunyao ji 100 Figure 3: Zhang Zeduan's "Qingming shanghe tu" • 108 ! iv I Acknowledgments I am most grateful to the people who made the complet ion o f this dissertation possible. First o f a l l , I must thank my supervisor, Professor Jerry D . Schmidt, for his insightful comments and showing much confidence i n my research. I am also indebted to my committee members, Professor M i c h a e l S. Duke and Professor Dan ie l L . Overmyer, for their cr i t ica l suggestions and time contributed,to the reading o f a l l the chapters. In addit ion, I must acknowledge the generous help o f Professor George M c W h i r t e r from the Department o f Creative Wr i t ing , for his ingenious refinement o f my translations and language. A b o v e a l l , I wou ld l ike to express my sincere gratitude to my dearest friend and schoolmate A l l e n Haaheim, for taking great pains to scrupulously proofread and re-proofread the entire dissertation, p rovid ing academic as w e l l as personal arguments over the content. M y f inal word o f deepest thanks is due to my patient wife Nancy M a n , who provided incessant spiri tual support and encouragement when I drove myse l f too hard. I alone am responsible for a l l the mistakes that might s t i l l exist in the text. I Inscription to My Ph.D. Dissertation The elegant and the vulgar, which should one treasure? And who can tell the aim of the Ying singer? Should he hold "White Snow" alone superior, Why sing "North Bank" still to please the commoners? About writings, certainly there are high and low, But emotions, hard to judge deep 6r shallow. Thus Liu the Seventh was not a rake, His true heart expressed, both gravity and lightness slake. ' ' • m P # i f mm • ' m & & m M% m m ^mm mm mm mmmmmrm nmmmmmm M m&m mM m Author Introduction The Ci @nj , or "song l y r i c , " was a new poetic genre developed between Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) Ch ina through the merging o f music from Central A s i a wi th local folk tunes. 1 Init ial ly, the cultural value o f the ci was secondary to music, and entertainment was its primary concern, whether at court feasts, wine shops, pleasure quarters or private banquets. Later, in the Song dynasty (960-1279), as elite poets increasingly tried their hand at the new genre fo l lowing regulated tonal and metrical patterns—the so-called " f i l l i n g in words in accordance wi th musical notes" (yi sheng tian ci ffi. JR fjS) )--emphasis shifted from oral performance to written text, and an effort to elevate the literary status o f the ci took place. F rom then on, the form gradually became dissociated from music and the public audience. In the process o f this status transformation, a major pr inciple o f ci wr i t ing was formulated: its content and modes o f expression should be "elegant and orthodox" (ya zheng f t IE ), directly resulting in the stylistic restraint and thematic narrowness o f the elite lyr ic . A m p l e evidence has shown that the ci lyr ic wi th its accompanying music was tremendously popular among urban commoners before its complete separation from oral performance. However, the attitude o f elite ci cr i t ics , deeply influenced by Confucian literary aesthetics, was generally one o f disapproval toward this popularity. For them, the more popular a work was, the lower its artistic value. The "faults" o f the popular lyr ic were its col loquia l isms, its commonplace and 1 F o r the o r i g i n s o f the ci l y r i c , see L o n g Y u s h e n g f l Hi ^ , " C i t i d e y a n j i n " gBJ f§ £ }ft M ( " T h e E v o l u t i o n o f the Ci G e n r e " ) ( 1 9 3 3 ) , i n Long Yusheng cixue lunwenji ft %k 4. P] ^ fm TJt Ht (Collected C i Studies of Long Yusheng) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 7 ) ; Y a n g H a i m i n g | § $p H£] , Tang Song cishi Hf 5j? fs] (History of the Tang and Song C i Lyric) ( H a n g z h o u : J i a n g s u g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 7 ) ; M u r a k a m i T e t s u m i fcf _L M , Soshi kenkyu: To Godai hoku-so hen 5j5 i f |Ff 3£—HI S iX 4fc 5 ^ i t (Song C i Studies: Tang, Five Dynasties and Northern Song) ( T o k y o : S o b u n s h a , 1 9 7 6 ) ; M a r s h a L . W a g n e r , The Lotus Boat: The Origins of Chinese T z ' u Poetry in T'ang Popular Culture ( N e w Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 4 ) ; a n d K a n g - i S u n C h a n g , The Evolution of Chinese T z ' u Poetry: From Late T'ang to Northern Song ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 0 ) . 1 straightforward expressions, its "vulgari ty," or s imply its open acceptance by too many uneducated people. Their attitude bears a str iking s imilar i ty to that o f Western scholars, especially those who witnessed the radical effects o f the Industrial Revolu t ion and the rise o f mass culture. The a im o f this dissertation is to cr i t ic ize the habitual practice o f imposing elite aesthetics on " lower" art through a comparison wi th s imilar reactions by Western and Chinese scholars to popular culture, and to redress the widely circulated present misconception, fostered by the dominant influence o f traditional elite c r i t i c i sm, that ci wr i t ing was largely a "high art." Before we proceed to a comparison between Western and Chinese theories on popular culture, the definit ion o f the term "popular" i tself must be clarif ied. First , we w i l l examine its Western or ig in , keeping in mind that these definitions are only tentative and are subjected to differing contexts and usages that vary from cri t ic to cr i t ic . "Popular" was or iginal ly a legal term derived from the La t in word populus, which means "the people" in general and "the people" in relation to law. The Oxford English Dictionary's l ist o f modern definitions includes the fo l lowing : 1 ) pertaining to, or consisting of the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class; constituted or carried on by the people; 2) intended for or suited to ordinary people, [i.e.] adapted to the understanding or taste of ordinary people; 3) finding favour with or approved by the people; liked, beloved, or admired by the people, or by people generally; and 4) prevalent or current among, or accepted by, the people generally.3 Clearly, the words "people" and "popular" are cognates. I w i l l consider a cultural product—in this case, a ci lyric—"popular" only i f it can meet at least one o f the above conditions. However, the word "popular," when used in economic, social and pol i t i ca l realms, is far more complicated than a specific definit ion given i n a dictionary. 2 J a m e s A . H. M u r r a y et a l e d . , The Oxford English Dictionary ( O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1 9 8 9 ) . 3 The Oxford English Dictionary. 2 F r o m the capitalist point o f view, for example, the popularity o f a product is measured by the quantitative index o f sales. A t y p i c a l Marx i s t , on the other hand, views popular culture as an ideological weapon o f the common people to resist the cultural dominance o f the rul ing classes. But the word 's meaning becomes most elusive and intricate when discussed in the field o f cultural studies, where crit ics tend to present various denotations and immediately point out the problems of each, avoiding a f ixed definit ion. Our discussion starts wi th four basic, currently influential definitions given by Raymond W i l l i a m s (1921-1988). These include: 1) i n f e r i o r k i n d s o f w o r k , s u c h a s p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e ; 2) w o r k d e l i b e r a t e l y s e t t i n g o u t t o w i n f a v o u r , f o r e x a m p l e , p o p u l a r j o u r n a l i s m a n d p o p u l a r e n t e r t a i n m e n t ; 3) w o r k w e l l - l i k e d b y m a n y p e o p l e ; a n d 4) t h e r e c e n t s e n s e t h a t i t i s t h e c u l t u r e a c t u a l l y m a d e b y p e o p l e f o r t h e m s e l v e s . 4 The first two definitions are obviously pejorative, and one can successfully use them to describe the general v iew o f traditional ci c r i t ic i sm toward popular and vulgar lyr ics . The flaws o f these definitions are apparent. Some popular works are certainly not inferior: Canonized works such as Shakespeare's dramas and the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West were popular among the common people; undoubtedly, certain contemporary popular arts may also have the potential to be canonized by later generations. A s w e l l , some ultimately popular works are not produced solely for the purpose o f winning popular favour. For example, Paul McCar tney ' s "Hey Jude" was written for John Lennon 's son. Def in i t ion three—that a popular work is a work we l l - l i ked by many people—seems acceptable, but Tony Bennett rejects it because it "permits o f hardly any exclusions." He contends that i f this definit ion is fo l lowed, anything—"high culture," or even products not in the cultural field—can just i f iably c la im to be "popular." Acco rd ing to Bennett, "popular culture" in the strictest sense should 4 R a y m o n d W i l l i a m s , Keywords ( N e w Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 6 ) , 1 9 9 . 3 exclude works wh ich are categorized into the "of f ic ia l ly sanctioned 'h igh cul ture ' . " 5 In other words, "popular culture," in Bennett 's opinion, is inherently s imilar to " l o w culture," "vulgar culture," or the "culture o f common people." Def in i t ion four, that it is a culture made by people for themselves, is also problematic for some: It excludes works produced by the elite for the people. The literati poet L i u Yong ' s ( f l . 1034) popular and "vulgar" lyrics clearly catered to popular tastes. Thus, only i f we accept that the elite is also part o f the group o f "ordinary people" can this definit ion be va l id . However, such a defini t ion is currently widely acknowledged i n the f ie ld o f cultural studies, because it is said to clearly dist inguish popular culture—that made by and for the people themselves—from mass culture, which is produced by the dominant classes such as capitalists for the people, allegedly in order to exploit and manipulate them. In addition to Bennett 's argument above, he also finds three other commonly accepted definitions o f popular culture unsatisfactory. The first definit ion sees popular culture as a "residual category consisting o f those cultural forms that are 'left over ' once the sphere o f high culture has been defined." This , he concludes, is arbitrary, as works may "be moved across [cultural] boundaries." 6 For example, he argues that many early H o l l y w o o d fi lms or iginal ly categorized as popular culture products have been canonized through the application o f the auteur theory (e.g. H i t chcock ' s movies) , 7 precisely the upward mobi l i ty o f Shakespeare's dramas. But he ignores the question o f who elevates them. He also rejects the remaining two definitions: forms "imposed from above" onto a passive populace, and works o f the people that "emerge from below." He claims these definitions s t i l l rely on a series o f distinctions, thus focusing on one aspect at the expense o f the other. 8 Influenced by Anton io Gramsci ' s (1891-1937) hegemony theory, 5 T o n y B e n n e t t , " P o p u l a r C u l t u r e : A ' T e a c h i n g O b j e c t , " Screen Education 3 4 , ( S p r i n g 1 9 8 0 ) : 2 0 -2 1 . 6 B e n n e t t 2 1 , 2 3 . 7 B e n n e t t 2 3 . 8 B e n n e t t 2 3 - 2 4 . B e n n e t t ' s s u g g e s t i o n t o d e f e r p r o v i d i n g a c o n c r e t e d e f i n i t i o n is p r e v i o u s l y v o i c e d b y S t u a r t H a l l as f o l l o w s , " O n e s h o u l d i n s i s t that t h e r e is n o s u c h u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d t h i n g , t h e r e is n o 4 Bennett sees the f ield o f popular culture as a specific area o f resistance to dominant ideological forms, and suggests h is tor ic iz ing it—not seeing it as a set o f particular types or forms o f culture, but as a distinctive mode o f organization o f cultural relationships between classes. Though unwi l l i ng to commit to definit ion, he f inal ly draws the fo l lowing conclusion: The concept [of popular culture] should be used to refer to the historically specific alignment of the relationships between the culture and ideology of the dominant classes and the culture of subordinated classes that is defined by the specific forms, means and mechanisms—principally commercial—through which the latter is penetrated by and articulated with the latter in industrial capitalist societies. 9 Unfortunately, l ike many Neo-Marx i s t theorists, he seems to (deliberately?) complicate the issue rather than clarify it, drifting increasingly further away from the most common concept o f "popular," that is, "we l l - l i ked by many people." In his conclusion, there is nothing that relates directly to the very meaning o f "popular culture." What it concerns are mainly pol i t ics and contentions contextualized exclusively wi th in modern capitalist society. Popular culture as a cultural form i tself and its relationship wi th other types o f human societies are generally ignored. One may recognize from the above discussion that the term "popular" does not necessarily connote " l o w " or "vulgar." Some refined works by elite artists are indeed popular among ordinary people, whi le it should also be noticed that much material made for or by the populace never becomes popular at a l l . 1 0 Beethoven's symphonies, at certain times and places, could have been more popular than most s u c h h o m o g e n e o u s s t r u c t u r e , set o f a c t i v i t i e s w h i c h , o v e r a l o n g h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d , o n e c o u l d p u t o n e ' s h a n d o n a n d a l w a y s i d e n t i f y as p o p u l a r c u l t u r e . T h e o n l y t h i n g that y o u ' r e p u t t i n g y o u r h a n d o n is a c e r t a i n s p a c e o r a p l a c e o r a s i te , b u t y o u are n o t a b l e t o , as it w e r e , fill tha t s i te w i t h p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s w h i c h c a n b e , f o r a l l t i m e s , l a b e l l e d " p o p u l a r c u l t u r e . " H a l l , " P o p u l a r C u l t u r e , P o l i t i c s a n d H i s t o r y , " Popular Culture Bulletin, 3 ( 1 9 7 8 ) 2 . Q u o t e d i n B e n n e t t , 2 5 . 9 B e n n e t t 2 8 . 1 0 S a l e s f i g u r e s p r o v i d e d b y S i m o n F r i t h s h o w that a b o u t 8 0 p e r c e n t o f p o p u l a r m u s i c r e c o r d s a c t u a l l y l o s e m o n e y . A l s o , a c c o r d i n g t o P a u l H i r s c h ' s c a l c u l a t i o n , at l ea s t 6 0 p e r c e n t o f s i n g l e s r e l e a s e d are n e v e r p l a y e d . Q u o t e d i n J o h n S t o r e y , An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture ( N e w Y o r k : H a r v e s t e r W h e a t s h e a f , 1 9 9 3 ) , 1 0 7 . 5 popular and folk music. Nevertheless, many cultural crit ics past and present tend to connect " l o w " and "vulgar" wi th popular culture, in order to distinguish it from the elite culture, whi le works categorized as "middle-brow" are regarded by some elite crit ics as debased forms o f "h igh" art, and are equally allocated to the " l o w " and "popular" spheres. Accord ing to Dwight Macdonald , for example, "There is nothing more vulgar than sophisticated kitsch" (mass culture), such as the late H o l l y w o o d and Broadway productions, because, he c la ims, "they too have become standardized." 1 1 He terms audiences and cultural producers who indulge in this k ind o f art the "midcul t , " c r i t i c iz ing them for borrowing unthinkingly from, and sometimes altering, "h igh culture" for their own interests but refusing to participate in " rea l" art. 1 2 Therefore, from an elitist (and traditional ci c r i t ic ' s ) point o f view, "middle-brow" is basically not much different from " low-brow," except that the former disguises i t se l f wi th certain borrowed characteristics o f "h igh" art. People who attend Broadway musicals and listen to "pop" classical music, such as Ross in i ' s " W i l l i a m Tel l Overture" or B ize t ' s "Carmen," can be so categorized. Cul tura l producers, such as L i u Yong , who waver between the two cultural strata, have also been reproved for lowering their artistic standards on 13 occasion to please the publ ic . In retrospect, I realize when using the term "popular" to describe the numerous ci lyr ics replete wi th "vulgar" and unrefined expressions, I was obliged to ask i f a l l o f them were generally "popular" in the sense that the populace l iked them. The tendency o f the Western crit ics to equate " l o w " culture wi th popular " D w i g h t M a c D o n a l d , " A T h e o r y o f M a s s C u l t u r e , " in B e r n a r d R o s e n b e r g a n d D a v i d M a n n i n g W h i t e , e d s . , Mass Culture: The Popular Arts in America ( G l e n c o e : F r e e P r e s s , 1 9 5 8 ) , 6 4 . 1 2 Q u o t e d i n H e r b e r t J . G a n s , Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste ( N e w Y o r k : B a s i c B o o k s , 1 9 7 4 ) , 8 3 . 1 3 O n e m a y a r g u e o b j e c t i v e l y that " m i d d l e - b r o w " s h o u l d n o t be c o n f u s e d w i t h " l o w - b r o w , " b e c a u s e c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n s s t i l l e x i s t b e t w e e n t h e m : the B r o a d w a y m u s i c a l a u d i e n c e is s t i l l c u l t u r a l l y m o r e " s o p h i s t i c a t e d " t h a n the " p o p " m u s i c a u d i e n c e , t h o u g h it is far f r o m a b l e to a p p r e c i a t e m u s i c o f m o r e " s e r i o u s " t y p e . B u t the f ac t is that s u c h a n a p p r o a c h w a s n o t s e e n i n ci c r i t i c i s m . C h i n e s e s c h o l a r s , i n t h e i r t r e a t m e n t o f ci p i e c e s o r w r i t e r s w h i c h c o u l d b e c a t e g o r i z e d i n t o the " m i d c u l t " s e c t o r , w o u l d g e n e r a l l y e i t h e r s h a r e M a c d o n a l d ' s o p i n i o n o r a p p r o v e t h e m f r o m a p o p u l i s t s t a n d p o i n t . T o a v o i d c o n f u s i o n , h e r e I w i l l a r b i t r a r i l y d i v i d e s c h o l a r s i n t o t w o g r o u p s - p r o p o n e n t s a n d o p p o n e n t s o f p o p u l a r c u l t u r e , w h i l e r e a l i z i n g that s o m e o f t h e m m a y a d o p t a " m i d d l e - b r o w " a p p r o a c h . 6 culture, however, has removed this doubt, though my di lemma regarding the term "popular" has at the same time been further aggravated by their arguments. I further realize that my studies o f Dunhuang and Song anonymous lyrics and those of L i u Yong do not seem to contradict popular culture theory in general, since these works are widely acknowledged as not only " l o w " and "unrefined," but also "popular." In Ch ina , before the term "popular" (liu xing #ft fx ) came into existence in recent decades, scholars generally employed the word su f£f , usually translated as "common," "ordinary," or "vulgar," to describe works widely accepted by the common people. Its combination wi th "culture" (wen hua j£C ft), or "literature" (wen xue ~$C 1^ ) i n modern times is more or less equivalent to what we now cal l " fo lk culture" or " fo lk literature." Zheng Zhenduo % J i (1898-1958) defines su wen xue as fol lows: What is su wen xue? Su wen xue is literature which is easily understood. It is folk literature, and the literature of ordinary people. In other words, what we call su wen xue is something which cannot enter the hall of great elegance, is not treasured by scholar-officials, and yet is popular among ordinary people who love and enjoy it. fqj if r {# >C IP j ? r 3t A i f i j f ° & -• ^  m , m m m 3t m WL m & x m z g , ^  m m ± x * m m m , m ^  n m s m , Here the term su wen xue clearly denotes both " fo lk" and "popular" literature. Zheng also specif ical ly includes literary forms widely accepted by ordinary people in ancient times, one o f which is the ci ly r ic . However, the ci lyr ic and ci music certainly are not just forms o f folk culture in the modern sense. Al though they might have "grown up from below" and possess many characteristics o f folk songs (e.g. spontaneity, direct and simple expression, and a close relationship wi th oral performance), they are s t i l l different 14 Zhongguo su wenxue shi dp S f§- >C HI 5ti (History of Chinese Popular Literature) ( B e i j i n g : Z u o j i a c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 5 4 ) , 1. A H t r a n s l a t i o n s are m i n e e x c e p t w h e r e i n d i c a t e d . 7 from folk songs i n several respects. First , unl ike most folk songs in the past, which flourished in rural areas, ci and its music were produced alongside the rise of urban culture and economy in the Tang and Song periods. Second, it was used by professional entertainers to make a l i v ing , and was thus considered by some as a commercial product, aimed chiefly at profit rather than mutual or self-amusement (except when later elite poets took up the ci form to develop it into an independent literary genre). Th i rd , and most importantly, is the difference in the nature o f performance between the two genres. Performance o f folk songs was regarded as more spontaneous, and the feelings o f the performers more genuine whi le the routine, profit-oriented ci music performance was relatively standardized. 1 5 Zheng's indiscriminate categorization o f both the ci and folk songs into the same group uses too broad a definit ion, though it is true that both may have been practiced and enjoyed by the common audience. To dist inguish the two forms properly, the current terms "popular culture" (liu xing wen hua ftft f j ~$C ft .) and "fo lk culture" (min jian wen hua flfj ft ) are used. The former term mainly refers to mass-produced, commercial works, whi le the latter to folk arts, religions and customs, which are relatively less commerc ia l i zed . 1 6 But since both literary forms were viewed by the elite class as " l o w " culture i n the past, it w i l l be practicable for the moment to lump them together (along wi th the 1 5 A c c o r d i n g t o T h e o d o r W . A d o r n o ( 1 9 0 3 - 1 9 7 0 ) , s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n is the e s s e n t i a l d i s t i n c t i v e q u a l i t y o f p o p u l a r s o n g s . S e e h i s " O n P o p u l a r M u s i c , " in S t o r e y , Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader ( N e w Y o r k : H a r v e s t e r W h e a t s h e a f , 1 9 9 4 ) , 2 0 5 - 2 0 8 . H i s t h e o r y w i l l b e d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r o n e . O n e m a y a r g u e that t h e r e is a b u n d a n t e v i d e n c e o f ci s o n g s m o v i n g l i s t e n e r s to t ea r s , b u t w e s h o u l d b e a w a r e that m o s t o f t h e s e w e r e n o n - p u b l i c p e r f o r m a n c e s w i t h i n e l i t e c i r c l e s . T h e s i n g i n g g i r l s w e r e e i t h e r c o n c u b i n e s o r c l o s e f r i e n d s o f the l i s t e n e r s , a n d u s u a l l y s h a r e d the s a m e f e e l i n g s w i t h t h e i r p a t r o n s . T h i s k i n d o f a c t i v i t y h a d i n fac t a l r e a d y b e c o m e p a r t o f the e l i t e c u l t u r e . 1 6 In M a c d o n a l d ' s o p i n i o n , f o l k art " w a s a s p o n t a n e o u s , a u t o c h t h o n o u s e x p r e s s i o n o f the p e o p l e s h a p e d b y t h e m s e l v e s , " w h i l e m a s s c u l t u r e " i s f a b r i c a t e d b y t e c h n i c i a n s h i r e d b y b u s i n e s s m e n ; its a u d i e n c e s are p a s s i v e c o n s u m e r s , t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n l i m i t e d to the c h o i c e b e t w e e n b u y i n g a n d n o t b u y i n g . " M a c d o n a l d , 6 0 . It s h o u l d be n o t i c e d that i n t a l k i n g a b o u t m a s s c u l t u r e , M a c d o n a l d s p e c i f i c a l l y r e f e r s to m a s s - p r o d u c e d c u l t u r a l f o r m s , w h i l e the t e r m " p o p u l a r c u l t u r e " is m o r e i n c l u s i v e . W h e n Z h e n g w r o t e h i s b o o k , the t e r m " p o p u l a r c u l t u r e " s t i l l h a d n o t a p p e a r e d i n C h i n a . A l l c u l t u r a l f o r m s p o p u l a r a m o n g o r d i n a r y p e o p l e w e r e s i m p l y d e f i n e d as "su c u l t u r e , " n o m a t t e r i f t h e y w e r e a n c i e n t o r c o n t e m p o r a r y . T h u s , a p o p u l a r n o v e l , tha t is a n o v e l w h i c h is " e a s i l y u n d e r s t o o d , " w o u l d b e c a l l e d tongsu xiaoshuo JS f& As IS • 8 1 n so-called "middle-brow" culture) as a group in contrast to "h igh" culture. ' In addition to the terminological problem o f the term "popular," another difficulty in using the theory o f popular culture is that its or ig in and referent are connected entirely and inextricably to modern Western society. Modern cultural forms, such as the romance novel , magazine, newspaper, te levision, cinema, as w e l l as the study o f mass production and advertising, are generally the theory's pr incipal topics. These highly commercial ized cultural forms are greatly distanced from those in the Western past, including its folk culture, let alone those i n ancient China . Neverthelss, my intention in adopting and selecting particular comments from Western cultural theorists (especially in chapter one) is to demonstrate the str iking s imilar i ty between Western and conventional Chinese scholars ' attitudes toward popular and folk arts, and to show that cultural e l i t i sm is a common pheonomenon in both the East and the West in any given period. The positive comments made by modern Western cultural crit ics can also be used to support the formation o f my theoretical framework in challenging the elite ci c r i t ic i sm. For example, Pierre Bourdieu ' s "popular aesthetics" is borrowed in chapter two to help establish an aesthetic dist inct ion between elite and popular lyr ics , so as to enable mysel f to analyze popular lyrics without re lying on traditional ci aesthetics. In doing so, I w i l l compare two lyr ics , one by a prominent elite writer and the other by an anonymous writer o f lower literacy and w i l l quote Bourdieu ' s theory to i l luminate why these two pieces and their readers are aesthetically different. Raymond W i l l i a m s ' s theory is mentioned in chapter one as we l l as in chapter four because he is the most representative theorist who speaks in favour o f the "famil iar art" and studies it from a socioeconomic point o f view, wh ich is also my approach in studying the popular ly r ic . H i s theory is applicable in two 1 71 d o n o t m e a n that w e s h o u l d n e g l e c t the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n f o l k art a n d p o p u l a r art . I n f a c t , m o d e r n c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s a n d C o n f u c i a n s c h o l a r s a d o p t d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d e a c h o f t h e m . B u t b o t h g r o u p s a re o f t e n i n t e r n a l l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y a n d i n c o n s i s t e n t . W o r s t o f a l l , d u e to the l a c k o f v i a b l e r e c o r d s , w e n o w f i n d it d i f f i c u l t to d i s t i n g u i s h w h i c h w a s " g e n u i n e " f o l k art a n d w h i c h w a s c o m m e r c i a l p r o d u c t . It is a l s o p o s s i b l e that a p a r t i c u l a r w o r k m i g h t h a v e c o m p r i s e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f b o t h . 9 aspects. First , he claims that "famil iar art" can be great art as w e l l , although he does not, l ike Bourdieu , clarify the different functions and aesthetics o f "strange art" and "familar art" in detail. Second, his discussions o f selective tradition and the different levels o f culture provide an insightful hint to my cr i t i c i sm o f the elite editors' practice o f purifying ci anthologies. Stuart H a l l and Paddy Whannel ' s proposit ion to categorize "popular art" wi th in popular culture initiates an argument that not a l l artistic works in popular culture are inferior. Gans takes this argument further by contending that culture is not an invariable unchanging phenonomon; rather, it can be produced and consumed by people from a l l classes and is subject to mobil i ty . However, the theory o f cultural populists l ike John F i ske ' s is questioned because it tends to exaggerate the pol i t ica l sensibili t ies o f the ordinary consumers, an approach very similar to the Han exegetes' a l legorical interpretations o f folk poems. In chapter one, " H i g h Versus L o w , " the long-standing debate between proponents o f elite and popular (or folk) arts w i l l be presented. This chapter also touches on how certain Western cultural theories can be related to my cr i t ic i sm o f elite ci aesthetics. The reason for my choice o f Western crit ics has been explained above, whereas the selection o f the opinions o f Chinese scholars concerning popular art is based on whether they are cr i t ical in shaping, or supporting and fo l lowing , traditional Chinese literary theory, which is i n fact the basis for the formation o f elite ci aesthetics. For example, the cr i t ic i sm o f Zheng and Wei music is the fountainhead o f a l l Chinese elite strictures on popular art. A l s o , L i u X i e ' s §flj $g (ca. 466-520) condemnation o f Yuefu poetry typical ly represents the cultural nostalgia shared by most o f the conventional Chinese scholars, inc luding many o f the ci cr i t ics , who streneously attempted to establish a reputable genealogy for the ci, deriving it from ancient canons such as the Book of Songs and Elegies of Chu. The Chinese scholars' celebration o f popular art, such as the satirical poems by B a i Juyi Q jgj J | (772-846) and the "new novels" o f L iang Qichao Jgp f g (1873-1929), though ostensibly meant to favour co l loquia l wri t ings, nevertheless betray these two authors' obsession wi th the educative and 10 moralist ic function o f literature. The discussion o f Chinese elite c r i t i c i sm in this chapter is presented i n a more or less historical order, stretching from the first to the twentieth century, showing that the attitudes o f Chinese elite crit ics toward popular arts are consistently in accord wi th Confucian aesthetic theory; whereas the discussion on Western cultural crit ics is mainly used as a supportive framework wi th materials largely drawn from the twentieth century. The reason is that Western popular culture theory was not developed unti l the modern period, and most cr i t ical works on popular culture theory deal wi th modern Western society. A more thorough comparison between the attitudes o f Western and Chinese scholars concerning popular art must await a specific study which w i l l involve many difficult ies that this dissertation cannot possibly handle, such as the historical and cultural contexts wh ich generated these attitudes and how the Western and Chinese popular arts can be historical ly related to each other. Readers are, therefore, suggested to use Western popular culture theory mainly as a reference to assist their understanding o f traditional Chinese literary theory, in preparation for a detailed discussion o f traditional ci c r i t i c i sm i n the next three chapters. Chapter two w i l l focus on the anonymous Tang and Song popular lyrics which I take as popular art made by and for the ordinary people. In this chapter, as mentioned above, I w i l l attempt to establish the aesthetic dist inct ion between the "el i te" and "popular" lyrics and to examine the latter's stylistic features. Chapter three w i l l analyze the causes which led to the elite poet L i u Yong ' s devotion to lower taste and the popular elements in his "vulgar" lyr ics . L i u ' s case testifies to the fact that cultural producers o f different social backgrounds can be influenced by arts o f higher or lower levels. The elite cr i t ics ' strictures on h i m w i l l also be cr i t ic ized through the study o f the class attributes o f these Confucian scholars. Chapter four w i l l first present the c f s disrepute in its early stages, based mainly on anecdotes found in Song sources. The core o f this chapter points out the fallacy o f traditional ci c r i t i c i sm in its rejection o f the popular or ig in o f the genre by focusing on three strategies the elite crit ics used in their attempt to elevate the 11 literary status o f the ci, and their promotion o f an elegant and orthodox ci aesthetic. In chapters two to four, Western theory o f popular culture w i l l s t i l l be used to support my argument wherever possible, during which one should also bear in mind the overal l picture o f "h igh versus l o w " explored in the first chapter. 12 Chapter One: "High Versus Low" A man who sang in [the Chu capital] Ying, first moved thousands to sing along to his songs "Rustic Lane" and "People from Ba." Next he sang "Northern Bank" and "Dew on the Shallots," and several hundred joined in. Then, with "Sunny Spring" and "White Snow," no more than a few dozen responded. Finally, starting from the note shang, he accentuated the note>>«, mingling them with the flowing sound of the zhi note. Only a few persons in the capital could follow him. This was because the more elegant the song, the fewer people were able to respond. ^ 1ft §13 ^ > M: $n B T I G A . I t l l l D f I f A ; I g l f i I rTTj m m ^ m m -t- A ; m m m m , m \>x f t , m CP m This story is narrated in "Rep ly to the Inquiry o f the K i n g o f C h u " f ^ f 3 § 3£ f n j ascribed to Song Y u 5j5 3L (ca. third century B C ) . Song, who was then a literary attendant i n the C h u court, used it to justify h imse l f when the k ing queried, " W h y do a l l the people not praise you h igh ly?" He replied that it was because the commoners d id not have the abil i ty to appreciate his superior personality and moral conduct. Or ig ina l ly not intended for aesthetic debate, this anecdote gradually became a locus classicus in literary and art c r i t i c i sm, wi th the songs "Sunny Spr ing" and "Whi te Snow" representing refined, but unappreciated works, l ike "caviar to the general," whi le "Rust ic Lane" and "People from B a " became the paradigms for lower class art. S imi la r messages have been expressed by Western scholars. W i l l i a m Hazl i t t (1778-1830), who regarded the rise o f public taste as a threat to indiv idual creativity and a decay o f the arts, believed that in any given society, the judges o f art should always be small i n number. The highest efforts of genius, in every walk of art, can never be understood by the generality of mankind. There are numberless beauties and truths 1 L i S h a n ^ if ( c a . 6 3 0 - 6 8 9 ) c o m m . , Wenxuan M (Selections of Refined Literature), e d . X i a o T o n g jflf ,f£ ( 5 0 1 - 5 3 1 ) ( T a i p e i : W u n a n t u s h u g o n g s i , 1 9 9 1 , J i a q i n g s h i s i n i a n b e n ^ | | -f- m ^ $ ) , 4 5 : 1 1 2 3 . 13 which lie far beyond their comprehension. 2 W i t h the blossoming o f democracy and the onset o f the Industrial Revolu t ion , many Western scholars increasingly feared that the cultural standard o f the elite class wou ld undergo a leve l l ing . They were also concerned about the degeneration o f moral standards, wh ich they saw as the inevitable result o f the growing number o f diversions the "inferior arts" made accessible wi th the increase o f leisure t ime. In the fo l lowing section, I w i l l first examine how certain Western scholars v iewed popular culture from the late nineteenth to the twentieth century, wh ich was the period o f the rise o f Western popular culture theory. These anxieties to a certain extent resemble those o f the Confucian scholars, though they posit their opinions i n very different historical and cultural contexts, and are partly applicable to our study o f elite ci c r i t ic i sm as we l l as Confucian literary theory. This w i l l be fol lowed by a discussion o f l iberal and populist opinions. Part 1: Cultural Elitism I. Western Cultural Pessimists in the Modern Periods Popular culture theory was developed mainly in nineteenth-century England. The Eng l i sh cultural arena, wh ich used to be entirely dominated by the elite, began to undergo a fundamental change. Knowledge became more available in urban areas, and its patent was no longer held by the select few. A s urban folk, especially female readers, became more conscious o f and eager to advance their learning, taking active parts i n leisure and other activities, the growth i n consumption o f popular literature, such as novels, magazines and newspapers, reached 2 W i l l i a m H a z l i t t , " T h e R o u n d T a b l e , " i n The Complete Works of William Hazlitt ( L o n d o n : J . M . D e n t , 1 9 3 0 ) , v o l . 4 , 1 6 4 . 3 T h e d i s c u s s i o n o f p o p u l a r c u l t u r e i n t h e W e s t e r n i n t e l l e c t u a l w o r l d , t h o u g h c e r t a i n l y p r a c t i c e d p r i o r t o t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , f l o u r i s h e d w i d e l y at t h i s t i m e , u s h e r i n g i n t h e t h e o r e t i c a l f o u n d a t i o n s o f its p r e s e n t f o r m . M a n y c o n t e m p o r a r y s t u d i e s t h u s set t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y as t h e i n i t i a l s t a g e o f p o p u l a r c u l t u r e t h e o r y , n o t a b l y J o h n S t o r e y ' s An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture ( 1 9 9 3 ) a n d D o m i n i c S t r i n a t i ' s An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture ( 1 9 9 5 ) . 14 unprecedented levels. Wi th the increase in size o f the reading publ ic came the emergence o f circulat ing libraries, "bluestocking c lubs" (women's reading groups) and clubs o f readers in coffee houses. Theatres also resorted to "spectacular" operas and a variety o f sensational devices to attract audiences. 4 A l l these were thought to be symptoms o f cultural degeneration and causes o f pol i t ica l instabil i ty by cultural pessimists. 1. Matthew Arnold The first important Western scholar who specif ical ly holds popular culture as the prime culprit for causing pol i t i ca l instabili ty is Matthew A r n o l d (1822-1888). H i s epoch-making book Culture and Anarchy formed the key tenets for the modern theory o f popular culture. A s an Inspector o f schools, A r n o l d was particularly concerned wi th the question o f morality. For h im , culture was the pursuit o f total "perfection," a perfection which could bring harmony, or "sweetness and l ight ," to a l l parts o f human society. He severely cr i t ic ized those who tried to give the masses "an intellectual food prepared and adapted to the way they think proper for the actual condit ion o f the masses." 5 This " food," he points out, is ordinary popular literature. He contends that "culture" does not try to w i n the favour o f inferior classes wi th ready-made judgements and watchwords, rather, "it seeks to do away wi th classes; to make the best that has been thought and known in the wor ld current everywhere." 6 A r n o l d ' s fear o f an uprising among the populace was provoked by the Hyde Park affair o f 1866. F o l l o w i n g the defeat o f the Reform B i l l and the L ibera l government, a huge crowd burst into the popular middle-class Londoner "pleasure garden" and trampled the flower-beds. 7 Accord ing to A r n o l d , this intrusion not only symbol ized an encroachment on the prerogatives o f the well- to-do cit izens, 4 F o r a m o r e d e t a i l e d s t u d y o f t h e r e a d i n g p u b l i c o f e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y E n g l a n d , see L e o L o w e n t h a l , Literature, Popular Culture, and Society ( E n g l e w o o d C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1 9 6 1 ) , 5 2 - 5 8 . 5 M a t t h e w A r n o l d , Culture and Anarchy, e d . J . D o v e r W i l s o n ( C a m b r i d g e : C a m b r i d g e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 0 ) , 6 9 , 7 0 . 6 A r n o l d 7 0 . 7 D o v e r W i l s o n , " E d i t o r ' s I n t r o d u c t i o n , " Culture and Anarchy, x x v - x x v i i . 15 but more importantly signalled a tendency toward anarchy. In Culture and Anarchy he argues that the assertion o f personal liberty in the modern democratic system only encourages the unc iv i l i zed Engl ishman to "do what he l ikes , enter where he l ikes , hoot as he l ikes , threaten as he l ikes , smash as he l ikes . " E v e n worse, this Engl ishman strives to set his foot in the affairs o f state. But he is "too undeveloped and submissive hitherto to j o i n the game," and "when he does come, he comes in immense numbers, and is rather raw and rough." 8 For this reason, A r n o l d stresses that a powerful State authority, supervised by the select few, is needed to defend against anarchy, acting as an organ for the propagation o f "sweetness and l ight ." It is in this credo o f central authority that A r n o l d ' s disparagement o f popular culture and democracy is rooted. Since "culture" i n his v i ew is fundamentally authoritarian in nature, when he says "too many cooks spoi l the broth ," 9 we understand that this broth is o f one single flavour, a flavour wh ich suits a minori ty taste and is presumed to be the finest. Other people cannot voice their dis l ikes , because, in A r n o l d ' s opinion, they possess neither the right nor the s k i l l to take part in the "cookery." He reiterates i n another passage: The highly-instructed few, and not the scantily-instructed many, w i l l ever be the organ to the human race of knowledge and truth. Knowledge and truth, in the full sense of the words, are not attainable by the great mass of the human race at a l l . 1 0 Such an opinion, wide ly echoed by cultural crit ics i n the first ha l f o f the twentieth century, reminds us o f the messages put forward by Hazl i t t and Song Y u . A r n o l d ' s emphasis on cultural authority is s tr ikingly s imilar to Confucian scholars ' opinions regarding cultural order, wh ich w i l l be explored in detail in chapter three when we discuss why Confucian crit ics are so hostile to L i u Yong and his popular lyr ics . In short, both contend that without cultural order, po l i t i ca l order w i l l not be successfully achieved. 8 A r n o l d 7 6 , 8 1 . 9 A r n o l d 8 1 . 1 0 A r n o l d , " T h e B i s h o p a n d t h e P h i l o s o p h e r , " Complete Prose Works, ( A n n A r b o r : U n i v e r s i t y o f M i c h i g a n P r e s s , 1 9 6 0 - 7 7 ) , v o l . 3 , 4 3 - 4 . 16 2. The Leavisites The publ icat ion o f three important works i n the early 1930s by F. R . Leavis (1895-1978) and his followers continued the Arno ld i an evaluation o f popular cul ture . 1 1 Whereas A r n o l d cri t icizes popular culture for its purported threat to po l i t i ca l stability, the Leavisites perceive it as the major cause o f cultural degeneration. To F. R . Leavis , for example, "culture has always been i n minori ty keeping." The majority i n a given society is bereft o f the right to possess it. In any period it is often [on] a very small minority that the discerning appreciation of art and literature depends: it is . . . only a few who are capable of unprompted, first-hand judgment. They are still a small minority, though a larger one, who are capable of endorsing such first-hand judgment by genuine personal response. The accepted valuations are a kind of paper currency based on a very small proportion of gold. However, the rise o f popular culture, especially popular literature, in the modern period threatened the privi lege o f the minori ty and lu l led away many artists from the pursuit o f high art to the production o f commercial art. Therefore, to Leavisi tes, popular culture is a culture o f "standardization and leve l l ing down" which 13 contributes to an increasing cultural decline i n the twentieth century. In order to continually keep culture i n "minori ty keeping," they contend that, even i f the cultural minori ty can no longer dictate deference to its values and judgments because o f the collapse o f traditional authority, it s t i l l has the responsibil i ty to . preserve the literary tradition and human c iv i l i za t ion . For this reason, they propose to "introduce into schools a training in resistance [to the influence o f popular culture]," and outside schools, to have the form o f resistance taken "by an armed and conscious minor i ty . " 1 4 In other words, they consider education and col lect ive resistance o f the elite class the only ways to protect their small cultural garden. 11 T h e s e w o r k s i n c l u d e : F . R . L e a v i s ' s Mass Civilisation and Minority Culture, Q . D . L e a v i s ' s Fiction and the Reading Public, a n d F . R . L e a v i s a n d D e n y s T h o m p s o n ' s Culture and Environment. 1 2 F . R . L e a v i s , " M a s s C i v i l i s a t i o n a n d M i n o r i t y C u l t u r e , " i n S t o r e y , Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 12 . 1 3 F . R . L e a v i s a n d D e n y s T h o m p s o n , Culture and Environment ( L o n d o n : C h a t t o a n d W i n d u s , 1 9 5 0 ) , 3 . 1 4 F . R . L e a v i s , For Continuity, 1 8 8 ; Q . D . L e a v i s , Fiction and the Reading Public ( N e w Y o r k : R u s s e l l & R u s s e l l , 1 9 7 8 ) , 2 7 0 . In S t o r e y , An Introductory Guide, 2 8 . 17 The Leavisi te dis l ike o f popular culture is chiefly engendered by their persistent longing for an imagined cultural golden age, "a mythic rural past," 1 5 which refers to pre-industrialized England when urbanization and publ ic education were s t i l l undeveloped. For example, F. R . Leavis claims that "what we have lost is the organic community wi th the l i v i n g culture it embodied ." 1 6 In this rural community, he believes, people were able to produce art in accord wi th the natural environment and their life experiences. The use o f machines and the coming o f the new era, however, violates this harmonious pattern o f l i fe . The problem o f this theory is its failure to discern the backwardness and evils o f the old rural cultural system. A s Raymond W i l l i a m s contends, it is foolish and dangerous to exclude from the so-called organic society the penury, the petty tyranny, the disease and mortality, the ignorance and frustrated intelligence which were also among its ingredients. 1 7 The Leavis i tes ' strong attachment to the past is also caused by their bel ief that before the Industrial Revolu t ion , there was a "common culture" in England which was uncorrupted by commercial interests and was shared by both the elite and ordinary people. The most significant example, according to Q. D . Leavis , is Elizabethan drama. She believes that though the spectator "might not be able to fo l low the ' thought' minutely in the great tragedies," he "was getting his amusement from the mind and sensibil i ty that produced those passages, from an artist and not from one o f his own c lass . " 1 8 Ul t imately, what the Leavisites insist on is the absolute dominance o f a culture guarded by the select few, so that a l l others are subordinated to their taste and effectively prevented from penetrating its power structures. Their nostalgic longing for rural England is also reminiscent o f the viewpoint o f Confucian scholars, that art and literature i n antiquity were 1 5 S t o r e y , An Introductory Guide, 3 1 . 1 6 L e a v i s , Culture and Environment, 1-2. 1 7 W i l l i a m s , Culture and Society 1780-1950 ( N e w Y o r k : H a r p e r T o r c h b o o k s , 1 9 5 8 ) , 2 6 0 . 1 8 Q . D . L e a v i s , Fiction and the Reading Public, 2 6 4 . A s i m i l a r p h e n o m e n o n c a n b e f o u n d i n t r a d i t i o n a l C a n t o n e s e o p e r a , w h i c h w a s v e r y p o p u l a r i n C a n t o n i n t h e f i r s t h a l f o f t h i s c e n t u r y . T h e g e n e r a l a u d i e n c e , h o w e v e r , d i d n o t a l w a y s s e e m t o f u l l y u n d e r s t a n d t h e t e x t s , as it w a s r e p l e t e w i t h c l a s s i c a l l a n g u a g e a n d a l l u s i o n s . 18 always superior to the present. In order to elevate the literary status o f ci l y r i c , Confucian cri t ics also endeavour to establish for the ci a reputable genealogy from the ancient canons. Such a practice, or strategy, w i l l be dealt wi th i n chapter four. 3. The Frankfurt School and Antonio Gramsci For A r n o l d and the Leavisites, popular culture is a genuine threat to cultural and social authority. The relationship between high and low culture takes the form o f psychological resistance and incursion. A n alternative viewpoint is put forward by the Frankfurt School and cultural cri t ics influenced by Anton io Gramsci ' s (1891-1937) hegemony theory. The Frankfurt School was formed by a group o f German left-wing intellectuals i n 1923. Their theory is buil t upon the question o f why the working-class 's revolutionary overthrow o f capital ism had not happened. The reason, they conclude, is that the dominant class maintains its control over the subordinated classes not only by means o f suppression, but also through negotiations and concessions. It provides a culture industry for the masses that produces commodities to gratify their "false, material needs," whereas their real needs, such as a better way o f l i fe , democracy and freedom, remain unfulf i l led. Yet, the masses, numbed by the culture industry, are not aware that what they have fulf i l led are only their material needs. In other words, these theories regard popular culture as a means o f underpinning the status quo instead o f impair ing the exist ing capitalist social authority. 1 9 Anton io Gramsc i ' s hegemony theory does not focus particularly on popular culture, but s t i l l shares some similar viewpoints wi th the Frankfurt School . For example, he contends that the prevai l ing power wins the passive or active consent of the dominable classes by making some economic concessions, given that such concessions wou ld not touch the essential social and pol i t i ca l order. L i k e A r n o l d , he also conceives o f the State as the "educator." 1 9 O n e o f t h e m o s t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t h e o r i s t s o f t h e F r a n k f u r t S c h o o l i s T h e o d o r A d o r n o . F o r a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f h i s t h e o r y , see h i s " O n P o p u l a r M u s i c , " i n S t o r e y , Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 2 0 2 - 2 1 4 . 19 Every State is ethical inasmuch as one of its most important functions is to raise the great mass of the population to a particular cultural and moral level, a level (or type) which corresponds to the needs of the productive forces for development, and hence to the interests of the ruling classes.20 In Gramsc i ' s theory, the State "educates" the "subordinated" people to accept that the interests and cultural , moral values o f the leading group are rational and universal ly va l id . It also struggles to assimilate and to conquer " ideo log ica l ly" the traditional intellectuals, making them the "deputies" o f the leading group. 2 1 Private init iatives and activities, such as schools and religious organizations, perform an educative function s imilar to the state, helping to solidify the po l i t i ca l and cultural hegemony o f the rul ing classes. But when a l l these fa i l , coercive power, or a repressive and negative educative apparatus such as law, w i l l be used 22 to enforce discipl ine on groups who do not "consent" to the prevai l ing ideology. P la in ly speaking, Gramsci perceives a l l these acts as a "conspiracy" o f the rul ing class to sustain its power. The Frankfurt School and Gramsci ' s theory gives rise to many problems in studying the actual cultural forms in the West, such as that the pol i t ica l function o f popular culture is a l l too easily exaggerated. It is also unconvincing i f one applies it to popular cultures other than that o f capitalist society. In imperial China , the obvious example is the "popular" ci ly r ic . It was produced specif ical ly for ordinary people, but most do not seem to have the primary intention o f "educating" them to support the rul ing classes. Rather, it provoked severe attack from Confucian scholars, whose ideology had been always the fundamental guiding force for Chinese po l i t i ca l institutions. It was the elegant ci ( including those about romantic love) that contained most o f the features o f Confucian aesthetics, such as emotional restraint, and embodied its moral and cultural values. But the elegant ci generally d id not make concessions to ordinary taste at a l l . Nevertheless, hegemony theory provides an alternative viewpoint in explaining why Confucian 2 0 A n t o n i o G r a m s c i , " H e g e m o n y , I n t e l l e c t u a l s a n d t h e S t a t e , " i n S t o r e y , Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 2 1 9 . 2 1 G r a m s c i 2 1 8 , 2 1 9 . 2 2 G r a m s c i 2 1 9 , 2 2 0 , 2 2 1 . 2 0 scholars vigorously advocated an "elegant and orthodox" style in ci wr i t ing . Chapter three w i l l return to this theory wi th the discussion o f the cultural attributes o f the Confucian crit ics and their c r i t i c i sm o f L i u Yong ' s "vulgar" lyr ics . II. The Chinese Traditionalists Confucian scholars d id not formulate a set o f specific and systematic theories o f popular and folk art. Their comments are chiefly formed on the basis o f Confucian aesthetics, especially the exegesis o f the Shijing, or the Book of Songs, the earliest col lect ion o f Chinese poetry. They thought that since poetry—or more precisely the folk song—was the expression o f a person's state o f mind, it could in a broader sense reflect the genuine conditions o f ordinary people and the state o f government affairs in a particular period and p lace . 2 3 It also had the practical function o f moral edification and keeping a society in "harmonious order." For this Resembling A r n o l d ' s assertion in Culture and Anarchy, that "the idea o f beauty 25 and o f a human nature perfect on a l l its sides" is "the dominant idea o f poetry," the above statement, however, refers only to poetry or folk songs deemed moral ly correct. Emot iona l ly " l icent ious" pieces, according to Confucian scholars, should 2 3 S e e " T h e G r e a t P r e f a c e , " The Chinese Classics IV: The She King or The Book of Poetry, t r a n s . J a m e s L e g g e ( T a i p e i : S M C , 1 9 9 4 ) , 3 4 . S e e a l s o " Y u e j i " ^ IB ( " R e c o r d o f M u s i c " ) , S u n X i d a n M H . ( 1 7 3 6 - 1 7 8 4 ) , Lijijijie jjift IB M M (Collected Commentaries on the Record of Rites) ( T a i p e i : T a i w a n s h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 5 ) , WYWK, 3 7 : 2 1 . 2 4 " T h e G r e a t P r e f a c e , " t r a n s l a t i o n b y L e g g e w i t h m y o w n m o d i f i c a t i o n s . B a s i c a l l y I w i l l " c o n s u l t " a n e x i s t i n g t r a n s l a t i o n i f 1 h a v e f o u n d o n e . H o w e v e r , a d j u s t m e n t s m a y b e m a d e i f t h e t r a n s l a t i o n d o e s n o t e f f e c t i v e l y b r i n g o u t t h e o r i g i n a l m e a n i n g , o r d o e s n o t c o n f o r m s y n t a c t i c a l l y w i t h t h e o r i g n a l t e x t s . F o r e x a m p l e , i n t h i s p a s s a g e L e g g e ' s t r a n s l a t i o n g o e s , " T h e f o r m e r k i n g s b y t h i s r e g u l a t e d . . ." is n o t as d i r e c t as " r e l i e d o n [ p o e t r y ] t o r e g u l a t e . . ." reason, The former kings relied on [poetry] to regulate the duties of husband and wife, to effectively inculcate fi l ial obedience and reverence, to secure relations among people, to adorn the transforming influence of instruction, and to transform manners and customs. %. zE lil JH IS ^ M , $Z 25 A r n o l d 5 4 . 21 be censored, because their pernicious content could encourage immoral i ty in the audience and corrupt social values. /. The Criticism of the Zheng and Wei Folk Songs The most conspicuous—and probably earliest—examples o f " l icent ious" pieces are the Zheng and Wei folk songs (Zheng Wei zhi yin % % af ) popular in the Eastern Zhou (770 B C -256 B C ) . The Han historian B a n G u Iff 0 (32-92) offered the fo l lowing explanation for their place o f or igin: In the region of Wei there was the natural barrier of Sangjian at the upper reach of the Pu river, where men and women often gathered together. Music and sensual pleasures flourished there. Thus, it was commonly called the music of Zheng and Wei. % i$ M ^ K M ± £. PI » H & M m^,W&±M,fo®MW>ffiZ^ ,.26 Zheng and Wei were two small neighbouring states. Their folk songs probably resembled each other i n style and content, and were very different from the "elegant mus ic" (ya yue J l ^ ) highly esteemed by Confucian scholars. Confucius once commented, " [ I f one intends to govern a country, one should] banish the songs o f Zheng, and keep far from specious talkers; [because] the songs of Zheng are l icentious, [and] specious talkers are dangerous." He also said, "I 27 hate the way i n wh ich the songs o f Zheng confound the elegant music ." Another important comment on the Zheng and Wei folk songs can be found i n theLzyi 'Sf l IB (Records of Rites). In the " Y u e j i " ^ IB ("Records o f M u s i c " ) section it says: The music of Zheng and Wei was the music of a turbulent period. It was close to the lengthened sound. The music of Sangjian at the upper reach of Pu river was the music of the destruction of the state. The government fell apart, and its people became homeless. Slanders and acts of selfishness could not be checked. % % Z ^ , U> W e & , It 1ft 'W $k ; 2 6 B a n G u , Han shu Wk l r (History of the Han) ( B e i j i n g : Zhonghua shuju, 1962), v o l . 4 , 1665. ' 27mmw,mw:A\mwm,mA%°...mmwz%iMmfc.The Confucian Analects, i n Four Books, trans. James Legge (Changsha: Hunan chubanshe, 1994), (15.11) 2 0 7 , ( 1 7 . 1 8 ) 233 . 22 ± fx % m ^  "sr ± m -28 That the music contributed to "the destruction o f the state" is largely based on the fact that We i , in particular, was a po l i t i ca l ly unstable state, and its rulers were reputedly lewd and extravagant. F rom this statement we see that in Confucian aesthetic theory, there is no clear dist inct ion made between arts and pol i t ics , and they are indiscriminately cr i t ic ized together. When blaming the ruler, the entertainment and art he is fond o f are also made scapegoats o f social and pol i t ica l instability. Acco rd ing to the " Y u e j i , " "lengthened sound" (man sheng ' |H 3f ) means that the five notes o f the pentatonic scale (gong ^ , shang jgf ,jue fil , zhi and yu 20 ) are cacophonious, each breaking down the other. 2 9 Only when they are put in order w i l l "dissonance or ruined sound" (tie zhi zhi yin '[VJ W 5 l la ) be ext inguished. 3 0 It also stresses that there is an inseparable relationship between music and rites. The best music (de yin i l f , l i teral ly "virtuous sound") should be that wh ich can facilitate moral edification, social harmony, and peaceful, benevolent administration. M u s i c not in accord wi th these principles should be discouraged or banned. The " Y u e j i " also records a conversation between Marquis Wen o f Wei ft J>t fH (not the Wei state which produced " l icent ious" music) and Confucius 's disciple Z i X i a f § in order to denounce " l icent ious" mus ic . 3 1 The Marquis confesses that when he listens to ancient "elegant" music, he w i l l fal l asleep; but when he listens to the music o f Zheng and Wei or new music, he is delighted. Z i 2 8 S u n X i d a n 3 7 : 2 3 . T h e s a m e t e x t s c a n b e f o u n d i n S i m a Q i a n W] H j§ ( c a . 1 4 0 B C - - ? ) , Shiji 15 (Records of the Historian) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 6 2 ) , v o l . 4 , 1 1 7 9 - 1 2 2 5 . 29 £ # m iL , m *B IH II Z 11 . S u n 3 7 : 2 2 . Z h e n g X u a n ' s S ( 1 2 7 - 2 0 0 ) c o m m e n t a r y s ta tes tha t t h o u g h t h e m u s i c o f Z h e n g " i n d u l g e s i n l i c e n t i o u s n e s s a n d d i s s i p a t e s t h e w i l l " (hao lan yin zhi jf S S S X a n d W e i ' s i s r e s t l e s s a n d a n n o y i n g (cu su fan zhi { £ ?$i 'M ^ ), t h e y a r e n o t as p e r n i c i o u s as t h e " l e n g t h e n e d s o u n d . " S u n 3 7 : 2 3 . 3 0 S u n 3 7 : 2 1 . 3 1 S u n 3 8 : 5 1 - 5 9 . 2 3 X i a then compares ancient to new music, stating that the latter is moral ly corrupt. He defines the music o f Zheng, Song, Wei and Q i as having ni yin $f| ilf (addictive tones), and contrasts it wi th "virtuous sound." This music, he says, is l icentious (yin ^ ) and overindulgent (ni W$ ); it can disturb (fan 'M ) one's w i l l and make one arrogant (jiao Hf ) . 3 2 H e impl i c i t l y admonishes the Marquis to discard the new music, but whether or not his advice was heeded is not ment ioned. 3 3 The dist inct ion made by the " Y u e j i " between orthodox music and popular songs henceforth established an aesthetic standard which was later applied equally to literature and other forms o f art. For example, Yan Zhi tu i H ffl (531-590?) used the term "Zheng and Wei music" to explain why the literary works o f his family were not appreciated by X i a o Y i M PP (502-557), the prince o f L i ang : T h e c o m p o s i t i o n s o f o u r f a m i l y w e r e e x c e p t i o n a l l y r e f i n e d a n d c o r r e c t [ i n p r i n c i p l e s ] . T h e y d i d n o t f o l l o w t h e p r e v a l e n t s t y l e . W h e n E m p e r o r Y u a n o f L i a n g w a s s t i l l a p r i n c e , h e e d i t e d t h e History of New Literary Works of the West Office. N o n e o f o u r s w a s c o l l e c t e d i n i t . T h i s w a s b e c a u s e t h e y w e r e n o t i n a c c o r d w i t h t h e w o r l d , a n d c o n s i s t e d o f n o t o n e s o f Z h e n g a n d W e i . ^ i c w £ m , ® n m JE , ^ ^ u ® ° m m Jt & m & tit, m m m £ w wt. m -34 Zheng and Wei music in this case denotes a literary style catering to contemporary, fashionable tastes represented by flowery language and delicacy. F rom the viewpoint o f an elite l ike Yan, contemporary literature was never as excellent as the past. Their exclusion from the col lect ion only indicated that they were far too S u n 3 8 : 5 5 ; S e e a l s o Z h e n g X u a n ' s c o m m e n t a r y i n S u n , 3 8 : 5 6 . 3 3 A c c o r d i n g t o t h e History of Former Han, t h e D u k e d i d n o t a c c e p t Z i X i a ' s a d v i c e . S e e B a n , Han shu, v o l . 3 , 1 0 4 2 . T h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n i s c o m p a r a b l e w i t h B l a i s e P a s c a l ' s ( 1 6 2 3 - 1 6 6 2 ) i d e a o n d i v e r s i o n . I n Pensees h e q u e s t i o n s i f t h e k i n g m u s t b e d i v e r t e d f r o m c o n t e m p l a t i o n l i k e o r d i n a r y f o l k s a n d a s k s , " W o u l d it n o t b e a d e p r i v a t i o n o f h i s d e l i g h t f o r h i m [ the k i n g ] t o o c c u p y h i s s o u l w i t h t h e t h o u g h t o f h o w t o a d j u s t h i s s t e p s t o t h e c a d e n c e o f a n a i r , o r o f h o w t o t h r o w [a b a l l ] s k i l f u l l y , i n s t e a d o f l e a v i n g it t o e n j o y q u i e t l y the c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e m a j e s t i c g l o r y w h i c h e n c o m p a s s e s h i m ? " P a s c a l , Pansees: The Provincial Letters, t r a n s . W . F . T r o t t e r ( N e w Y o r k : M o d e r n L i b r a r y , 1 9 4 1 ) , 5 3 . 3 4 Y a n Z h i t u i , Yanshi jiaxun §S jS; He § l | (Family Instructions of the Yan Clan) ( T a i p e i : S h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 - ) , SBCKCB, 2 1 a - b . 2 4 good to be understood by ordinary people. 2. Liu Xie's Criticism of Yuefu Poetry A new poetic genre cal led Yuefu shi H Jrif f# , or M u s i c Bureau poetry, was developed i n the Han (206 B C - 2 2 0 A D ) dynasty. Its name was derived from a government music insti tution established around 120 B C . The duty o f this bureau was to provide sacrif icial music for r i tual ceremonies and to collect folk songs from provincia l areas and music from abroad for court entertainment. A m o n g the major categories o f the genre, the folk bal lad is particularly worth noting: it not only v i v i d l y delineates the life o f the Han people through its forthright expressions and simple language, but also its style greatly influenced major poets o f later dynasties, especially L i B a i ^ FJ (701-762) and B a i Juyi FJJ jgt H (772-846). The characteristics o f the bal lad are summarized by B a n G u as fol lows: A l l of them are in response to joys and sorrows, and originate from [true] events. One may also observe from them the social customs and manners, and be able to distinguish the pure and honest from the mean. ^ Us $^  ~$L ^ , B 9 M m , ix m it & , £n w m .35 B a n G u ' s remark emphasizes the spontaneity and real ism o f the bal lad, and bestows on it an educational function corresponding to Confucian literary theory. Though B a n G u ' s opinion toward Yuefu poetry was wide ly shared by ancient poets and scholars, L i u X i e §jlj $B (ca. 466-520), in his important work o f literary c r i t i c i sm, the Wenxin diaolong >C 'L\N HI f I (The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons), expresses his general disapproval o f the genre and compares it to the Zheng and Wei folk songs. Such a disapproval very possibly developed from L i u ' s rejection o f the prevai l ing ornamented literary style o f his time, typified by the parallel rhyme-prose. It is partly for this reason that his Wenxin diaolong was written, wi th an attempt to revive the Confucian literary theory in a period B a n G u , Han shu, v o l . 4 , 1 7 5 6 . 2 5 renowned for pleasure-seeking and renunciation o f traditional values." L i u X i e first traces the or ig in o f and comments on the M u s i c Bureau i n the fo l lowing passage in the chapter "Yuefu" : When Emperor Wu D i [r. 140 BC-87 BC] promoted rituals, the Music Bureau was first established. The music of Dai and Zhao was then collected, and the airs of Qi and Chu were brought together. [Li] Yannian composed lengthened tunes and harmonized them; and Zhu [Maichen] and [Si]ma [Xiangru, 179BC-117BC] wrote songs in the style of sao mode. The mixed melody of "Osmanthus Flowers" was beautiful but not classic; and the "Red Goose" and other pieces were high-flown but not refined. ^ L i u X i e disapproves o f both the folk ballads and the pieces composed by court musicians and poets because o f their heterodox nature; and does not l imi t his disapproval to music, but also includes the lyr ic and its content. For example, he cr i t ic izes the Yuefu poetry o f Cao Cao W M (155-220), Cao P i f f 35 (187-226) and Cao R u i W #3( (205-239) as fol lows: The three rulers of the Wei [220-265], quick-witted and richly endowed, cut up words and tunes to form sensuous music and commonplace rhythm. In their "Going Up North," "Autumn Wind," and so on, the themes are either convivial banquets or complaints against military campaigns; their meanings are no more than inordinate pleasures, with their language not exceeding mournful thoughts. Although their work is consistent with the F o r a d e t a i l e d s t u d y o n L i u X i e ' s c l a s s i c i s m , see V i n c e n t Y u - c h u n g S h i h , The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons: A Study of Thought and Pattern in Chinese Literature ( H o n g K o n g : C h i n e s e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 3 ) , x i - x l v i . A l t h o u g h Y u d o e s n o t q u i t e a g r e e t h a t L i u w a s a g e n u i n e c l a s s i c i s t a n d a r g u e s t h a t L i u ' s " v i e w o f t h e s c o p e o f l i t e r a t u r e is b r o a d , " h e n e v e r t h e l e s s p o i n t s o u t h o w L i u i n c o r p o r a t e s C o n f u c i a n l i t e r a r y t h e o r y i n t o t h e Wenxin diaolong. 3 7 Z h a n Y i n g i f t ' ^ j z , Wenxin diaolong yizheng ~$C ;jj> f| i i f§ (Textual Study of the Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 4 ) , v o l . 1, 2 3 5 . T r a n s l a t i o n b a s e d o n V i n c e n t Y u - c h u n g S h i h , The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons: A Study of Thought and Pattern in Chinese Literature ( H o n g K o n g : C h i n e s e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 3 ) , 8 1 . " O s m a n t h u s F l o w e r s " i s o n e o f t h e s e v e n t e e n p i e c e s o f t h e " S o n g s t o S e t t h e W o r l d at E a s e , f o r P r i v a t e P e r f o r m a n c e " 3c W J § 41 W. a t t r i b u t e d t o L a d y T a n g s h a n H f [ ± | , a c o n s o r t o f E m p e r o r G a o Z u if? H (r. 2 0 6 B C - 1 9 5 B C ) o f t h e H a n . " E l e p h a n t C a r r y i n g t h e L u s t r e o f G e m s " ^ it? Jftr w a s w r i t t e n b y E m p e r o r W u D i a f t e r h e c a u g h t a r e d g o o s e i n 9 4 B C . T h e p o e m s c a n b e s e e n i n G u o M a o q i a n f|5 J5O f n ( 0 - t w e l f t h c e n t u r y ) , Yuefu shiji ^ M f # M (Collected Music Bureau Poetry) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 9 1 ) , v o l . 1, 1 1 0 , 3 . m l Eft , 2 6 three modes [of the Han], indeed it is the Zheng music when compared with the "Shao" and " X i a . " = M , # 0 t p z p . m n it ± & ^\ , w m m n , m m m = II z IE m , m m a z m a .38 The Yuefu poetry o f the Caos, especially o f Cao Cao, is now valued as one o f the best examples o f the genre. He lp ing establish the "J ian 'an" H style, they borrowed titles from traditional Yuefu pieces and described turbulent current events, g iv ing free rein to their feelings wi th rugged poetic language and vigorous expressions. The " G o i n g U p N o r t h " and "Au tumn W i n d " denounced by L i u X i e had long been wide ly acknowledged as two excellent pieces, the former depicting the hardships suffered by the soldiers during a Northern expedit ion, and the latter about a solitary woman in her chamber longing for her wandering lover or husband. Poems on such themes certainly cannot avoid being emotional. But i f in L i u X i e ' s op in ion they are too "excessive," then in what k ind o f style should one write? Acco rd ing to L i u X i e , since music is an art "originat ing from the devices o f the m i n d , " and its influence can "penetrate one's very fibre and marrow," ancient sage-kings took great pains to check its excesses. 3 9 But Yuefu music had lost the "even-tempered and harmonious sound" (zhong he zhi xiang tip ^0 Z i f ), the essential feature o f "orthodox" music. It was merely an "addictive sound" much as the " Y u e j i " c r i t i c i zes . 4 0 Just as popular culture lures the general audience away from the "common culture" i n the Leavis i tes ' theory, L i u also contends that Yuefu music and poetry are pernicious because they lure people away from the ancient, elegant work: As for love songs, tender and sentimental, expressing resentful moods and the decision of final separation, they overflow with licentious words. How, 3 8 Z h a n 2 4 3 . T r a n s l a t i o n b a s e d o n S h i h , 8 1 . " G o i n g U p N o r t h , " o r " B e i s h a n g , " i s t h e f i r s t t w o w o r d s o f t h e " S u f f e r i n g F r o m t h e C o l d " l i s f j , a s o n g w r i t t e n b y C a o C a o ; " A u t u m n W i n d " i s t h e f i r s t t w o w o r d s o f C a o P i ' s " B a l l a d o f Y a n " ffi f£ fx . S e e G u o , v o l . 2 , 4 9 6 , 4 6 9 . T h e " t h r e e m o d e s o f t h e H a n " i n c l u d e t h e P i n g z p , Q i n g a n d S e M m o d e s . " S h a o " a n d " X i a " w e r e m u s i c o f t h e a n c i e n t s a g e - k i n g s S h u n ^ a n d Y u 3f , p a r a d i g m s f o r v i r t u o u s m u s i c . ^ m * >k m , & m m m m , 9t m m , ffi m m m . z h a n 229; shih 79. Z h a n 2 3 2 . 2 7 then, is it possible for legitimate sound to emerge? However, the popular tastes of music prevail swiftly, indulging in competing with each other with novel and strange [elements]. [When listening to] elegant chants, which are gentle and full of dignity, people surely wi l l stretch and yawn; but [when they listen] to extraordinary language, as [their expressions] are extremely intimate, they wi l l slap their thighs and jump for joy. From then on both poetry and music are directed towards the Zheng style. § A S 1 i F rom here, we see the deep-rooted influences o f Confucian aesthetics: Contemporary popular art is inferior and licentious, because its language and expressions are "extremely intimate" to human affections (qie zhi kj] M ), and its major objective is merely to exploit "novel and strange" (xin yi fjf Jt- ) devices for a common audience l ike the theatre-goers i n Goethe's comments. The two poems o f the Caos mentioned above possess a l l these qualities o f a " l icent ious" work: both are intimate to human affections, and Cao P i ' s poem was written in the unusual heptasyllabic form. For L i u X i e , it is only by rejecting this emotionally excessive and unconventional poetry (and art) that a proper artistic style can be regained. Yet, his p r imi t iv i sm is only a fancy nourished by a nostalgia for a legendary period, an attitude commonly shared by ci cri t ics o f the later dynasties. 3. The Tradition of Folk Song Refinement Since the folk song was thought to be inferior in craftsmanship and occasionally immoral in content, Confucian scholars had from the start the intention to " improve" its quality by expurgating its "vulgar" elements and modifying it to fit their moral and aesthetic standards. This refining process was sometimes done alongside a rigorous selection o f the collected folk pieces. The earliest and most significant example o f the selective tradition was the compila t ion o f the Shijing. Acco rd ing to S ima Qian ' s Shiji, 4 1 Z h a n 2 5 5 . T r a n s l a t i o n b a s e d o n S h i h , 8 5 . T h e l o v e s o n g a b o u t f i n a l s e p a r a t i o n p r o b a b l y r e f e r s t o t h e H a n Yuefu p i e c e " W h i t e H e a d L a m e n t " Ezl H & v , i n w h i c h a w o m a n d e c l a r e s h e r d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e h e r f i c k l e l o v e r . S e e G u o , v o l . 2 , 5 9 9 - 6 0 0 . 2 8 [T]here were more than three thousand poems in ancient times. By the time of Confucius, the duplications had been eliminated, and those which could be applied to rites and righteousness were selected. . . . Of the three hundred and five poems [he chose], Confucius set all of them to songs, in order to fit them to the music of "Shao," "Wu," "Ya" and "Song." ^ # To say that the or iginal number o f ancient poems was more than three thousand may be just conjecture, and that Confucius edited the Shijing s imply f ic t i t ious . 4 3 Nevertheless, it is highly possible that plenty o f folk songs were excluded from the col lect ion either because o f their " l icent ious" content or unrefined qualities. Whatever happened, it is s t i l l certain beyond any doubt that the Shijing we read today had been screened by one or more ancient edi tors . 4 4 The practice o f refining the literary quality o f folk songs by a specific elite writer is first clearly indicated in Wang Y i ' s EE (d. A D 158) Chuci zhangju lit iff i p L 'qj (Commentaries on the Songs of Chu). The Chuci, or the Chu Elegies, emerged in south Ch ina in the Warring States period (47'5-221 B C ) , was or iginal ly used i n shamanistic rituals for the purposes o f rain-making, fortune-te l l ing, the summoning o f wandering souls and the treatment o f i l lness. Abundant S i m a Q i a n , v o l . 6 , 1 9 3 6 . " W u " w a s a p i e c e o f m u s i c a s c r i b e d t o K i n g W u o f Z h o u ; " Y a " a n d " S o n g " w e r e t w o c a t e g o r i e s o f m u s i c i n t h e Shijing. T o g e t h e r w i t h " S h a o , " t h e y w e r e a l l s a i d t o b e e l e g a n t m u s i c . 4 3 In t h e Zuo Biographies 2n {$. it is r e c o r d e d tha t i n 5 4 4 B C , J i Z h a ^ ft, t h e P r i n c e o f W u ^ , l i s t e n e d t o a p e r f o r m a n c e o f t h e p o e m s i n the S t a t e o f L u H , a n d the a r r a n g e m e n t o f t h e o r d e r o f t h o s e p o e m s w a s q u i t e s i m i l a r t o t h e p r e s e n t Shijing v e r s i o n . I n tha t y e a r , C o n f u c i u s w a s o n l y e i g h t y e a r s o l d , t h u s w o u l d h a v e b e e n i m p o s s i b l e f o r h i m t o c o m p i l e a n d e d i t t h e p o e m s . D u Y u tt 5! ( 2 2 2 - 2 8 4 ) , Chunqiu zuozhuan jijie § fX. ix. fH Hi IPP {Collected Exegeses of the Annals of Spring and Autumn Period and the Zuo Biographies) ( S h a n g h a i : R e n m i n c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 7 7 ) , v o l . 3 , 1 1 2 0 - 1 1 2 2 . 4 4 H o w e v e r , n o t e tha t s o m e p i e c e s i n t h e c o l l e c t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e a b o u t r o m a n t i c l o v e , a r e n o t c o m p l e t e l y i n a c c o r d w i t h the C o n f u c i a n m o r a l s o f l a t e r p e r i o d s . T h e y a r e s i m p l y , as C o n f u c i u s s a y s i n t h e Analects, " h a v i n g n o d e p r a v e d t h o u g h t s " Jf|$, a n d t h a t i s a l l . N o h i d d e n o r e x a l t e d m e a n i n g is c o n t a i n e d . B u t t h e H a n e x e g e t e s o v e r - i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s s t a t e m e n t a n d v a r i o u s o t h e r s i n t h e Analects, a n d t h u s m o r a l i z e d a l l t h e p i e c e s a l l e g o r i c a l l y , s a y i n g , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e " G u a n j u " Ufl Hi i s a b o u t t h e v i r t u e o f a c e r t a i n p r i n c e o r p r i n c e s s , a n d t h e " Q i n w e i " \% ^ s a t i r i z e s t h e d e b a u c h e r y o f t h e p e o p l e o f Z h e n g . T h e a n c i e n t e d i t o r ( s ) o f the Shijing m i g h t h a v e a p p r o a c h e d t h e i r s e l e c t i v e p r o c e s s f r o m a m o r a l s t a n d p o i n t , b u t t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t h e p i e c e s a n d t h e i r r e a s o n s f o r s e l e c t i n g t h e m c o u l d h a v e b e e n v e r y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e H a n e x e g e t e s . s ?L ? , s n a , n n ^ m m m , ?L ^ m & IR £ , \x * & m - n 2 9 material in the col lect ion, particularly the " J i u ge" fi |f£ ("Nine Songs"), is about courting and love trysts: a shaman (or shamaness) quests for a goddess (or god) in order to w i n her (or his) favour. For this reason, the religious practices and their r i tual songs were cr i t ic ized as at best erotic and at worst vulgar and lewd. The refinement o f the C h u folk songs, Wang Y i c laims, was largely due to the efforts o f Q u Yuan | g j g (ca. 340 B C - 2 7 8 B C ) , the "first great poet" o f China . In the old days the people of Chu who lived in the area around Ying, that is, the southern capital of Chu, and the lands lying between the rivers Yuan and Xiang were a superstitious folk much addicted to a kind of religious rite in which they entertained various gods with singing, drumming and dancing. After his banishment, when Qu Yuan was living in hiding in this area, he would sometimes emerge to seek distraction from the burden of grief and care which oppressed him by observing the villagers at these religious festivals, singing and dancing to delight the gods. Seeing that the words of these songs were vulgar and uncouth, he then wrote the "Nine Songs" for the people. # @ M ^ SB Z B , U - ffl Z W , g m ft % m u , s IE ,& f£ m m m. m & m m m ° m m m m s & s m , m m ^ m , m jg m m , m n ® A mm zm,mnzm,i%mw>m,mm ft AWZ Ah 45 Al though Q u Yuan 's authorship o f the " J i u ge" is s t i l l a contentious issue, it does not rule out the possibi l i ty that a certain literatus had rewritten the shamanistic songs. The style and content o f the song cycle probably remains very much the same as the folk pieces, but the literary language might have changed radically. Unfortunately, no folk song s imilar to this type is passed down for us to compare wi th the " J i u ge." 4 5 W a n g Y i , Chuci zhangju ( C h a n g s h a : S h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 3 9 ) , CSJC, 2 : 2 4 . T r a n s l a t i o n b y D a v i d H a w k e s w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s , The Songs of the South ( L o n d o n : P e n g u i n , 1 9 8 5 ) , 9 6 . W a n g ' s s t a t e m e n t is f u r t h e r e l a b o r a t e d b y Z h u X i ^ J | ( 1 1 3 0 - 1 2 2 0 ) i n h i s Chuci jizhu ® f$ M & (Collected Commentaries on the Songs of Chu), i n w h i c h h e s a y s , " T h e " N i n e S o n g s " w e r e c o m p o s e d b y Q u Y u a n . . . . T h e c u s t o m s o f t h e b a r b a r o u s r e g i o n o f J i n g [ i . e . S o u t h C h i n a ] w e r e r u s t i c . N o t o n l y w e r e t h e w o r d s [ o f t h e s o n g s ] i n f e r i o r a n d v u l g a r , b u t t h e w o r s h i p o f yin a n d yang, as w e l l a s h u m a n b e i n g s a n d g h o s t s , w a s a l s o n o t w i t h o u t a m i x t u r e o f p r o f a n i t y , r u d e n e s s a n d l i c e n t i o u s n e s s . A s [ Q u ] Y u a n w a s b a n i s h e d , w h e n h e s a w t h e s e h e w a s d e e p l y m o v e d . T h e r e f o r e , h e a l t e r e d q u i t e a f e w o f t h e w o r d s , a n d r e m o v e d t h e e x c e s s i v e e l e m e n t s , fi ^ , jgj Hi 2. fj\ ft m • • • • m % J m ® , m m m., w g m m A m z m , ^ m ^ m m m m m w z m ° uc ^ m m , ^ m m z , ^ m m ^ . ^ ^ m , i : n m H . S e e Z h u , Chuci jizhu ( H o n g K o n g : J i n g z i y a n j i u s h e , n . d . ) , 2 : 2 9 . 3 0 The influence o f Wang Y i ' s statement has been far-reaching. El i te poets o f later times, particularly those who were banished from court and had the chance to hear the local folk tunes where they governed, often took Q u Yuan as a model when rewrit ing folk verse. L i u Y u x i glj M % (772-842) and Su Shi H (1036-1101) are two good examples. In the fo l lowing prefaces to their folk style poems, each clearly expresses his intention to refine "vulgar" songs. In the first month, I came to Jianping. Children in the village sang "Bamboo Branch" together. . . . Though the rustic could not be distinguished [from other songs?], they were deep in emotion and lovely, resembling the love song " Q i Y u " [i.e., a piece in the Shijing]. In the old days, when Qu Yuan lived around Yuan and Xiang, he saw that the words of the songs which the villagers used to please the gods were inferior, and thus composed the "Nine Songs." They are still played in Jing and Chu to this day. Therefore I also write nine pieces of the "Bamboo Branch" for those good at singing to spread far and wide. I attach these pieces at the end of my collection. Those of later generations, when they listen to the folk songs of Sichuan, w i l l know where these modified tunes came from. J§| IE f4i , zfc 3fc H ^ , 1 * ^ i 1 W • . . . S I f & # ^ o T # , m 3 - J g l ! B « . , m m m z is • # m m m u m m , K S m m , m # m m , 7b m ft ti m , m m ^ m & wt m z ° & & ft w & A n , n m w m m z • i ^ * , i ^ ^ G K , a m m z s n -46 On a trip to the Mountain of Nine Immortals, I heard children in the village sing "Flowers on the Field Paths." . . . So deep in emotion and lovely is the tune that when I heard it I felt sad. But the words are vulgar and unrefined, and thus I change them as follows . . . % f[Jj [JL| , ffl S ^ 5£ K ± ? £ °... i$ & m w , m z m m , m n m m m , m % z 5 . . . 4 7 One may notice that the approach o f these prefaces is s tr ikingly s imilar to Wang Y i ' s statement on the " J i u ge." They al l describe the words o f folk verse as "vulgar" and " infer ior" (bi lou MP ft@ or bi ye g|3 U ). F r o m their point o f view, this is the very reason that these folk verse should be rewritten ( L i u even cites the L i u Y u x i , Liu Binke wenji -glj H ^ 3t ft (Liu Yuxi Collected Literature) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 3 7 ) , CSJC, 2 7 : 2 2 2 . 4 7 W a n g W e n g a o 3 i j5£ I D e d . , Su Shi shiji f| 3 $ If ft (Collected Poetry of Su Shi) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 8 2 ) , 1 0 : 4 9 3 . 31 example o f Q u Yuan to support his desire to rewrite the "Bamboo Branch") . Such a snobbish attitude toward popular or folk art, as w e l l as the fastidious selective practice, are also evident in conventional ci c r i t ic i sm and the process o f anthologizing ci lyr ics . Part 2: The Moderate and Optimistic View I. The Western Moderates and Optimists in the Modern Period Moderate and optimist opinions on popular culture were never lacking in the Western intellectual wor ld , though they were rather dimmed by "the Pascalian condemnation o f a l l entertainment." 4 9 In recent decades, when the more analytical , socioeconomic approach was adopted into the field and popular culture was increasingly accepted as an inseparable part o f Western c iv i l i za t ion , they f inal ly succeeded in balancing the conservative attitude and now occupy the dominant posi t ion. 1. Raymond Williams and his "Long Revolution" The defensive stance the elite takes in regard to its own culture results in an aesthetic theory largely absorbed in the internal activities o f the creative mind. Such a theory states that the artists are specially inspired, and that their task is to discover a "superior reality," wh ich is the direct expression o f their purely "aesthetic" experience. 5 0 It is not their fault i f the meanings o f their works are not successfully transmitted to others, but that o f the others, who are advised to be patient in the process o f understanding so as to accept them eventually. This opinion, that valuable art is "new" (different from the T h e w a y s i n w h i c h t h e s e p o e t s c a m e i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h f o l k s o n g s w e r e v e r y m u c h i n c o m m o n : t h e y h e a r d t h e s e s o n g s f r o m t h e v i l l a g e r s i n r e m o t e r e g i o n s d u r i n g t h e i r b a n i s h m e n t . B u t i n t h e i r p r e f a c e s , L i u a n d S u d i d n o t r e v e a l t h e f a c t tha t t h e y w e r e d e m o t e d . I n s t e a d , t h e i r u n h a p p y s i t u a t i o n s w e r e i m p l i e d b y t h e i r c o m m e n t s w h i c h d e s c r i b e d t h e f o l k s o n g s as " d e e p i n e m o t i o n , " a g a i n s i m i l a r t o W a n g Y i . It is p l a u s i b l e , t h e r e f o r e , t o s a y tha t t h e p r a c t i c e o f r e f i n i n g t h e f o l k s o n g d o e s n o t m e r e l y s t e m f r o m a e s t h e t i c c o n v e n t i o n s . W i t h i n it t h e r e a r e s t r o n g p o l i t i c a l o v e r t o n e s . 4 9 L o w e n t h a l 4 5 . 5 0 W i l l i a m s , The Long Revolution ( L o n d o n : C h a t t o a n d W i n d u s , 1 9 6 1 ) , 2 9 , 2 0 . 3 2 "new" elements i n popular art wh ich a im to please the commoners) and entirely creative, is rejected by Raymond W i l l i a m s in his Long Revolution. To h im, the creative activity o f art is verif ied by "our new understanding o f perception and communicat ion . . . in terms o f a general human creat ivi ty." 5 1 Without sufficient communicat ion between the artist and society, or between the offered meanings and the common meanings, a work o f art is difficult to accept. Thus, he disapproves o f J . Z . Young ' s argument that the creative artist is an observer whose brain works in new ways, making it possible for him to convey information to others about matters that were not a subject for communication before.5 2 A c c o r d i n g to W i l l i a m s , "communicat ion is the crux o f art ." 5 3 He finds that despite the fact that Young 's words may be true for "the usual run o f art," actually "the really bad art" is also created in this way; for the artist who believes in this fails to notice his relationship wi th the recipient and thus fails to communicate. Though not totally in disagreement wi th the importance o f the artist 's ind iv idua l experience, W i l l i a m s states that some experience o f art, inc luding great art, is not "new" at a l l , but derived from the shared values o f the society. A l s o , to be a successful artist a person is not bound to isolate h imse l f from the crowd. He looks back at the history o f art and says, In many societies it has been the function of art to embody what we can call the common meanings of the society. The artist is not describing new experiences, but embodying known experiences. There is great danger in the assumption that art serves only on the frontiers of knowledge. . . . It is often through the art that the society expresses its sense of being a society. The artist, in this case, is not the lonely explorer, but the voice of his community. Even in our own complex society, certain artists seem near the centre of common experience while others seem out on the frontiers, and it would be wrong to assume that this difference is the difference between "mediocre art" and "great art." Not all "strange" art, by any means, is found valuable, nor is all "familiar" art found valueless. 5 4 5 1 W i l l i a m s 2 8 . 5 2 Q u o t e d i n W i l l i a m s , 2 8 . 5 3 W i l l i a m s 2 9 . 5 4 W i l l i a m s 3 0 . 3 3 In other words, great art is not defined by how distant the art is from the crowd. Fami l ia r art, wh ich is closer to "shared societal meanings" than high art, can be great art as w e l l . But what k ind o f "communi ty" is referred to, and how exactly a great art is defined, is not clearly explained by W i l l i a m s . It seems that in his opinion, the value o f art is mainly determined by social acceptance, whi le aesthetic factors are secondary. W i l l i a m s does not directly connect the " famil iar" art to popular art, but one can s t i l l easily sense that it is an art which is appealing to common taste (whether it is vulgar or decent is another matter). H i s preference for familiar art is further displayed by the fo l lowing argument: . . . in the process of communication, the exact degree of relation between his [i.e. the artist's] personal meanings and the common meanings will be of vital importance. Where the relation is very close, he will be able to draw in a direct way on practised means of communication, with which his audience will be familiar. So far from this being simply "conventional" art, with the implication that it is less likely to be valuable, it is probably that most great art has been made in these conditions.55 W i l l i a m s further emphasizes that not only should art be made to communicate, but it should be made in such a way that it can be "actively re-created—not 'contemplated, ' not 'examined, ' not passively received"—by those to whom it is offered. 5 6 W i l l i a m s agrees that some offered meanings might be rejected in i t ia l ly , but they are gradually "composed into new common meanings" and can be f inal ly accepted. This is the process o f change in art and the evolut ion o f human culture (e.g. Stravinsky 's music and Piccaso 's painting). However, he also points out that, "beyond a certain point, a new meaning could hardly be communicated at a l l , or perhaps even descr ibed." 5 7 W i l l i a m s seems to suggest that since "convent ional" art can be actively re-created by a majority o f the audience, it can become "great art" more easily than the "strange" variety. Thus, to conclude his theory, "great art" is W i l l i a m s 3 2 . W i l l i a m s 3 4 . W i l l i a m s 3 2 , 3 3 . 3 4 art wh ich is w e l l accepted by many people; and so to a certain extent is "popular." W i l l i a m s ' s attitude toward "famil iar" art is based on his be l ie f that the study o f culture is "the study o f relationships between elements in a whole way o f l i f e . " 5 8 He overtly rejects A r n o l d ' s definit ion, wh ich perceives culture as the pursuit o f human perfection, as inadequate. In his opinion, the three categories in the defini t ion o f culture—namely 1) the " idea l , " i n wh ich culture is a state or process o f human perfection; 2) the "documentary" records, that is , the recorded texts and practices o f culture; and 3) the " soc ia l " defini t ion o f culture, in wh ich culture is a description o f a particular way o f life—should a l l be included in any viable theory o f cul ture . 5 9 The value o f art, therefore, should also be considered in the wider context o f the human community. The assumption that art should be separated from ordinary l i v ing is as erroneous as "the dismissal o f art as unpractical or secondary." 6 0 Though W i l l i a m s tries in different places to balance his views and remain neutral in his discussion o f high and "fami l ia r" art, it is clear that he is speaking in favour o f common taste. A s a cultural cr i t ic , he focuses chiefly on the social function o f art, and touches on its actual evaluation relatively infrequently; this is perhaps the most common defect in the field o f the study o f popular culture. Cul tura l theorists analyze art basically from a pol i t ica l and socioeconomic point o f view, but generally neglect the aesthetic value o f art itself. Perhaps they think this is the job o f literary cr i t ic i sm. However, any study o f art w i l l be inadequate without taking into account the analysis o f artistic features. Even more erroneous are those opinions wh ich judge the value o f art solely on the class background o f the producer. The theory o f popular culture, from its inception in the nineteenth century, has been troubled precisely by these shortcomings. 2. Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel Instead o f indiscriminately condemning popular culture as "bad art," cultural crit ics in the sixties began to consider it 5 8 W i l l i a m s 4 6 . 5 9 W i l l i a m s 4 1 . 6 0 W i l l i a m s 37. 35 worth studying, partly because popular culture had been increasing become an inseparable part o f Western, especially Amer ican , culture. Their reason was that since it is a l ived culture o f ordinary persons, it provides the essential cultural texts and practices for reconstructing the "structure o f feel ing," or shared values o f a society. 6 1 The Popular Arts by Stuart H a l l and Paddy Whannel is one o f the most influential works wh ich discusses popular culture in a relatively positive manner. Its concern is no longer the traditional conflict between high and popular culture, but a conflict wi th in the mass media about what k ind o f popular culture should be produced. The main thesis o f the book consists o f two parts. The first is to advocate "a cr i t ica l method for handling . . . problems o f value and evaluation" in the study o f popular culture. It argues that not a l l popular culture is detrimental. What is mostly important is "to train a more demanding audience" who w i l l require "good" popular culture rather than "bad . " 6 2 H a l l and Whannel especially emphasize the necessity o f this training in discr iminat ion i n classroom teaching, since young people are most l i ke ly to be influenced by popular culture. They also suggest that, though there is a difference o f value between high and popular culture, one must judge them separately, "recognize [their] different aims, . . . [and] assess varying achievements wi th defined l i m i t s . " 6 3 L i k e W i l l i a m s , H a l l and Whannel evidently try to reject the conservatism and pessimism o f the Leavisi tes. The desire to return to the organic community is a cultural nostalgia which only those who did not experience the cramping and inhuman conditions of that life can seriously indulge. 6 4 But in essence they s t i l l remain wi th in the shadow o f Leav is i sm, as they propose in the second part o f their thesis that wi th in popular culture there is a distinct category cal led "popular art" which is qualitatively close to "high art." The 6 1 S t o r e y , An Introductory Guide, 6 7 . 6 2 S t u a r t H a l l a n d P a d d y W h a n n e l , The Popular Arts ( N e w Y o r k : P a n t h e o n B o o k s , 1 9 6 5 ) , 1 5 , 3 5 . 6 3 H a l l a n d W h a n n e l , 3 8 . 6 4 H a l l a n d W h a n n e l , 5 3 . 3 6 examples they provide include music hal l performance, Char l ie Chap l in ' s movies and j azz music. They also condemn the contemporary "mass art" as the Leavisi tes and other mass culture crit ics do, seeing it as a corrupt version o f the "popular art ." 6 5 The difference is, they insist, that "popular art" is an art found within popular culture itself, not the " fo lk art" celebrated by Leav is i sm, and it is a k ind o f valuable popular culture they argue for. Popular art . . . is essentially a conventional art which restates, in an intense form, values and attitudes already known; which reassures and reaffirms, but brings to this something of the surprise of art as well as the shock of recognition. Such art has in common with folk art the genuine contact between audience and performer: but it differs from folk art in that it is an individualized art, the art of the known performer. The audience-as-community has come to depend on the performer's skills, and on the force of a personal style, to articulate its common values and interpret its experience.66 H a l l and Whannel ' s concept o f "popular art" is obviously derived from W i l l i a m s ' s " fami l ia r" or "conventional art." It is not an art wh ich consciously aims at creating its own conventions or breaking the conventions already made, but is rather "confirming known experiences and values." It is not " fo lk art" either, but a remarkable affinity between it and "fo lk art" s t i l l can be found. Acco rd ing to H a l l and Whannel , in music hal l performance, "certain ' f o l k ' elements were carried through." Its presentation o f shared values and communal experiences—those brought about by "fo lk art"-reestablished a "rapport" between the performer and audience. So as Chap l in ' s movies, for his art was also derived from music hal l performance. 6 7 This rapport is not to be found in the corrupt, highly manipulative and impersonal "mass art." But a problem arises when H a l l and Whannel confess that "a great deal o f the music hal l was poor and second-rate." 6 8 One might be then prompted to question whether a l l the art forms they define as "popular art" are superior, and others they generally disapprove of—for example, pop music—are H a l l a n d W h a n n e l , 6 8 - 9 . H a l l a n d W h a n n e l , 6 6 . H a l l a n d W h a n n e l , 5 7 , 5 9 , 6 1 - 6 5 . H a l l a n d W h a n n e l , 5 6 . 3 7 really inferior. H a l l and Whannel ' s proposit ion o f training aesthetic discr iminat ion wi th in popular culture is a major contribution to popular culture theory. But their attempt to categorize popular culture ignores the wide variat ion i n quality wi th in any given genre. Moreover , their idea o f training "a more demanding audience" i n school , as John Storey comments, seems to "suggest that because most school students do not have access . . . to the best that has been thought and said, they can instead be given cr i t ical access to the best that has been thought and said wi th in the popular arts o f the new mass med ia . " 6 9 One might also ask who w i l l provide this training and decide for these students what is the best. The answer is very l ike ly not the students themselves but the teachers who are trained to comply wi th the aesthetic standards o f the cultural crit ics l ike H a l l and Whannel . 3. Herbert J. Gans Compared to W i l l i a m s , H a l l and some others, Herbert Gans ' s theory o f popular culture has gone relatively unnoticed, yet his Popular Culture and High Culture provides some perceptive insights. H i s first important thesis is that since both high and popular culture consist o f certain s imilar characteristics, "the differences between [them] as economic institutions are smaller than suggested." Both cultures encourage innovation and experimentation, but are likely to reject the innovator i f his innovation is not accepted by audiences. High culture experiments that are rejected by audiences in the creator's lifetime may, however, become classics in another era, whereas popular culture experiments are forgotten i f not immediately successful. Even so, in both cultures innovation is rare, although in high culture it is celebrated and in popular culture it is taken for granted. A number of studies have indicated that creators are communicating with an audience, real or imagined, even in high culture, and that the stereotypes of the lonely high culture artist who creates only for himself or herself, and of the popular culture creators who suppress their own values and cater only to an audience, are both false. 7 0 S t o r e y , Introductory Guide, 6 6 . G a n s 2 1 , 2 2 - 2 3 . 3 8 Gans 's theory is , in W i l l i a m s ' s d ic t ion, that ind iv idual meaning which fails to reflect the common meaning o f a society or a social group w i l l often be in i t i a l ly or even indefinitely rejected, and that communicat ion is essential at every level o f art. This point is w e l l taken; however, it must be pointed out that though communicat ion is needed in both arts, high art s t i l l differs from popular art in the size o f audience it provides for. Some forms o f high art, say, avant-garde music, usually a im at a small coterie to transmit for them an esoteric message, wh ich ordinary people would not easily understand or appreciate. Even so, I assume that many elite artists would be happy to see their works accepted by more people (this is why A r n o l d wishes to "make the best that has been thought and known in the wor ld current everywhere"). It is extremely rare for an art to be created for no one but the artist himself. A n awareness o f the similari t ies between different cultures and audiences leads Gans to cr i t ic ize mass culture theory. He condemns mass culture crit ics for imposing their own cultural values on other forms o f culture "wh ich not only ignores other people's private evaluations but seeks to eliminate them altogether." A l s o , l ike W i l l i a m s , he argues that cultural nostalgia has ignored the backwardness and unfavourable social conditions o f ordinary people. On one hand, "h igh culture advocates [are] self-serving," and "mask their self-interest as the public interest." O n the other hand, they exaggerate the harmfulness o f popular culture, not aware that, "popular culture has played a useful role in the process o f enabling ordinary people to become individuals , develop their identities, and find ways o f achieving 7 1 creativity and self-expression." Gans further points out that the boundaries between different "taste cultures" and their audiences are quite f lexible and frequently overlap. In the real world, many items of culture can be classified as being part of two cultures, and may in fact be shared by two publics. Moreover, some people regularly choose from more than one culture and thus can be classified as being in more than one public. 7 2 7 1 Gans 1 2 1 , 5 6 , 6 2 , 5 7 . 7 2 Gans 7 2 . 3 9 Accord ing to Gans, "taste cultures" often borrow from one another. Their "content is often transformed to make it understandable or acceptable to different publ ics . " Producers o f different social backgrounds w i l l also, occasionally, choose materials "from a much higher or lower cul ture ." 7 3 This downward or upward mobi l i ty he calls "cultural straddling." It requires us to consider that the definitions o f specific cultural forms and tastes are always subject to change, and the process o f production and consumption, as we l l as the relationship between them, can also be displayed in variable patterns. Therefore, in cultural studies, especially the study o f popular culture, one should avoid using the yardstick o f only one particular cultural and aesthetic system to make value judgements. On the other hand, it should not abandon standards altogether, leading to the uncri t ical re lat ivism and aesthetic uncertainty characteristic o f postmodernism. 4. Cultural Populism Cul tura l populists consciously refute cultural e l i t i sm, arguing that popular culture cannot be interpreted as a culture made use of and produced by the dominant class to exploit and manipulate the thoughts and actions of consumers. John Fiske, the most prominent figure o f cultural popul ism, makes the fo l lowing statement: Popular culture is made by subordinated people in their own interests out of resources that also, contradictorily, serve the economic interests of the dominant. Popular culture is made from within and below, not imposed from without or above as mass cultural theorists would have it. There is always an element of popular culture that lies outside social control, that escapes or opposes hegemonic forces. Popular culture is always a culture of conflict, it always involves the struggle to make social meanings that are in the interests of the subordinate and that are not those preferred by the dominant ideology.74 Fiske rejects the v iew that consumers are "cultural dopes . . . a passive, helpless mass incapable o f discr iminat ion and thus at the economic, cultural , and po l i t i ca l 7 3 G a n s 110 , 1 0 8 - 9 . T o s u p p o r t h i s t h e o r y , h e f u r t h e r q u o t e s S u s a n S o n t a g ' s s t a t e m e n t w h i c h p o i n t s o u t t h a t " t a s t e t e n d s t o d e v e l o p u n e v e n l y . I t ' s r a r e t h a t the s a m e p e r s o n h a s g o o d v i s u a l t a s te a n d g o o d ta s te i n p e o p l e a n d g o o d ta s te i n i d e a s . " Q u o t e d i n G a n s , 1 1 0 . 7 4 J o h n F i s k e , Reading the Popular ( B o s t o n : U n w i n H y m a n , 1 9 8 9 ) , 2. 4 0 mercy o f the barons o f the industry." 7 5 In his scenario o f "semiotic guerri l la warfare," these consumers, l ike "guerr i l la fighters," constantly resist and evade the homogenizing, incorporating force o f the dominant ideology in capitalist society wi th their social and cultural heterogeneity. 7 6 Such an opinion, however, not only ignores the fact that many popular cultural forms are produced from above, but also overestimates the po l i t i ca l and aesthetic sensibil i ty o f the ordinary consumers. It might be applicable to intellectuals l ike Fiske himself, but most o f the consumers o f popular culture, I believe, are s t i l l unable to "excorporate" cultural goods, using them in their own "opposit ional or subversive interests." 7 7 Overa l l , F i ske ' s conception o f popular culture is extremely po l i t i ca l . He claims that culture is "centrally involved in the distribution and possible redistribution o f various forms o f social power," and popular culture has a "po l i t i ca l potential" which is "progressive" rather than " radica l . " Its resistance to dominant ideology, in his opinion, "[does] have a social dimension at the micro level . . . [and w i l l ] act as a constant erosive force upon the macro, weakening the system from wi th in so that it is more amenable to change at the structural l eve l . " In other words, i n contrast to hegemony theory, Fiske contends that popular culture, through its subversive and opposit ional use by the subordinated classes, can gradually and ultimately transform the social structure o f capital ism. But his opinion is no more than "an over-reaction to the e l i t i sm o f theories o f popular cu l ture ." 7 9 For general audiences, the main purpose o f watching a movie , for example, is always to have fun, to obtain pleasure and relaxation. It is only a secondary wi sh for them to be inspired and educated by the message o f the f i l m , which is constantly received in an unexpected, passive situation. H o w can such a 7 5 F i s k e , " T h e P o p u l a r E c o n o m y , " i n Television Culture ( L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e , 1 9 8 7 ) . In S t o r e y , Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 4 9 5 . 7 6 Q u o t e d i n S t o r e y , Introductory Guide, 1 8 6 . 7 7 F i s k e , Television Culture, 5 0 1 . It is f o r t h i s r e a s o n tha t J i m M c G u i g a n r e j e c t s F i s k e ' s o r d i n a r y h u m a n , r e c a s t i n g t h e m as " t r i c k y c u s t o m e r [ s ] , n e g o t i a t i n g a n d m a n o e u v r i n g the b e s t o u t o f a n y c o n c e i v a b l e s i t u a t i o n . " J i m M c G u i g a n , Cultural Populism ( L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e , 1 9 9 2 ) , 7 3 . 7 8 F i s k e , Reading the Popular, 1 ,11 . 7 9 D o m i n i c S t r i n a t i , An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture ( L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e , 1 9 9 6 ) , 2 5 8 . 41 k ind o f consumer activity be conceived as "inherently p o l i t i c a l " ? 8 0 J i m M c G u i g a n , who is unhappy wi th the current uncri t ical celebration o f popular culture, defines cultural popul ism as "the intellectual assumption, made by some students o f popular culture, that the symbolic experiences and practices o f ordinary people are more important analytically and po l i t i ca l ly than Culture wi th a o 1 capital C . " He reproves the prevalent, non-judgmental attitude to ordinary tastes and pleasures, particularly F iske ' s theory. This attitude, he claims, has made ' " h i g h or bourgeois art' . . . too easy a target, and perhaps something o f a straw man, for a new generation o f intellectual populists to attack." 8 2 He thus blames postmodern skepticism and the conception o f "consumer sovereignty" for producing a crisis o f qualitative judgment, and advocates a return to Arno ld i an certainties. [ M a s s c u l t u r e c r i t i c s ] w e r e c o n f i d e n t i n t h e i r c a p a c i t y , u s u a l l y l e g i t i m a t e d b y a c a d e m i c p o s i t i o n a n d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e n e t w o r k s o f ' s e r i o u s ' c u l t u r e . T h e y f e l t a b l e t o p a s s j u d g e m e n t o n m a s s c u l t u r a l c o n s u m p t i o n , t o d e n o u n c e i t c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y o r t o m a k e e v a l u a t i v e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e a u t h e n t i c a l l y p o p u l a r a n d t h e u s u a l r u b b i s h f o i s t e d u p o n m o s t p e o p l e . 8 3 M c G u i g a n ' s point o f v iew signals the complet ion o f a cycle in the debate on popular culture. It brings us back to the cultural e l i t ism o f A r n o l d and the Leavisi tes, the difference being that their nostalgic and pessimistic sentiments are now replaced wi th a more analytical , socioeconomic approach. Noth ing is wrong wi th it so far as it does not reject popular culture "uncr i t ica l ly ." But Storey, alarmed by M c G u i g a n ' s statement above, warns that "those who insist on a return to absolute standards are saying li t t le more than that i t ' s too confusing now: I want back my easy and unquestioned authority to tel l ordinary people what i t ' s worth 8 0 F i s k e , Reading the Popular, 1. P e r s o n a l l y I a g r e e w i t h G a n s ' s o p i n i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e p o l i t i c a l a w a r e n e s s o f t h e c o m m o n p e o p l e . H e s ta tes tha t m o s t p e o p l e " p a y o n l y a l i m i t e d a m o u n t o f a t t e n t i o n t o p o l i t i c s , . . . [ a n d ] w h i l e it is c o r r e c t t o a r g u e tha t a l l c u l t u r e is p o l i t i c a l , tha t a r g u m e n t is p o l i t i c a l l y r e l e v a n t o n l y f o r p e o p l e f o r w h o m p o l i t i c s is o f m a j o r i m p o r t a n c e , f o r t h e re s t o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n i s n o t l i k e l y t o c a r e — o r e v e n n o t i c e — t h e p o l i t i c a l v a l u e s w h i c h a re i m p l i c i t i n t h e i r t a s te c u l t u r e s . " G a n s 1 0 8 . 8 1 M c G u i g a n 4 . 8 2 M c G u i g a n 7 5 . 8 3 M c G u i g a n 7 9 - 8 0 . 4 2 and how i t ' s done." This k ind o f rejoinder, again, seems to be an over-reaction. Nevertheless, it shows that the conflict between "h igh" and "low"—more on pol i t ics than on direct judgment o f cultural goods—will never come to an end. II . The Chinese Celebration of the Folk Song and Popular Literature Tradit ionally, Confucian scholars celebrated the folk song and popular literature not only for their natural and straightforward style, but even more so for their function as educational tools, where commentators at times fabricated pol i t i ca l allegory and satire to indoctrinate cultural and moral values. 1. From the Shijing to the Han Yuefu Ballads The pro-folk song tradition was first established by the influential commentaries on the Shijing in the Confucian Analects, and was further concretized by Han exegeses. The practical functions o f the Shijing are listed in the Analects as fol lows: The poems may serve to stimulate the mind. They may be used for purposes of self-observance, to teach the art of sociability, and to show how to regulate feelings of resentment. From them you learn the more immediate duty of serving one's father, and the remoter one of serving one's prince. From them we become largely acquainted with the names of birds, beasts, and plants. |# , nj & M , nJ 11 , «T & M , Rl \>X & ° M z m x , m z m m ; # m n m m * 2. % *5 Confucius ' s authoritative but oversimplif ied judgment on the overal l theme o f the 86 col lect ion, that a l l the three hundred songs "have no depraved thoughts," had left ample room for the Han exegetes to elaborate. For example, the "Great" and "Li t t l e Preface" o f the M a o school explain the al legorical meaning of feng JH, , the most important section in the Shijing, in the fo l lowing passages: Superiors used the feng to transform their inferiors, and inferiors to satirize their superiors. The principal thing in them was their literary style, and reproof was cunningly insinuated. There is no offence done in voicing them, S t o r e y 1 8 3 . L e g g e , The Four Books ( 1 7 . 9 ) , 2 3 1 ; w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . L e g g e , The Four Books ( 2 . 2 ) , 7 1 . 4 3 Feng m e a n s " w i n d , " c o n n o t i n g t h e i n f l u e n c e o f i n s t r u c t i o n . W i n d m o v e s [ t h i n g s ] , a n d i n s t r u c t i o n t r a n s f o r m s [ t h e p e o p l e ] . M , Jl i t!2 , "ttl , m \>x m z , m ix it z .87 Scrut in iz ing the two prefaces, one w i l l notice that they are almost entirely concerned wi th social c r i t i c i sm and moral edification. Aesthetic features o f the songs are seldom discussed, reminiscent o f cultural cr i t ics ' treatment of popular culture in the previous section. F rom a different perspective, one may say that the canonization o f the Shijing folk songs was a device o f the Han court and the elite class to secure their dominant posi t ion: some o f the folk songs, or iginal ly used by the common people to express their disappointment wi th a corrupt government, were borrowed to educate and remind these upper classes o f the misconduct o f their predecessors, thus avoiding the mistakes o f the past, whi le the panegyrics o f ancient benevolent rulers and officials were u t i l ized to extol the regnant power. This k ind o f argument resembles the Gramscian hegemony theory. However, regardless o f the motives behind this canonization, happily a certain number o f these folk songs, even i f bowdler ized, were preserved and highly esteemed as classics o f poetry that generations o f elite poets incessantly commended, studied and imitated. After the Shijing, the most praiseworthy folk song category was the anonymous Han Yuefu ballad. The historian Ban G u ' s comment, that "one may also observe from [the ballads] the social customs and manners, and be able to dist inguish the pure and noble from the mean," indicates that the elite crit ics o f the time s t i l l emphasized the educational functions o f the ballad more than its 8 7 L e g g e , She king, p r o l e g o m e n a , 35, 37; w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . T o d a y w e g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t that t h e feng s e c t i o n m o s t l y c o n t a i n s " a i r s , " o r f o l k s o n g s , f r o m v i l l a g e s a n d b a c k w a y s o f d i f f e r e n t s t a te s , as Z h u X i i n t e r p r e t s i n h i s Shijizhuan f# ft flj (Collected Commentaries on the Book of Songs) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 0 ) , P r e f a c e , 2. B u t t h e e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e " P r e f a c e s " s t i l l c a n n o t b e t o t a l l y d i s m i s s e d , f o r t h e w o r d feng fS , " t o i n s i n u a t e , " p h o n e t i c a l l y a n d i d e o g r a p h i c a l i y r e s e m b l e s the w o r d feng, o r " w i n d . " 44 aesthetic values. S imi lar ly , L i u X i e ' s disapproval o f the genre is also based on a purely moralist ic point o f v i e w . 8 8 Direct discussions o f the literary merits o f the Yuefu ballads (as we l l as those o f the Shijing poems) were, surprisingly, not seen unti l a much later period. The most oft-quoted comment is the M i n g scholar H u Y i n g l i n ' s #j B H (1551-1602) in his Shi sou f# M (The Swamp of Poetry). The Han Yuefu ballads were collected from villages and backways and were not embellished [by literary craftsmanship]. However, their simple and unadorned style is not vulgar, their straightforward expression can convey deep meaning, and their content of everyday life can have far-reaching influence. None of the excellent works of literature under Heaven can surpass them (my italics), m M $g B W M , M US M , W & m & • m m m T m , m w m n , & w m & • A T M >c , m ix m z .89 H u ' s comment points out several distinct aesthetic features o f the ballads. But his appreciation o f them is s t i l l based on the condit ion that they are not "vulgar" (li {H ). This conservative attitude accords perfectly wi th the tradition o f refining the folk song as discussed before. Its s imilar i ty to L i u X i e ' s comment on the Nineteen Ancient Poems is also apparent: Looking into their structure, they are like prose. Their language is straightforward but not coarse. They tactfully adhere to external objects and closely relate to human affections with a melancholic mood. They are indeed the crown of five-character poetry (my italics). H % fg §§ fft £ , is m T if, n m m m , m m m m , m s s z m 16 & . 9 0 H o w e v e r , h e c o n t r a d i c t s h i m s e l f b y v i e w i n g t h e Shijing f o l k s o n g as o n e o f h i s q u i n t e s s e n t i a l t y p e s o f p o e t r y , a n d d i s m i s s i n g t h e Yuefu b a l l a d s as " l i c e n t i o u s , " w h i c h a r e i n f a c t n o t m u c h d i f f e r e n t i n t h e m e s a n d c o n t e n t f r o m t h e Shijing. In t h e c h a p t e r " Y u e f u , " L i u X i e s a y s , " J i Z h a e x a m i n e d t h e m i n u t e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n f r o m t h e r i s e a n d f a l l [ o f a s t a t e ] ; tha t i s e x c e p t i o n a l l y p e r c e p t i v e " ^ t t ^ ^ K - M J S , f R 2 M i J 2 , . W h a t t h i s p a s s a g e m e a n s is t h a t , b y h e a r i n g t h e Shijing f o l k s o n g s , J i Z h a w a s a b l e t o a s c e r t a i n t h e p o l i t i c a l a n d s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s o f a s ta te . S e e a l s o n o t e 4 3 . Z h a n Y i n g , Wenxin diaolongyizheng, 2 2 6 . T h i s p r a c t i c a l f u n c t i o n o f t h e Shijing p o e m s c a n i n f a c t b e p e r f o r m e d b y t h e Yuefu b a l l a d s as w e l l , as t h e l a t t e r a re a l s o a b o u t t h e d a i l y l i f e o f t h e c o m m o n p e o p l e a n d t h e i r j o y s a n d s u f f e r i n g s . 8 9 H u Y i n g l i n , Shi sou ( S h a n g h a i : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 5 9 ) , 3 . 9 0 Z h a n Y i n g 1 9 3 . 4 5 Some o f the Nineteen Ancient Poems evidently evolved from Yuefu ballads, and were probably written by literati about second to third centuries. They were v iewed as the prototype o f five-character poetry. H u ' s comment resembles L i u ' s in that poetry wi th a straightforward style is welcomed, provided that it does not descend to vulgarity and coarseness. Any th ing "indecorous" found i n these folk songs was inevitably refined and altered. A l s o , the description o f the Nineteen Ancient Poems as "tactfully adher[ing] to external objects and closely relatefd] to human affections wi th a melancholic mood" clearly refers to the asethetics based " f i rmly in[sic] the oldest definit ion o f poetry in the Chinese tradition: 'poetry expresses intent'(shih yen chih |# H ^ ) . " 9 2 Such a defini t ion emphasizes the lyr ica l mode o f poetry wh ich expresses the writer 's inner emotion through a restrained description o f external objects. The elite elegant ci style wh ich w i l l be discussed i n chapter four also closely conforms to this pr inciple . 2. Bai Juyi and his "New Yuefu Poems" Because o f the pervasive and profound influence o f the Shijing exegeses, ancient Chinese elite writers deeply believed that the folk song could be used as a vehicle o f moral education and pol i t ica l satire. They hoped that their superiors would adopt benevolent pol ic ies by reading and comprehending the vei led cr i t ic i sm in their folk style poetry. A m o n g these writers, the most significant one was the Tang poet B a i Juyi . Together wi th Yuan Zhen jt l i (779-831) and some others, B a i advocated resuming the admonitory functions of poetry fo l lowing the Shijing and Yuefu traditions, and wri t ing poetry about current events in pla in and simple language. H i s fifty " N e w Yuefu Poems," from which the " N e w Yuefu movement" derived its name, were thus written. In his preface to this group o f poems, B a i clearly expresses his intention as fo l lows: 9 1 F o r e x a m p l e , n o . 15 is a m o d i f i e d v e r s i o n o f " W e s t G a t e B a l l a d " jig f3 fj ( l o n g v e r s i o n ) . S e e G u o M a o q i a n , Yuefu shiji, 5 4 9 ; a n d S u i S h u s e n |$f HI IS ,Gushi shijiu shoujishi f# + A Hf Mi W (Collected Explanations on the Nineteen Ancient Poems) ( H o n g K o n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 5 8 ) , 2 2 . 9 2 Y u - k u n g K a o , " T h e a e s t h e t i c s o f R e g u a t e d V e r s e , " i n S h u e n - f u L i n a n d S t e p h e n O w e n e d , The Vitality of the Lyrical Voice: Shih Poetry from the Late Han to the T'ang ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 6 ) , 3 3 9 . 4 6 The first lines [of these poems] indicate the titles, the last sections manifest my intent: This is the practice [yi] of the three hundred poems [of the Shijing]. Their language is unadorned and direct; so that the reader can easily understand them. Their expressions are straightforward and closely related [to daily life], so the audience can be thoroughly counselled. What they recorded is complete and verifiable; it is because of this that the collectors can spread the truth. The form is smooth and unrestrained, so they can be applied to music and songs. In sum, they are written for the rulers, the officials, the common people, external objects and current events. They are not written for the sake of literature. ^ 'p] ^ S | , m % m & - i f f i ^ . t ^ ^ t f i t • m m « , m & 2 m m m - n m m m m , ^ & m n m m m m & ° m m 9 2 . , m m - s e * m & - m m - n m m \f , T m # m if & .93 Under the title o f each poem, B a i fol lows the practice o f the "Li t t l e Preface" o f the Shijing, appending a short passage to each to elucidate his satire or eulogy. H i s imitations o f folk songs, therefore, can be said to take a strong moral and po l i t i ca l standpoint, not originating s imply i n an aesthetic concern. Obviously , however, these " N e w Yuefu Poems" were not as w e l l accepted as were his other popular style composit ions, such as the we l l -known "Song o f Everlast ing Regret" M I S H £ , "The P ipa Tune" % § 3 | and other miscellaneous regulated verses written for friends and relatives on occasions o f parting and gathering. 9 4 In a lengthy letter to Yuan Zhen, B a i said, Today people treasure only my miscellaneous regulated verse and those listed after "Song of Everlasting Regret." What our times cherish I despise. As for those poems of veiled criticism and admonishment, their expressions are vehement and their language unadorned. . . . no wonder people do not like them. ^M2m,Affi^^,^^MB wmmMinw^rn ° n 2m m., m 2m m. • s m mm % ,mmm m m •... a A 2 T m m °95 This statement regretfully acknowledges that his attempt to use folk style poetry as G u X u e j i e | | |j§ M. ,BaiJuyiji g jgj H M (Collected Works of Bai Juyi) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 7 9 ) , 3 : 5 2 . 9 4 F o r t h e t w o p o e m s , see G u 12 : 2 3 8 - 9 , 2 4 1 - 3 . 9 5 " Y u Y u a n J i u s h u " M jt fi H ( " L e t t e r t o Y u a n Z h e n " ) , G u 4 5 : 9 6 5 . 4 7 an educational tool was not that successful. He could not, as a "cultural producer," control the ordinary readers' l ike or dis l ike o f his "product" once out o f his hands, or persuade or force them to accept the cultural and aesthetic values he embraced. The vehement, didactic tones and unembellished language o f his " N e w Yuefu Poems" were in general not suited to common taste, even though they bear a strong folk song style. Thus they were less appreciated than poems l ike the sentimental "Song o f Everlast ing Regret" and the intimate, "extemporary" (shuai ran >p ) miscellaneous regulated poems. N o matter how often B a i reiterated his Confucian concept o f poetry, his image as a literati writer who deliberately catered to popular taste left a far deeper impression on the minds o f his readers and crit ics than d id his actual a im o f moral instruction. H i s popular image was sol idif ied by an anecdote which describes that whenever he finished a poem, he would ask an old lady to read it, making adjustments unti l she f inal ly understood the whole p iece . 9 6 Though one need not take this anecdote too seriously, no doubt B a i ' s "popular poetry" was on everyone's l ips at the time. In the same letter to Yuan Zhen, B a i claims, From Chang'an to Jiangxi, a distance of three or four thousand //', there were often inscriptions of my poems on the walls of village schools, Buddhist monasteries, inns and traveler's boats; and they were frequently chanted by scholars, commoners, Buddhist disciples, widows, women and young girls, g ft $ 1 ?I B = H f 1 , JI i t ' ft t mm - ft i i t £ ^ , f f i a w s #t I # # ° ± J * ^ ft m. > mm - M&zn,mm^mmmm °97 B a i then expresses his low esteem for these "popular pieces" (a defensive stance to 9 6 W e i Q i n g z h i ft Jg £ ( f l . 1 2 4 4 ) , Shiren Yuxie it A 5 I (Jade Chips of the Poets) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 2 ) , v o l . 2 , 3 4 5 . 9 7 " Y u Y u a n J i u s h u , " G u 4 5 : 9 6 3 . B a i ' s w o r d s a re s u p p o r t e d b y Y u a n Z h e n . In h i s p r e f a c e t o B a i ' s c o l l e c t i o n , Y u a n s a y s , ". . . w i t h i n t w e n t y y e a r s , n o w a l l o f t h e i m p e r i a l p a l a c e , t e m p l e , m o n a s t e r y a n d p o s t h o u s e w a s w i t h o u t i n s c r i p t i o n s [ o f B a i ' s p o e m s ] ; n o p o e m o f h i s w a s n o t o n t h e l i p s o f i m p e r i a l m e m b e r s , n o b l e m i n i s t e r s , c o n c u b i n e s , w o m e n , h e r d b o y s a n d g r o o m s . A s f o r c o p i e s a n d p r i n t s [ o f t h e m ] , e v e r y w h e r e t h e y w e r e s o l d w i t h g r e a t p o m p at m a r k e t s , o r u s e d to e x c h a n g e f o r w i n e s o r t e a . " . . . H + ^ m , M # » H # - M M %S M Z ± M 9 , ^ . l ( i ^ £ l X l I f , l I ^ I . " B a i s h i C h a n g q i n g j i x u " g ^  g f 1 J? ( " P r e f a c e t o B a i J u y i ' s Changqing Collection"), G u 1. 4 8 avoid moral attack?), describing them as a literary s k i l l o f no high order, or the "sport o f carving insects" (diao chong zhi xi Jft H Z Hie ), remorsefully hoping n o that one day someone would expunge them from his col lect ion. Yet it was precisely these t r iv ia l , casual pieces that were favoured by the publ ic . Less attention was paid to his moral message than to the pleasure, novelty, and emotional sentiments which were equally or even more abundant in his poetry. Though B a i despised his own "popular pieces," plenty o f examples from his col lec t ion convince us that he deliberately wrote poetry in simple language to make it accessible to general readers. Other evidence comes from the fact that he was one o f the first to try his hand at the ci l y r i c . " H i s attraction to this new genre is easily understood: A s he advocated a straightforward and unadorned poetic style, the newly emerging popular songs naturally drew his attention. He was among the participants o f the " N e w Yuefu Movement" most sensitive to the contemporary popular literature, and found in it the s impl ic i ty and straightforwardness perfectly in accord wi th their ideal type o f poetry, though at times they s t i l l could not stand its "vu lga r i ty . " 1 0 0 B a i ' s popular poetic style is held in high esteem by crit ics such as the Qing (1644-1911) scholar Zhao Y i H M (1727-1814) , 1 0 1 but was severely cr i t ic ized by others. One o f the earliest and most acrimonious remarks was made by L i K a n ^ HJ<; , recorded in his epitaph by the distinguished late Tang poet D u M u | i fe (803-852): I detested how the poetry style of Yuan [Zhen] and Bai [Juyi], developed since the period of Yuan He [806-821 ], was frail, erotic and without vigour. Most of the people who were not solemn and elegant were corrupted by them. They spread among the populace and were inscribed on screens and walls. Parents one after another taught their children to read them. Licentious and indecent language penetrated into the flesh and bones of 9 8 " Y u Y u a n J i u s h u , " G u 4 5 : 9 6 3 - 4 , 9 6 5 . 9 9 B a i h a s t h i r t y - s e v e n ci l y r i c s i n t o t a l c o l l e c t e d i n Z h a n g Z h a n g 31 i$. a n d H u a n g Y u ' s i|r fif Quart Tang Wudai ci ^ J|f £ P (Complete C i of the Tang and the Five Dynasties) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 6 ) , 1 1 9 - 1 3 9 . 1 0 0 F o r e x a m p l e , L i u Y u x i ' s r e f i n e m e n t o f " B a m b o o B r a n c h e s . " 1 0 1 S e e Z h a o Y i , Oubei shihua IS 4t f$ IS (Oubei's Remarks on Poetry) ( B e i j i n g : R e n m i n w e n x u e c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 6 3 ) , 3 6 . 4 9 people year in and year out, and was ineradicable. I did not hold an important position, otherwise I would have regulated it by law. W M & jc si & * , w jc * &nm,mm^m,#mAw±, # m n m m m ° u m & m , m n m m , ^ x & m , Here i n the eyes o f L i , Yuan and B a i ' s poetry is v iewed as being as large an immoral influence as the licentious "Zheng and Wei music ." Curiously , without making any argument, D u M u implies his agreement. But D u h imse l f was in fact no less a sometime writer o f " t r i v i a " than B a i , and many frequently found fault wi th his pursuit o f romance and sensual pleasures. 3. Liang Qichao and "New Novels" The late Q ing reformer L iang Qichao ' s ^ 1§f IS (1873-1929) attitude toward popular literature was basical ly not much different from B a i Juy i . The " N e w N o v e l s " he advocated played vir tual ly the same educational role as B a i ' s " N e w Yuefu Poems," except that L i ang ' s were intended for a much more radical , thorough transformation o f the po l i t i ca l system and social manners o f modern Ch ina instead o f reinforcing its traditional value system. Deeply inspired by the success o f Japan's M e i j i Reformation and modernization, L i ang and a group o f Chinese intellectuals actively promoted the establishment o f a constitutional monarchy in Ch ina to supplant the corrupt and ossified autocracy, which they thought was the only way to save Ch ina from being carved up and constantly humiliated by the Western imperialists. The failure o f this constitutional movement caused L iang to believe that mere reform o f the pol i t ica l structure would not fundamentally alter the fate o f his country, since the minds o f his countrymen were s t i l l not enlightened, and the deep-rooted social evi ls handed down from ancient Ch ina s t i l l could not be eliminated. A reformed pol i t i ca l system would not last long i f the minds o f the ignorant masses o f the " L i f u j u n m u z h i m i n g " $ | t 1 g | ( " E p i t a p h t o L i K a n ' s F a t h e r " ) , i n D u M u , Fanchuan wenji ^ J l | M (Literary Collection of Fanchuan) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 7 8 ) , 1 3 7 . 50 nation were not reformed accordingly. L i ang thus proposed a bottom-to-top transformation, c la iming that educating the masses was the most urgent task o f Chinese intellectuals o f the age . 1 0 3 He suggested that the most effective teaching medium is the novel , which is simple in language and is readily accessible to a wide range o f readers, particularly those—as his mentor K a n g Youwe i | f § (1858-1927) said—who are not learned enough to read the c l a s s i c s . 1 0 4 U n l i k e orthodox literati who despised the novel as a minor literary form, L iang elevated it to an unprecedented status and endowed it wi th the function o f a panacea for the a i l ing Chinese society. Accord ing to his "General Debate on Reform" H JM H i (1897), the novel has the fo l lowing social effects: Now we should especially use colloquial language, writing a variety of novels in great quantities. Most importantly, they can be used to illuminate Confucian doctrines; secondly, they can narrate various historical events. Locally, they can arouse our national humility; abroad, they can touch upon foreign affairs. Even the ugliness of officialdom, the scandals in the examination hall, the obstinate addiction [of people] to opium, and the cruel torture of foot-binding, can all be depicted down to the last detail, [thus by reading novels we can] revitalize the dregs of society. How immeasurable are their benefits! •^r'KM-r^M.M,MM^9 ° ± z ^ ix m m m m , r z ^ & m m $i m ; & z & m m a ii>, m z * J & & R m m ih m % m a m , u, m u m , m >t m m , m s m JHJ , m RT m m n m , M m * fe ° fiSiS.Ilii !105 Such a passage shows that what L iang celebrates is not at a l l the literary values o f the novel , but its potential as a pol i t ica l and educational tool , one o f the sacrosanct tasks o f poetry in the opinion o f Confucian cri t ics . In order to make the novel an effective vehicle for transforming the minds o f 1 0 3 S e e L i a n g Q i c h a o , " L u n x i n m i n w e i j i n r i Z h o n g g u o d i y i j i w u " m ^ M ^ B W> ~~ 1 £ ( " O n t h e R e n e w a l o f t h e P e o p l e as the M o s t U r g e n t T a s k i n T o d a y ' s C h i n a " ) , i n Yinbing shi heji |ft £K Hi M (Combined Collection of the Drinking Ice Studio) ( S h a n g h a i : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 3 6 ) , z h u a n j i U ft , v o l . 3 , 1-5. 1 0 4 L i a n g , " Y i y i n z h e n g z h i x i a o s h u o x u " If EP j& fa dN IS r? ( " P r e f a c e t o Translations of Political Novels") ( 1 8 9 8 ) , i n Yinbing shi wenji |ft #K i i 3 t ft (Literary Collection of the Drinking, Ice Studio) ( S h a n g h a i : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 2 6 ) , v o l . 4 , 7 b . 1 0 5 L i a n g , " L u n y o u x u e " | ^ f ( " O n P r i m a r y E d u c a t i o n " ) , i n Yinbing shi wenji, v o l . 2 , 2 7 b -2 8 a . 51 the common people, L i ang specif ical ly promoted a "novel o f po l i t i c s" (zheng zhi xiao shuo iEfc <h IS ), in which the author would "make use o f it to express the pol i t ica l ideals he embraced." 1 0 6 O n the other hand, he excoriated traditional novels i n his early years, such as those imitating the Outlaw of the Marsh and the Dream of Red Mansions, for exerting "extremely harmful" effects on Chinese readers. In his opinion, these novels only "propagate promiscuity and banditry" (hui yin hui dao §§ y=£ | § | § ), and their production was in the hands o f "f lowery writers and bookshop owners" (hua shi fang gu I j l dt PJ W ). He thus demanded a reform o f the novel , appealing to "elegant gentlemen" (da ya jun zi A f § H -f- ) to take part in novel wr i t ing . "The people o f a country can be reformed," he claims, "only when the novel o f that country is first re formed." 1 0 7 This U t o p i a n be l ie f in the social effect o f the novel contributed directly to both the failure o f L iang ' s creative wri t ing and the " N e w N o v e l Movement . " L iang ' s own novels, for example, are replete wi th pol i t ica l and legal discourses, but their artistic quality is so poor that even L iang h imsel f confessed later that they "do not look l ike any literary genre," and are "lengthy, tedious and totally i n s i p i d . " 1 0 8 Although numerous writers o f the time responded to L iang ' s appeal, it is difficult to assess how great the influence o f the "new novels" was on the common people. But obviously, none o f these compositions can compare wi th certain traditional (now classical) novels in either quality or popularity. The reading publ ic seemed to continue to favour romance and banditry novels more than the ins ip id "novels o f po l i t i cs , " just as the Tang people preferred B a i Juy i ' s popular pieces to his " N e w Yuefu Poems." However, there was s t i l l no significant evidence f f&n±Rg# f 'R }S£ . f l& y£ Jg M • Q u o t e d i n W a n g Y u n x i I I BE a n d G u Y i s h e n g | | J | §i e d . , Zhongguo wenxue piping shi cf3 US X H fit W $L (History of Chinese Literary Criticism) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 5 ) , v o l . 3 , 6 1 4 . I O T 9 K i f — S i ^ S . ^ n l ^ f t ^ — ffl£/btft. L i a n g , " L u n x i a o s h u o y u q u n z h i z h i g u a n x i " ^ /J\ | g ffi | ^ 2; | § ( " O n t h e N o v e l a n d its R e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h C o m m u n i s t i c R u l e " ) ( 1 9 0 2 ) , i n Yinbing shi wenji, v o l . 17 , 1 9 a , 1 6 a . " I n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e Xin Zhongguo weilai ji |ff tfJ S ^ 3f5 IB (Record of the Future of New China) ( 1 9 0 2 ) , in Yinbing shi heji, z h u a n j i , v o l . 19 , 2 . 5 2 that readers o f traditional novels were moral ly corrupt. The rise o f the "Mandar in Ducks and Butterf l ies" (yuan yang hu die M M ) novel in the 1920s and 1930s further proved that L iang ' s reform did not fundamentally change popular taste. This type o f vernacular novel is mainly about romantic love and is c r i t i c ized for its fr ivoli ty. The unpopularity o f L iang ' s "new novels" (and perhaps also B a i ' s " N e w Yuefu Poems") was due precisely to his deliberate attempt to impose a set o f elite sociopol i t ica l values on the common reader; and this attempt unavoidably resulted in a dry, heavily didactic tone which not only greatly diminished their po l i t i ca l and social impact but also reduced their literary value. This failure, however, does not mean that popular literature must be produced from wi th in or below, but rather indicates that when an elite writer intends to write for the common people, he certainly has to write in their voice , speak on their behalf and cater a l i t t le , at least, to their taste. Only by these measures can he successfully communicate wi th them and gradually influence (or on the contrary be influenced by) them. 4. The Promotion of Colloquial Literature in the 1910s L iang Qichao ' s " N e w N o v e l Movement" and his promotion o f a new wri t ing style (xin wen ti §Ff 3t f § . m i x i n g co l loquia l and classical language together) can be seen as the first attempt to reform classical wr i t ing . But it s t i l l could not alter the disparaging attitude o f the elite toward col loquia l literature (bai hua wen xue [=1 IS ^ ^ ), largely because it was not coupled wi th a successful pol i t ica l and social reform, and L i a n g h imse l f was not entirely committed to vernacular wr i t ing . W i t h the collapse o f the absolute monarchy in 1911, more favourable po l i t i ca l and social conditions facilitated a second literary wave, and this time a much more radical—even furious—sentiment accompanied it. It aimed at a wholesale replacement o f classical wr i t ing by establishing a vernacular l i terature . 1 0 9 The 1 0 9 S e e H u S h i #J M , " J i a n s h e d e w e n x u e g e m i n g l u n " H I& fr5 £ H ¥ lap f i t ( " O n t h e C o n s t r u c t i v e R e v o l u t i o n o f L i t e r a t u r e " ) ( 1 9 1 8 ) , i n Hu Shi wencun f 1 J # (Literary Drafts of Hu Shi) ( S h a n g h a i : Y a d o n g s h u j u ] g JjC i f M , 1 9 3 1 ) , 7 7 - 1 0 2 . 53 cause was highly po l i t i ca l , yet was also practical from a l inguist ic point o f view. A c c o r d i n g to the advocates o f the " N e w Literature Movement ," as classical wr i t ing was divorced from the dai ly spoken language, it had ultimately become a hindrance to textual communicat ion, publ ic education, as we l l as pol i t ica l and social advancement. In order to reject classical wr i t ing and elevate the literary status o f col loquia l literature, H u Shi ^Fj 3® (1891-1962), the most important figure i n this movement, in his "Humble Opin ion on Literary Reform" ~$C ^ 3 £ fk Wh Wk (1917) frequently—and not without exaggeration and lopsidedness— stresses that only the col loquia l novel can compare wi th first-rate foreign literature, and that co l loquia l literature, instead o f parallel prose and regulated poetry, is the "legitimate literary genre" (wen xue zheng zong ~$C IF& IE TK ) o f Chinese l i terature. 1 1 0 The main fault o f classical wr i t ing , H u claims, are its formalistic use of paral le l ism, a l lusion, and pr imi t iv i sm; and that it is a "dead" language, thus creates a "dead" literature. Using a dead classical language can never produce a lively, valuable literature. For more than a thousand years, not one of the literary works of genuine literary value has been without colloquial features. Neither have any of them not relied on the help of this "colloquialism" [to become valuable literature]. ffl^7KXI^^itt*f4^f i f » J f J • i t - T # ^ r J < J > C i P , J l J § W ! J t I E £ * m m m , & m - m T ^ m & m m tt m , & m - m T m m m r e is tt w j m m m m He cites examples from novels, poetry, and other literary forms to support his argument. In short, any work which is written in , or close to, the co l loquia l language and is simple and direct in expression, is generally valued more highly than others; and he avers that only when wri t ing praxis is closely integrated wi th spoken language (yan wen he yi ^ 1~r " )? can a l i v i n g literature be created. 1 1 0 H u 11 , 2 1 , 23. S e e a l s o " L i s h i d e w e n x u e g u a n l i a n l u n " Jg ^ ^ £ ^ H it m (Historical Perspective of Literature) ( 1 9 1 7 ) . H u 4 5 - 4 9 . 1 1 1 " J i a n s h e d e w e n x u e g e m i n g l u n , " H u 8 1 . 1 1 2 H u 23. 5 4 I f H u Shi promotes co l loquia l wr i t ing largely from a literary point o f view, then Chen D u x i u ' s W ^ ^ (1879-1942) tone is obviously more po l i t i ca l . Chen ' s " O n Literary Revo lu t ion" ~$t i p ^ np fit (1917) was written to support H u ' s "Humble O p i n i o n . " A t the beginning o f his essay, Chen points out that the incomplete po l i t i ca l revolution in Ch ina was mainly caused by the "traditional moral principles and literary and artistic values which obstinately occupy our spiritual r e a l m . " " 3 He thus puts forth his we l l -known three ideals o f literary revolut ion, which a im at overthrowing 1) the ornate, adulatory aristocratic literature; 2) the stale, extravagant classical literature; and 3) the pedantic, abstruse "mountain and forest" literature (shan lin wen xue [ i j # ~$C W1 )-U4 These three types o f literature, according to Chen, a l l have the same shortcomings: they are divorced from reality, amoralize the people, and feed off each other's corruptive influence. Meanwhi le , he advocates establishing 1) a smooth, expressive national literature; 2) a fresh, truthful realistic literature; and 3) an understandable, popular societal literature. But he fails to provide suggestions as detailed as H u Sh i ' s regarding the actual procedures for developing this new literature. Nevertheless, his proposal o f a literary revolut ion greatly stimulated the promotion o f vernacular literature. B y the 1920s, co l loquia l wr i t ing almost completely dominated the press, and the younger generation no longer used classical language in w r i t i n g . 1 1 5 In retrospect, the literary revolut ion in the 1910s, no doubt, raised the general educational level o f the Chinese people and greatly facilitated the spread o f Western culture in China . However, its destructive impact was also apparent. A n erosion o f popular knowledge o f classical forms and Chinese traditions occurred, i l E ^ A i i ^ t l l l S ^ I I I l i X f l f . C h e n D u x i u , Duxiu wencun $§ ^ ^ (Literary Drafts of Chen Duxiu) ( S h a n g h a i : Y a d o n g s h u j u , 1 9 2 3 ) , 1 3 5 . 1 1 4 C h e n 1 3 6 . T h e l a s t c a t e g o r y i s s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d at h e r m i t w r i t e r s w h o s e l i t e r a r y w o r k s a r e " n o t b e n e f i c i a l t o t h e m a j o r i t y o f p e o p l e . " 1 1 5 In 1 9 2 0 , t h e E d u c a t i o n a l C o u n c i l p r o m u l g a t e d a d e c r e e w h i c h r e q u i r e d a l l p r i m a r y s c h o o l s t o s tar t u s i n g t e x t b o o k s i n c o l l o q u i a l l a n g u a g e . S e e H u a n g X i u j i j f f|j r3 , Zhongguo xiandai wenxue fazhan shi cf3 H3 II, \X H i t M St (History of the Development of Modern Chinese Literature) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g g u o q i n g n i a n c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 1 ) , 4 0 . 5 5 partly because the advocates o f the literary revolution adopted a wholesale, uncri t ical rejection o f traditional cultural values. Different opinions voiced by scholars, such as L i n Shu # (1852-1924) and major contributors to the "conservative" journal Xue Heng H HJ (The Measure of Learning), were excoriated or r id iculed as incorr ig ibly obstinate; and classical literature was rashly dismissed as stale, obsolete, useless to cultural advancement, and pernicious. A s a result, traditional culture and literature gradually became almost universally despised. "Dead" as classical literature may have been, there was no evidence to prove that in order to adopt a new s k i l l or technology, the long-practised has to be forsaken (at least not at the in i t ia l stage). Human culture is composed o f the commonly-accepted and consistently-practiced traditions o f a given society; and individuals unfamiliar wi th such traditions, lack a distinct national identity. O n the whole, the literary revolut ion o f the 1910s lacked a long-term agenda. Wel l before a mature, new, fully-tested literature could be established, classical literature had already been "executed" for "amora l iz ing" the Chinese people. Ostensibly, the literary revolution had brought down elite literature, supplanting it wi th the previously subordinate popular literature. However, this posi t ional change did not mean that the elite culture had completely vanished, nor that a l l popular tastes were indiscriminately welcomed. A n e w elite culture, t ightly controlled by pol i t i ca l powers, gradually emerged from academic institutions, f i l l i ng in the v o i d left by the loss o f the imperial examination system. A t the same time, popular tastes wh ich mainly pursued sensual pleasure and entertainment were s t i l l severely condemned. Popular novels, such as Jin ping mei ^ |fS fj$ (Plum Blossom in the Golden Vase), were cr i t ic ized by H u Shi as "solely about bestial, carnal desire" and wi th no literary value at a l l . " 6 Evidently, the types o f popular culture he favoured were s t i l l those deemed elegant, moral ly correct, and beneficial to society and the human mind. The only difference was that the 1 , 6 ± ft m t± w m m . . . w $x m w m % m z. , ^ m m m m . - D a Q i a n X u a n t o n g s h u " ^ $ | £ JWJ | f ( " A R e p l y t o Q i a n X u a n t o n g ' s L e t t e r " ) , H u 5 9 , 6 0 . 5 6 educational role o f "legitimate literature" had now shifted to popular literature. Conclusion In summary, I would l ike to present my views on the various arguments discussed in this chapter. First , the value o f an artistic work should not be judged solely by the class background o f the artist. Whether it is produced by or for the elite or the ordinary people should not affect our appraisal o f its quality, though it is commonly held that the former is superior to the latter. The class background o f the artist and audience may help us reach a better, social aesthetic, understanding o f a particular work, but background biographical information should not be used as a sole reference point for value judgements. B a i Juy i ' s "Song o f Everlast ing Regret," for example, cannot be deemed a great piece s imply based on the fact that it was written by an eminent elite poet. S imi lar ly , the Han Yuefu ballads are fine poetry not just because they were produced from below. It is the artistic merits o f a particular work itself—such as its emotional attractiveness and literary creativity— not the class background o f the artist, that leads us to ca l l it "great art." This theory should have been widely known and wel l accepted, but in aesthetic c r i t ic i sm and the study o f popular culture, we are s t i l l too often bl inded by personal or trained tastes that belong to our social status. Mass culture crit ics reject popular culture precisely because it is produced for the common people and thus argue that it w i l l lower the general cultural standard o f a society. Cul tura l populists, on the other hand, celebrate its purported resistance to elite culture and seldom focus on its aesthetic aspects. Bo th o f them, however, neglect the fact that there are good and bad in the high and the low: for example, not a l l serious music is worth l istening to, and not a l l popular songs are inferior. Secondly, although classes o f culture endure in both Western society and imperial Ch ina , the reason for their existence is not pr imari ly po l i t i ca l , but to give voice to the genuine nature and flavour o f the people's tastes. A certain amorous Shijing folk song may have nothing to do wi th pol i t ics . Its po l i t i ca l innuendo was not or ig inal ly from below, but insinuated by Han exegetes from above. A s imilar 5 7 re-interpretative practice is seen among theorists o f Western popular culture. In order to dist inguish popular from high culture, they tend to portray it pol i t ica l ly , as a heterogeneous force o f the common people resisting the hegemony o f power bloc. Or, according to neo-hegemony theorists, popular culture is a tool o f the ru l ing class for tightening its control . Consequently, we have Stuart H a l l ' s c l a im that popular culture "is the arena o f consent and resistance. It is partly where hegemony arises, and where it is secured." 1 1 7 In some forms o f popular culture, certainly we need to recognize pol i t ica l values. However, we should also avoid exaggerating the role o f popular culture in determining or transforming (even i f progressively) po l i t i ca l , economic and social structures. True, consuming and listening to popular music might help us express our resentment toward our sociopol i t ica l environment, but in reality it is not the major force for improving or securing a capitalist society. If we s t i l l insist on addressing a l l forms o f popular culture pol i t ica l ly , we are no more headed along the right path than the Han exegetes were on their a l legorical excursions interpreting the Shijing poems. We should see folk and popular culture as the natural expression or representation o f the values and experiences o f the common people in their way o f l i fe . The songs and dances they welcome are more an entertainment than a po l i t i ca l instrument. They may occasionally use these cultural forms to express their discontent wi th the predominant class or to protest social injustice. But these are not the major subjects about which the common people are concerned. Divers ion , sensational delights, novelty a l l which have been cr i t ic ized by Romanticists and Confucian scholars, are also what they look for in " l o w " art; and we should accept that such pursuits are natural and sometimes necessary. The common people, therefore, are not as pol i t ica l ly self-conscious as the cultural theorists assume. Instead, most o f the time they show little interest in pol i t ics . It is the elite cri t ics , in their adoption and study o f " l o w " culture, who purposely stress its alleged sociopol i t ica l function. This practice is particularly evident in Chinese traditional 1 , 7 " N o t e s o n D e c o n s t r u c t i n g ' t h e P o p u l a r ' , " i n S t o r e y , Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 4 6 6 . J i m M c G u i g a n r e j e c t s H a l l ' s s t a t e m e n t , c r i t i c i z i n g it f o r " r e d u c i n g c u l t u r e e n t i r e l y t o p o l i t i c s " a n d " c o l l a p s i n g p o l i t i c s i n t o c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s tout court." M c G u i g a n 16 . 58 literary c r i t i c i sm. Based on what we have discussed i n the previous sections, perhaps it wou ld not be an exaggeration to say that, from the Shijing commentaries to the advocacy o f co l loquia l wr i t ing in the twentieth century, the history o f Chinese literary c r i t i c i sm is characterized by relentless attempts o f the elite to impose its moral and aesthetic values on whatever literary forms it borrowed from below. In the case o f ci c r i t ic i sm, this attempt is even more obvious. F ina l ly , it must be noted that the boundary between "h igh" and " l o w " arts should not be arbitrarily marked, though each o f them do possess its own aesthetic features. Frequently they and their producers profoundly influence each other. A similar theory was put forward by Robert Redf ie ld (1897-1958) in the 1930s. He states that in certain human societies, there were two cultural traditions: the "great t radi t ion" (or "high culture") o f the educated few, and the "l i t t le t radit ion" (or " l o w culture") o f the non-elite. These two traditions, though generated by different social contexts, were not totally unrelated. T h e g r e a t t r a d i t i o n i s c u l t i v a t e d i n s c h o o l s o r t e m p l e s ; t h e l i t t l e t r a d i t i o n w o r k s i t s e l f o u t a n d k e e p s i t s e l f g o i n g i n t h e l i v e s o f t h e u n l e t t e r e d i n t h e i r v i l l a g e c o m m u n i t i e s . . . T h e t w o t r a d i t i o n s a r e i n t e r d e p e n d e n t . G r e a t t r a d i t i o n a n d l i t t l e t r a d i t i o n h a v e l o n g a f f e c t e d e a c h o t h e r a n d c o n t i n u e t o d o s o . . . G r e a t e p i c s h a v e a r i s e n o u t o f e l e m e n t s o f t r a d i t i o n a l t a l e - t e l l i n g b y m a n y p e o p l e , a n d e p i c s h a v e r e t u r n e d a g a i n t o t h e p e a s a n t r y f o r m o d i f i c a t i o n a n d i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n l o c a l c u l t u r e s . 1 1 8 It is not difficult to find corresponding examples o f this k ind o f cultural interdependence in Chinese literature. Some o f the Shijing folk songs were produced from the "l i t t le tradit ion." Its profound influence on the elite literature has been repeated often in this chapter; whi le the literary dic t ion, allusions and also moral values which originated in the elite culture were frequently borrowed by popular ci lyr ics , the Yuan qu jtjj dramas as we l l as traditional Cantonese operas. In contemporary society, mutual influence between the "great" and " l i t t l e" traditions, is even more salient. N i g e l Kennedy, for example, reinterpreted V i v a l d i ' s "Four Seasons" i n a punk-rock style, whi le Paul McCar tney wrote his 1 1 8 R e d f i e l d , Peasant Society and Culture ( C h i c a g o : U n i v e r s i t y o f C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1 9 5 6 ) , 41-2. 5 9 classical-style "L ive rpoo l Oratorio" (1991) in collaboration wi th the conductor Car l Davis . Based on this evidence, there is no reason for us to insist on an absolute demarcation between "h igh" and popular culture and to reject either o f them simply because they are produced for or originate in a specific social , intellectual class. It is also necessary to reemphasize that the social status o f certain cultural forms, as Gans argues, do not invariably remain unchanged. G i v e n time, they can be elevated or demoted from their or iginal status. The canonization o f the Shijing folk songs and early H o l l y w o o d movies are significant examples o f the upward mobi l i ty o f " l o w " cultural products. Downward mobil i ty , on the other hand, may appear when "h igh" culture products are popularized and commerc i a l i zed . 1 1 9 The tastes o f cultural producers and audiences also do not constantly correspond to their cultural backgrounds (it seems that people o f "higher" social positions would have a greater range o f choice in tastes than those o f " lower" positions). Thus, we have numerous elite writers catering to popular tastes, and people from " lower" cultural backgrounds attending concerts o f classical music. We might contend that these are a l l exceptional cases, and that most o f the people s t i l l c l ing to their own class cultures. But history reminds us that, it has been when interaction between "h igh" and " l o w " arts has taken place—no matter how infrequently—that new kinds o f literary forms and styles have been created and flourished. The ci lyr ic was precisely a product o f this joint effort—if unintentional—of the elite and the common people. 1 1 9 In 1 9 9 0 , P a v a r o t t i s u c c e s s f u l l y t o o k P u c c i n i ' s " N e s s u n D o r m a " t o n u m b e r o n e i n t h e B r i t i s h c h a r t . A s t u d e n t t h e n c o m p l a i n e d t o J o h n S t o r e y a b o u t " t h e w a y i n w h i c h t h e s o n g h a d b e e n s u p p o s e d l y d e v a l u e d b y i ts c o m m e r c i a l s u c c e s s . " M o r e o v e r , h e " f o u n d it e m b a r r a s s i n g t o p l a y t h e s o n g f o r f e a r tha t s o m e o n e s h o u l d t h i n k h i s m u s i c a l t a s te w a s s i m p l y t h e r e s u l t o f t h e s o n g b e i n g ' T h e O f f i c i a l B B C G r a n d s t a n d W o r l d C u p T h e m e ' . " S t o r e y , Introductory Guide, 8. 6 0 Chapter Two: The Anonymous Tang and Song Popular Ci Lyrics The realm of poetry is the broadest: some scholars read thousands of books thoroughly, utterly exhausting their life and efforts, yet still cannot acquire its essence, while some women, village fellows and persons of meagre knowledge would certainly make L i [Bai] and Du [Fu]—should they be restored to life—bow their heads in revere nee when they hear them utter one or two lines. This is why poetry is so great [an art]. ff# i f | j | 1=[ , & ± -x n m , m % m M, , m ^  m % % r* n m • m m A & ? - n e& m m , m m - - ^ , m m -i± s £ , & f§ ® m # o i t s ^ i ^ s A i • — # C (1716-1798) 1 A good literary work does not have to be sophisticated. Some elite compositions fai l to be excellent precisely because their scholarly writers are fettered by erudition and formalism, unaware that at times naturalness and directness are also important in creative wri t ing. Since popular literature aims at appealing to a wider range o f readers, its depth o f emotional expression and focus on immediacy rather than rhetoric and form occasionally can contribute to its greatness. It has its own distinct artistic excellence, composed o f characteristics uncommon i n elite oeuvre. The anonymous ci lyr ics written in the Tang and Song periods are significant examples o f popular literature. 2 In the fo l lowing discussion, we w i l l first see how popular and elite lyrics differ aesthetically. After doing so, we w i l l examine the major features o f the anonymous Tang and Song popular lyr ics . In the third section, the problems o f emendation made by modern scholars to the Dunhuang lyr ic manuscripts, wh ich introduce the traditional elite aesthetics o f those scholars, w i l l be dealt wi th . 1 Y u a n M e i , Suiyuan shihua | § i H f t f j § {Poetry Remarks of the Garden of Leisure) ( B e i j i n g : R e n m i n w e n x u e c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 6 0 ) , 3 : 8 8 . 2 H e r e 1 e x c l u d e a l a r g e q u a n t i t y o f a n o n y m o u s l y r i c s w r i t t e n i n e l e g a n t s t y l e , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h o s e o n p l u m b l o s s o m s c o l l e c t e d i n t h e S o n g s c h o l a r H u a n g D a y u ' s ]gr ^ H Mei yuan f g (The Plum Garden, p r e f a c e d a t e d 1 1 2 9 ) ( T a i p e i : T a i w a n s h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 7 6 ) , SKQS. 61 I. The Aesthetic Distinction Between the Popular and the Elite Ci Lyric Popular art used to be produced "from wi th in or be low;" i n other words, by and for the ordinary people themselves (domination by the upper class, that is, cultural managers and manufacturers, is only a modern phenomenon). Consequently, its aesthetic is in accord wi th the people's tastes and greatly different from, though also influenced by, that o f high art. It is necessary to point out the aesthetic differences between these two types o f art, whi le being careful not to arbitrarily mark a cultural boundary between them. The anonymous Tang and Song popular lyrics are characterized chiefly by a co l loquia l i sm, formal irregularity, artistic s impl ic i ty and directness, a l l o f wh ich serve their practical function as a form o f entertainment, and contrast strongly wi th the "delicate restraint" (wan yue tM ft/ ) o f elite lyr ics . This difference i n style and taste, i f not quality, is mainly caused by the disparity in educational level and social status between the writers and audience o f the two types o f the ci. Obviously , popular lyr ic writers lacked the thorough education o f the elite, and the language and imagery they use suggest their relatively humble origins. Their semiliterate or illiterate audience, usually, also demanded these works be amusing rather than intellectually challenging. The fo l lowing example significantly demonstrates the artlessness and immediacy, or supposed "superficiali ty," o f the popular lyr ic . Tune: "Qing bei le" fig j g *g ("The Joy of Drinking a Toast") (P. 2838) Gentle and graceful, Her looks are hard to beat, surpassing even the state toppler's beauty. Fine silk draped all over her body. Who can tell if she's from heaven? Her flower-like face beguiles so naturally. The tinted kingfisher blue, moth-fine willow wands of her eyebrows. The sidelong ripple of her glance, like autumn water's Her skirt births the red of pomegranates. Her silk blouse, dyed as red as blood. 62 i i II 1 1 I th * m f£ A % £n ( M ) m in e B # m m wwmmm m m 5 ® JtD. m H fe T a k e i n h e r l o v e l i n e s s : IS 16 S In #^  1 ? IM F r o m h e r s o f t v o i c e , h e r t e n d e r w o r d s . W h i t e t a s s e l s d a n g l e f r o m t h e j a d e h a i r p i n o n h e r 3£ IX S M 111 M 9 if b l a c k - c l o u d c h i g n o n . S h e is s i x t e e n , h a n g i n g o n i n h e r f r a g r a n t b e d r o o m ; ^ — A H § H L o v e s t o l e a d h e r p u p p y a n d h e r p a r r o t s i n p l a y i n g g a m e s . 3g; <j | ^ SI SI JK F i n g e r s s l i m a s s c a l l i o n s , w h i t e a s j a d e , ~f" f§ $D 3£ $D IS T h r o u g h h e r s i l k d r e s s , y o u c a n s e e h e r f i g u r e , ^MWtSMM^SzM: s o f t a s t h e s i l v e r y s n o w . F i t f o r a n o b l e m a n ' s s o n s , # l | J H 3i J£ A y o u n g m a n f r o m F i v e T o m b s 5 K ¥ ^ M ® 3 w o u l d m a k e h e r a p e r f e c t m a t c h . This lyr ic is taken from the Yunyao ji f i $ (Songs of Clouds Anthology) discovered in Dunhuang wi th other manuscripts. Compi l ed in the late Tang period, the Yunyao ji consists o f thirty lyrics set to thirteen tunes; most o f them are believed to have been written or polished by writers o f higher l i teracy. 4 The example above suggests the writer was either from the lower order o f society or deeply influenced by popular taste; yet, the author must have acquired an 3 P a n C h o n g g u i M Wi M , Dunhuang Yunyao ji xinshu ffr S n$ HI i f H r (New Book of the Dunhuang Manuscripts: Songs of Clouds) ( T a i p e i : S h i m e n t u s h u g o n g s i , 1 9 7 7 ) , 1 8 6 ; R e n E r b e i ii Z l 4b ( S t y l e d B a n t a n g 4 , 1 8 9 7 - 1 9 9 1 ) , Dunhuang geci zongbian ft 'JH 1R | f f§ H (Compiled Edition of Dunhuang Lyrics, h e r e a f t e r DHGCZB) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 7 ) , v o l . 1, 2 1 0 - 2 1 1 ; a l s o i n R e n , Dunhuang qujiaolu | fc 'M. Eft K £§ (Dunhuang Songs Collated Records, h e r e a f t e r DHQJL) ( S h a n g h a i : W e n y i l i a n h e c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 5 5 ) , 2 1 . T h e D u n h u a n g m a n u s c r i p t s a re f u l l o f s c r i b a l e r r o r s a n d c o r r u p t , a n c i e n t a n d u n o f f i c i a l c h a r a c t e r s , w h i c h h a s r e s u l t e d i n m a n y t e x t u a l d i s c r e p a n c i e s i n d i f f e r e n t p r i n t e d e d i t i o n s . R e a d e r s a r e i n v i t e d t o c h e c k a n d c o m p a r e . T h e m e a n i n g s o f ci t u n e t i t l e s d o n o t n e c e s s a r i l y c o r r e s p o n d w i t h t h e i r c o n t e n t . V e r y o f t e n , e s p e c i a l l y f r o m t h e S o n g o n w a r d , w r i t e r s , k e e p i n g the o r i g i n a l t i t l e s , s i m p l y b o r r o w e d t h e o l d t u n e p a t t e r n s t o f i l l i n n e w w o r d s . C o n v e n t i o n a l l y , a l l ci l y r i c s a re k n o w n b y t h e i r o r i g i n a l t u n e t i t l e s , a n d a r e d i f f e r e n t i a t e d b y t h e i r f i r s t l i n e s . A l l l y r i c s d i s c o v e r e d i n D u n h u a n g w i l l b e p r o v i d e d w i t h the S t e i n ( S ) a n d P e l l i o t ( P ) m a n u s c r i p t n u m b e r . M a r c A u r e l S t e i n ( 1 8 6 2 - 1 9 4 3 ) , a B r i t i s h a r c h a e o l o g i s t , a n d P a u l P e l l i o t ( 1 8 7 8 - 1 9 4 5 ) , a F r e n c h s i n o l o g i s t , w e n t t o D u n h u a n g i n 1 9 0 7 a n d 1 9 0 8 r e s p e c t i v e l y a n d b r o u g h t t h o u s a n d s o f v a l u a b l e m a n u s c r i p t s b a c k t o L o n d o n a n d P a r i s . F o r d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s i n D u n h u a n g , s ee A u r e l M . S t e i n , Ruins of Desert Cathay: Personal Narrative of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China ( L o n d o n : M a c M i l l a n , 1 9 1 2 ) ; M a r s h a L . W a g n e r , The Lotus Boat, 1 5 - 3 3 ; a n d Z h a n g X i h o u <M. $ § J ¥ , Dunhuang wenxue 1ft itg ^ (The Dunhuang Literature) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 0 ) , 8 - 1 8 . 4 R e n E r b e i a r g u e s tha t t h e c o l l e c t i o n w a s c o m p i l e d a b o u t 9 2 2 , see Dunhuang qu chutan ffc JH Eft W W (Preliminary Study of Dunhuang Songs) ( S h a n g h a i : W e n y i l i a n h e c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 5 5 ) : 2 0 4 . F o r a l i s t o f o t h e r a r g u m e n t s c o n c e r n i n g its d a t e o f c o m p i l a t i o n , see M u r a k a m i T e t s u m i , 1 6 2 - 1 6 8 . 6 3 awareness o f classical literature. For example, qing guo ftjf | U (line 2) refers to the sister o f Han musician L i Yannian 5 |£ $j£ i £ , whose beauty was said to be great enough to "topple a state"; and F ive Tombs (wu ling 5 IH , last line) was where the Han nobles resided. The concluding lines o f the piece clearly state a desire for upward social mobi l i ty through marriage. Al though the writer also advises that "preparation" is necessary to have a happy ending, he or she focuses only on external, rather than on mental, inner and spiritual assets: a clear mark o f his or her lack o f cul t ivat ion. Aesthetically, the piece intermingles elegant dic t ion and commonplace, dai ly language. Words l ike hun shen $L $r (line 3, " a l l over the body") and xue ran j/H H£ (line 9, "blood-dyed") are coarse and col loquia l enough to blot the refinement o f the s i lk blouse. The repeated accenting o f fine clothing and female beauty also makes it gaudy. Such a random, facile and tautological description o f appearance and attire takes up almost the whole piece. This no doubt w i l l easily arouse the sensual delight o f the audience, but it does not invite them to delve into her soul or personality. Speech and behaviour are only l ight ly sketched in the first l ine o f the second stanza, and her vivaciousness exhibited in her sporting wi th her pets (line 13). In the end, she is represented as an idealized woman o f nobi l i ty whose material wealth and beauty can only be touched fict ionally, whi le her other sophistications remain far beyond the writer's—and the audience's—imagination. However, it is precisely this easy and unsophisticated representation o f an artistic object (in this case, a woman) that the common people favour most. 5 They w i l l uncondit ionally take the woman as "real" though the depiction is obviously an invention. This does not mean that they are inferior in taste by nature, but their meagre education and social conditions restricts their abi l i ty to decode more complicated artistic intentions. This "incompetence" i n higher aesthetic 5 S u c h a f a c i l e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e p h y s i c a l b e a u t y o f w o m a n is a l s o s e e n i n t h e e l i t e " P a l a c e S t y l e " P o e m (gong ti shi H f f f# ) p r e v a i l i n g i n t h e S o u t h e r n D y n a s t i e s ( 4 2 0 - 5 8 9 ) . T h e i n f l u e n c e o f e l i t e l i t e r a t u r e is t h e r e f o r e a l s o s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h i s l y r i c . B u t , c a r e l e s s l y w r i t t e n , i t s a r t i s t i c q u a l i t y c e r t a i n l y c a n n o t c o m p a r e w i t h t h e e l i t e p o e t r y . 6 4 discr iminat ion, according to the French cultural crit ics Pierre Bourdieu, essentially distinguishes the ordinary audience from the elite one. A work of art has meaning and interest only for someone who possesses the cultural competence, that is, the code, into which it is encoded. A beholder who lacks the specific code . . . cannot move from the 'primary stratum of the meaning we can grasp on the basis of our ordinary experience' to the 'stratum of secondary meanings', i.e. the 'level of the meaning of what is signified', unless he possesses the concepts which go beyond the sensible properties and which identify the specifically stylistic properties of the work.6 Accord ing to Bourdieu , beholders who merely rely on their "sensible properties" in v iewing a work o f art tend therefore to be drawn mainly by its surface expression rather than by its hidden intimations. Certainly, the classical allusions and allegory are too abstruse, and the intricate rhetoric in literati poetry, too perplexing, for the common reader, but even a lyr ic wi th simple dict ion l ike the fo l lowing can infer much more to the informed reader than the vulgar, who seeks glitter and spectacle. Tune: "Pu sa man" # H f t ("Bodhisattva Barbarian") On the gold screen, the folds of small hills are glimmering. / J \ |_L| J i ft ^ H£} A cloud of hair about to cross the scented snow of her cheek. S S §t S § B S Lazily, she gets up to paint her mothlike eyebrows, |f| S 1 | | And too late in the day puts on her makeup. # fjS $G M From the front and from behind, the mirrors reflect a flower. BS ?E iff fit IS Face and flower shine one on the other. ^ III ffl Stitched into the silk of her bright new coat fjf Ht H ff§ Are pair after pair of gold partridge. M S ^ fel 7 Written by the late Tang poet Wen Tingyun JH £f (812-ca. 870), the lyr ic on the surface is no more than an objective description o f a woman who wakes up late one morning in her bedchamber and dresses lazi ly . Compared to the Dunhuang 6 P i e r r e B o u r d i e u , Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, t r a n s . R i c h a r d N i c e ( L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e , 1 9 8 4 ) , 2 - 3 . 7 Z h a o C h o n g z u o ® | = jjfp ( 0 - 9 4 0 ) e d . , Huajianji W\ M (Among the Flowers) ( S h a n g h a i : S h i j i e s h u j u , 1 9 3 5 ) , 1. T r a n s . L o i s F u s e k , Among the Flowers: The H u a - c h i e n c h i ( N e w Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 2 ) , 3 7 w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . 6 5 lyr ic " Q i n g bei l e" above, the woman in Wen's piece is never fully v isual ized; one catches only a glimpse o f her i n action or posture. Her "charming face" only reflects incidental ly in the mirrors, which she holds up to see whether the flower is properly set in her hair (line 5-6). Rather than crudely stating that "her face is l ike f lower," as in the Dunhuang lyr ic , Wen's line demands that the reader ponder and savour their "shining one on the other." She may not be as high in the social order as the woman i n the Dunhuang lyr ic (in fact, based on our knowledge o f Wen's "dissipated" l ife, she is probably a female entertainer 8), but the avoidance o f raw imagery, such as blood and scall ions, refines her. Contrari ly, the woman in the Dunhuang lyr ic , though decked out in a l l her finery, lacks the subtle graces o f a noblewoman. Wen Tingyun 's indirect and restrained portrayal and psychological insinuations sets his work apart from the straightforward popular ly r ic . Even so, the ordinary reader w i l l s t i l l be able to grasp the sensual delight o f the woman's languor and perceive her loneliness, i f he or she can read the abandonment impl ied by the partridges and sympathize wi th the woman's tardiness. However, an elite reader well-versed in—and sometimes oversensitive to—classical allusions and artistic codes o f poetry w i l l perceive more impl ic i t messages from the lyr ic than others, sometimes even when these are not the wri ter 's or iginal intention. He or she w i l l move to the "stratum o f secondary meanings" and interpret the piece al legorical ly. The Q i n g scholars Zhang Huiyan $ t M Hf (1761-1833) and Chen Tingzhuo ^ £E >}$ (1853-1892), for example, both c la im that Wen's " P u sa man" series was written to lament his own unsuccessful pol i t ica l career. 9 In their 8 F o r a d e t a i l e d s t u d y o f W e n ' s l i f e , s ee M o u H u a i c h u a n , " T h e S e c r e t s o f W e n T i n g y u n ' s L i f e a n d P o e t r y " ( U n p u b l i s h e d P h . D . t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1 9 9 8 ) . 9 S e e Z h a n g H u i y a n , " Z h a n g H u i y a n l u n c i " 1 1 a | | P ( " Z h a n g H u i y a n ' s D i s c o u r s e o n t h e cr), i n T a n g G u i z h a n g j f ^ I f ( 1 9 0 1 - 1 9 9 0 ) , CHCB, v o l . 2 , 1 6 0 9 ; a n d C h e n T i n g z h u o , Baiyu zhai cihua £ j M Hf M IS (White Rain Studio C i Remarks) , i n w h i c h h e c o m m e n t s , " F e i q i n g ' s [ W e n T i n g y u n ] ci a r e a l l m o d e l e d o n the ' L i s a o . ' T h i s is w h y t h e y w i l l b e i n c o m p a r a b l e f o r a t h o u s a n d g e n e r a t i o n s " ffe HP Pl ^ IE St H > F/f IX W IS ^ "Sf , CHCB, v o l . 4 . 3 7 7 7 . M o u H u a i c h u a n s u p p o r t s Z h a n g a n d C h e n ' s v i e w p o i n t s i n h i s P h . D . d i s s e r t a t i o n . H e t h o r o u g h l y s c r u t i n i z e s t h e i m a g e r y a n d c o d e s i n W e n ' s " P u s a m a n " s e r i e s a n d l i n k s t h e m w i t h W e n ' s l i f e , p r o v i d i n g t h e m w i t h p o s s i b l e a l l e g o r i c a l m e a n i n g s . S e e M o u , 3 1 8 - 3 4 8 . 6 6 opinion, Wen was fo l lowing the literary tradition initiated by Q u Yuan 's " L i Sao" j H 11 ("Encountering Sorrow"), i n which the poet borrowed a woman's voice to express his loyalty to the court and his frustrations at being rejected. A s Zhang Hu iyan interprets it, the woman's action o f putting on makeup in Wen's piece resembles Q u Yuan 's self-depiction in the " L i Sao" where his virtues shine through his at t ire: 1 0 Having from birth this inward beauty, I add to it fair outward adornment; I dressed in selinea and shady angelica, And twined autumn orchids to make a garland. x m z & f# m j i f f i n a ? i E ^ m ft i ^ s « " Apart from the content o f the piece, words borrowed from the " L i Sao" also invite al legorical interpretations. The "mothl ike eyebrows" (e mei JU ) in Wen's piece (line 3), for example, is used in the " L i Sao" as a metonymical symbol for a virtuous and beautiful woman who invokes the jealousy o f other consorts, who in turn represent deceitful ministers. Us ing Roman Jakobson's semiotic theory to study traditional ci c r i t ic i sm, Professor Chia-y ing Yeh 3pE j | Ht states that images l ike "mothl ike eyebrows" are well-established codes in Chinese classical poetry. She therefore clarifies how experienced readers l ike Zhang Huiyan and Chen Tingzhuo would readily identify these codes and connect one piece to the other where they f ind the same codes, though many times their references are forced and farfetched. Based on her study, one may assume that had Zhang and Chen read the Dunhuang lyrics in their l ives , they might also have interpreted them allegorical ly, suggesting that the action o f painting eyebrows (line 6) implies the cul t ivat ion o f one's virtue. But for ordinary readers, painting eyebrows in both lyrics is no more than a physical feature to emphasize the beauty o f the women. This difference between the elite and ordinary reader's observing an artistic IU CHCB, v o l . 2, 1 6 0 9 . 1 1 Z h u X i , Chuci jizhu, 3 ; D a v i d H a w k e s , t r a n s . , The Songs of the South, 6 8 . 1 2 C h i a - y i n g Y e h , Zhongguo cixue de xiandai guan c p H M tfy M 11 (A Modern Perspective on Chinese C i Studies) ( T a i p e i : D a ' a n c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 8 ) , 9 4 - 6 . 6 7 object may confirm Bourdieu ' s dictum: An art which ever increasingly contains reference to its own history demands to be perceived historically; it asks to be referred not to an external referent, the represented or designated 'reality', but to the universe of past and present works of art . . . the 'naive' spectator cannot attain a specific grasp of works of art which only have meaning—or value--in relation to the specific history of an artistic tradition. Intellectuals could be said to believe in the representation—literature, theatre, painting—more than in the things represented, whereas the people chiefly expect representations and the conventions which govern them to allow them to believe 'naively' in the things represented.13 Zhang Huiyan and Chen Tingzhuo are precisely the k ind o f intellectuals who frequently perceive poetry his tor ical ly and refuse to read it "naively." Ordinary people, on the other hand, tend to relate what they see in a work o f art to their dai ly experiences rather than historical or intertextual references. They demand that art should have a practical function, be it entertainment or emotional expression; whereas the elite audience w i l l ask for more than "fac i le" functionalism, say, its aesthetic details, stylistics, and coded allusions. A g a i n , Bourdieu insists: It is as if the 'popular aesthetic' (the quotation marks are there to indicate that this is an aesthetic 'in itself not 'for itself) were based on the affirmation of the continuity between art and life, which implies the subordination of form to function. This is seen clearly in the case of the novel and especially the theatre, where the working-class audience refuses any sort of formal experimentation and all the effects which, by introducing a distance from the accepted conventions (as regards scenery, plot, etc.), tend to distance the spectator, preventing him from getting involved and fully identifying with the characters. . . . the 'popular aesthetic' ignores or refuses the refusal of 'facile' involvement and 'vulgar' enjoyment, a refusal which is the basis of the taste for formal experiment.14 Bourdieu ' s theory is basical ly correct in observing the "continuity between art and l i f e " in popular aesthetic, but seems to ignore its concern wi th experimentation. In fact, it was among the populace that the nuances o f the ci lyr ic was or iginal ly developed. 1 5 For such a new k ind o f entertainment to appear, formal 13 B o u r d i e u 3 , 5 . 1 4 B o u r d i e u 4. 1 5 F o r t h e p o p u l a r o r i g i n o f the ci l y r i c , s ee W a g n e r . 68 experimentation must have been clearly taking place at the same time. The difference between high and low art in experimentation is that the main objective o f the latter is to delight the common audience, to give it a sense o f novelty, to surprise it, and to w i n its favour. Accord ing to Herbert Gans, "popular arts are, on the whole, user-oriented, and exist to satisfy audience values and wishes . " 1 6 Experimentat ion is therefore equally necessary i f demanded by the common audience, provided that it helps and does not hinder a fuller apprehension o f the real life it represents. It must be pointed out that the above analysis only outlines the general aesthetic dist inct ion between the elite and popular ci lyr ics . Thematically, in the early stages o f the evolut ion o f the ci, elite compositions l ike those in the Huajian ji 72 W\ HI (Among the Flowers)—di ci anthology compi led in the F ive dynasties (907-960)—are very s imilar to the Dunhuang lyrics in pr iz ing romantic feelings and feminine beauty above other loftier ideals and ideas. A t times, lyricists such as W e i Z h u a n g M iff (8347-910) and Ouyang X i u |fc g§ f|§ (1007-1072) also adopt the straightforwardness and artistic s impl ic i ty o f the popular l y r i c . 1 7 For example, a famous lyric by Wei Zhuang reads: Tune: "S i di xiang" jg ^ B ("Longing for the Capital") On a spring day's stroll, Almond blossoms drift all over my head Who's that young man on the pathway? How suave he is! 1 would like to be married to him My whole life long. Should 1 be thoughtlessly abandoned, I would feel no shame. 16 G a n s 6 2 . 1 7 F o r a d e t a i l e d s t u d y o f W e i Z h u a n g ' s ci s t y l e , s ee J o h n T i m o t h y W i x t e d , The Song-Poetry of Wei Chuang (836-910 AD) ( T e m p l e , A r i z o n a : A r i z o n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 9 ) . F o r E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s o f W e i Z h u a n g ' s l y r i c s , s ee R o b i n D . S . Y a t e s , Washing Silk: The Life and Selected Poetry of Wei Chuang (8347-910) ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . : Harvard University Press, 1 9 8 8 ) , 1 9 3 - 2 4 9 . F o r the i n f l u e n c e o f p o p u l a r l y r i c s o n O u y a n g X i u , see R o n a l d C . E g a n , The Literary Works of Ou-yang Hsiu (1007-72) ( C a m b r i d g e : C a m b r i d g e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 4 ) , 1 6 1 - 1 9 5 . 1 8 Z h a o , Huajian ji, 13 . T r a n s l a t i o n b y Y a t e s , 2 3 7 w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . £ rt ^ ffi m m ±m m * & s m m m m % m m - £ tfc m ffi m i t m 69 Such an influence o f the popular aesthetic on elite writers is especially pronounced in L i u Yong ' s ly r ica l practice, wh ich I w i l l study i n detail in the next chapter. Col lec t ive ly , these indiv idual examples verify that artists can choose work ing materials from higher or lower levels o f a culture and that a categorical demarcation between high and low is inadmissible. II. The Characteristics of the Anonymous Tang and Song Popular C i Lyrics Bourdieu ' s "popular aesthetic," affirming "the continuity between art and l i f e" wh ich demands a strong practical function o f art, is highly applicable to our study o f popular ci lyr ics . In the fo l lowing analyses, I w i l l concentrate on several o f their stylistic features, namely their 1) signs o f oral performance; 2) close relationship wi th dai ly l i fe; 3) straightforwardness and use o f co l loquia l expressions; and 4) unrefined qualities and "marketplace aura." 1. Popular c i lyrics as a form of oral performance A m o n g those works written by Tang and Song anonymous writers, the most noteworthy bear the distinct marks o f oral performance, in particular the Dunhuang lyr ics . These pieces not only manifest the feelings o f the common people at that time, but also remedy our deficit o f information on how the ci lyr ic was used to entertain. The fo l lowing is a good example: Tune: "Que ta zh i" & $g fe ("A Magpie Steps On the Branch") "It's unbearable that this magpie lies so much. UL ^ I I a§ ^  Hi |p He brings glad tidings, but has he ever had proof? | ? fqj ^ <f| Jjj Many times he has flown by, now I have him live, ^ ffl 5fc S IE W And in a cage of gold, shut him up and share no words." ift _t # II ft ^ In "I just wanted to bring glad tidings with a good heart, tt M. #? 'L> 5f5 j | | U Who'd ever know she'd shut me up in a cage of gold? ff| £p ift S ft sfe ff H I hope her journeying husband comes back soon; ® ftfe ffi :£: - !?•§§ 3f5 70 Then she'll free me to leap into the cloudy blue." M # W Wi $C I R I pf I t H 1 9 The abrupt shift in the second stanza o f this short piece indicates that there wou ld be two singers, or two characters played by one singer, during the performance. Possibly a simple costume or mask was used to introduce the magpie 's presence on stage. This dramatic prop certainly could surprise and amuse the audience, but the theme (also common in elite poetry) behind this humorous play was not in the least happy. It relates the historical reality o f the thousands o f Tang dynasty husbands and wives who endured unending separation due to mil i tary service. Constantly grieved over her husband's absence, the woman in the song vents her frustration on the magpie, the bearer o f good news according to popular be l ie f . 2 0 The bi rd ' s occasional visits to the woman's home, o f course, prove nothing about her husband's return, and thus annoy her. The rough artistry o f the song is apparent in its repetition o f rhymes (line 1 and 4, yu f § , l i teral ly "to say"; l ine 6 and 8, //' H , "wi th in") . But the repeated phrases—"to bring glad t idings" (line 2 and 5) and "shut up in the golden cage" (line 4 and 6)—cannot be counted as technical flaws. For these are key phrases connecting the two contrasting and dia logical stanzas. This k ind o f repetition is usually taboo in literati poetry, but in popular songs, it is an essential, emphatic device used to dramatize the audience's recall o f the preceding lines. The fo l lowing two sequential pieces provide us wi th another significant example. Tune: "Nan ge z i " j^f fR =f- ("Song of the South") (P. 3836) (I) You stand hidden behind the red curtain, M S ^ M 5 1 9 F r o m L u o Z h e n y u I I I ( 1 8 6 6 - 1 9 4 0 ) , Dunhuang lingshi 'M W fa ( 1 9 2 4 ) (Dunhuang Miscellaneous Collections), i n Luo Xuetang xiansheng quanji M S ^ #1 ^ ft (Complete Collection of Master Luo Xuetang) ( T a i p e i : W e n h u a c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 6 8 ) , S e r i e s 3 , v o l . 7 , 2 5 0 9 - 2 5 1 0 ; a l s o DHGCZB, v o l . 1, 3 1 5 - 6 ; DHQJL, 7 4 ( # 1 1 5 ) . T r a n s l a t i o n b a s e d o n K a n g - i S u n C h a n g , The Evolution of Chinese T z ' u Poetry: From Late T'ang to Northern Song ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 0 ) , 2 0 ; a n d W a g n e r 9 7 . 2 0 S e e W a n g R e n y u £E jZ | § , Kaiyuan tianbao yishi p] jt 5^ ff M. 9 (Incidents of the Eras Kaiyuan and Tianbao) ( T a i p e i : Y i w e n y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 6 ) , BBCS, j u a n x i a # T , 1 5 b . 71 W h o h a v e y o u h a d i n ? T h e f i n g e r m a r k s o n y o u r f a c e a r e c l e a r l y f r e s h . T h e l o v e k n o t i n y o u r s i l k b e l t , w h o h a s t i e d i t ? W h a t m a n t r o d o n , t h e n t o r e y o u r s k i r t ? Y o u r c i c a d a b r a i d s , w h y t o u s l e d ? Y o u r g o l d h a i r p i n , h o w d i d it g e t s p l i t ? W i t h t h a t s m e a r e d r e d f a c e d r i p p i n g t e a r s , w h o a r e y o u t h i n k i n g o f ? N o w , o u t f r o n t i n t h e h a l l , t e l l a l l . D o n ' t h o l d b a c k a t h i n g . CO E v e r s i n c e y o u l e f t , 1 h a v e n o i n t e r e s t i n a n y o t h e r m a n . T h e f r e s h f i n g e r m a r k s o n m y f a c e g o t t h e r e i n a d r e a m . T h e l o v e k n o t i n m y s i l k b e l t I t i e d u p m y s e l f . A n d m y s k i r t w a s t r o d d e n o n a n d t o r n b y a m o n k e y . T h e r e d c u r t a i n m a d e m y c i c a d a b r a i d s t o u s l e d , M y g o l d h a i r p i n s p l i t o n a n o l d c r a c k , T h e s m e a r e d r e d f a c e d r i p p i n g t e a r s , f r o m w e e p i n g f o r y o u . L i k e t h e p i n e o r c y p r e s s o n S o u t h M o u n t a i n , I h a v e n o i n t e r e s t i n a n y o t h e r m a n . This series, replete wi th sexual innuendoes (lines 3-7), was very l ike ly performed by two singers. U s i n g the same tune pattern and rhyme scheme, the woman in the second piece gives a witty retort to each corresponding question o f the man in the first, and several lines are almost repeated verbatim as i f in dai ly conversation. In performance, the spectators, whether they knew these dialogical pieces or not, would be predictably amused by the intensified dramatic effect brought about by this famil iar and somewhat jocular conversation. They were taken in precisely because such a situation was also possible in their own l ives, and because o f their incl inat ion towards "fr ivolous talk" and "petty gossip." It does not a im to educate them, or to leave a haunting message in their mind for them to contemplate, but brings them instant joy and an immediacy o f impact, evanescent and un-intellectual. 21 DHGCZB, v o l . 2 , 6 3 8 ; DHQJL 7 8 ( # 1 2 1 - 1 2 2 ) . 7 2 it m * it m ft m m ± m m if m ^ m >t> m m s A m m m m m m n IL E J & m m m M m ft m mm mm m B E m £ m m A m ± m JS if m m m m WL m i!x ft i 11 * 'L> m m A 21 The two " N a n ge z i " are categorized by Ren Erbei in his Dunhuang geci zhongbian as "s imple song cycles" (putong lianzhang Hf jj§ ff$ Ipf ) . 2 2 Accord ing to Ren, this category consists o f songs which have no fixed number o f pieces or passages, but can be grouped together as they illustrate a story or a particular theme in the same tune pattern. Despite the extreme rarity o f this form in extant Song ci collect ions, a set o f excellent anonymous song cycles is included in the Yuefu yaci ^ Jfif Ji PO (Music Bureau Elegant C i Lyr ics) compiled by Zeng Zao # fig (d. ca. 1155): T u n e : " J i u z h a n g j i " % 51 ( " T h e N i n e L o o m s " ) O n l o o m o n e . —" !JK HI A l o n g t h e m u l b e r r y l a n e s p r i n g c l o t h e s a r e t r i e d o n . £fc |j| P@ _h gi£ # 3$c A - l a z i n g i n t h e c a l m w a r m w e a t h e r . M Bf B S H IS TJ O n p e a c h b l o s s o m t w i g s , f £ fe _ t T h e t r i l l s o f t h e w a r b l e r ' s s o n g H $ ! l W IP K e e p s f o l k f r o m g o i n g b a c k h o m e . ~m Sx" A §§ O n l o o m t w o . M 51 Ht L e a v i n g , t h e t r a v e l e r h e s i t a t e s , s t o p p i n g h i s h o r s e . fx A ±L !§ M M M. N o t b e a r i n g t o l e t h i m g o s o e a s i l y , ;M >L> 7^ IM ft # I t u r n m y h e a d a n d s m i l e , (H — ^ T h e n g o b a c k i n a m o n g t h e f l o w e r s , f t fUJ § § 5 S A f r a i d o n l y t h a t t h e y m i g h t k n o w . iR ?S ffi ?5 £0 O n l o o m t h r e e . IE 51 tit T h e s i l k w o r m s a g e , t h e y o u n g s w a l l o w s f l y . ^| jfjj E ^ ^ SI ffl W i t h t h e e a s t w i n d , t h e b a n q u e t S S I i fi IW % a t t h e l o n g i s l e g a r d e n i s o v e r . R e n , Dunhuang qu chutan, 3 16. R e n f u r t h e r d i v i d e s o t h e r s o n g c y c l e s i n t o f o u r c a t e g o r i e s . T h e y a r e : 1) s o n g c y c l e s w i t h r e d u p l i c a t i v e l i n e s (chongju lianzhang | ^ ] 1 | ) ; 2 ) s o n g c y c l e s i n f i x e d p a t t e r n s (dingge lianzhang / £ f § I§fi iff ) ; 3 ) e x t e n d e d s o n g c y c l e s i n f i x e d p a t t e r n s (changpian dingge lianzhang fig / E fi§ IP ^ ) a n d 4 ) g r a n d s o n g s (c/a qu ft ). B u t h o w m a n y o f t h e m — i n c l u d i n g t h e e d u c a t i v e p i e c e s a n d B u d d h i s t h y m n s i n t h e " s i m p l e s o n g c y c l e s " — c a n b e c a t e g o r i z e d as ci l y r i c s i s a h i g h l y c o n t e n t i o u s i s s u e . F o r e x a m p l e , J a o T s u n g - y i Hi 7K M r e m a r k s , " T h e s o n g s e q u e n c e s i n f i x e d p a t t e r n s a re a l m o s t a l l B u d d h i s t h y m n s . T h e s e k i n d o f h y m n s s h o u l d n o t b e a l l v i e w e d as ci l y r i c s . R e n ' s t h e o r y s e e m s t o o i n d i s c r i m i n a t e " 5E T s u n g - y i a n d P a u l D e m i e v i l l e , Airs de Touen-houang (Touen houang K'iu ife iHl fflj ) ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s d u C e n t r e N a t i o n a l d e l a R e c h e r c h e S c i e n t i f i q u e , 1 9 7 1 ) : 2 0 7 . M a r s h a W a g n e r a l s o p o i n t s o u t tha t R e n ' s " n u m b e r i n g s y s t e m is s o m e t i m e s d u b i o u s a n d m i s l e a d i n g b e c a u s e h e t e n d s t o a s s i g n a n e w n u m b e r t o e a c h c o n s e c u t i v e s t a n z a o f a l i n k e d s e r i e s o f v e r s e s . " W a g n e r 3 3 . 73 The lightness of the silk drives me to seize the chance. For now, the Guan Wa palace ladies, Change their dresses for the dance. m m fit m © e K £ m m ^ On loom four. At its creak and squeak, my eyebrows secretly knit. Turning the shuttle I weave a hanging lotus. Easy to piece the coils of a flower together, But hard mend a broken heart. It is as tangled and delicate, delicate as silk. V PE m m 0 m. 11 * m rt % m -7-On loom five. I have cross woven Shen Yue's love poem. The line in the middle, no one understands. It speaks not of sorrow or regret. It speaks not of wan looks. O f love, only. tit m m i t IP i# ^ <b — ^ M A # T w m is T H 11 fep K m w & On loom six. Row after row is playing with flowers. Among them there are pairs of butterflies. Stopping the shuttle for a while, Under the light, by the quiet window, I watch long upon them alone. /\ i s ffi fx fr IP ft r? $ - H|fi| 7E 5E On loom seven. The weaving of the lovebirds is done, I pause, Afraid someone may carelessly cut them asunder. Flying to two different places, A solitary scene of sorrowful separation. How wi l l they ever follow one another again? -b m ® K ?a ffi A $1 ic m ft m m m -mm is n i t n ffi m On loom eight. Don't know who wrote this palindrome. What I have woven turns into tiers of desolate feelings. Line by line I read it through. Sick and tired—unable to say a thing, Unable to bear the thought of it again. A m m ® & m M m n 11 $c - #- m u M fx fx I I M I I I ! 73 H B3 On loom nine. Dual flowers, dual leaves on dual twigs. A fickle lover is always fast to leave. From head to toe, I sew hearts together m rt m m x m & m it i * # m m si M E jftF & m m 74 By passing a silk thread through. - fS U In Zeng Zao ' s col lect ion, there is another " J i u zhang j i " series. Song cycles l ike these strongly testify that the ci was a performed literature. However, the rarity o f this category in the Song ci col lect ion also suggests its relative unpopularity, or s imply that much o f it was lost. The " J i u zhang j i " series, though defined as an "elegant" sequence by Zeng Zao, resembles the co l loquia l and amatory W u folksong popular in the Southern Dynasties, both thematically and stylist ically. In the first three stanzas, the mulberry lane, the ca lm and warm spring weather and the Guan Wa Palace (built by the ancient state o f Wu) recalls for the reader the typical atmosphere o f Jiangnan where W u folksong originated. The al lusion to Shen Yue £fc %r) (441-513) and his love poem in the fifth stanza (line 2) makes a further temporal association wi th the Southern Dynasties. Al though Shen was an elite poet, he and his colleagues, as w e l l as emperors and princes, also assiduously transformed W u folksong and developed it into the erotic "Palace Style" Poem. The song cycle ' s description o f a woman's longing for her separated and perhaps f ickle lover is notably one o f the most common, i f not banal, themes o f W u folksong. It distinguishes itself, however, by successively reiterating the work o f weaving stanza after stanza, creating an effect which seems to imply that the woman's longing w i l l never cease. Styl is t ical ly , the series not only preserves the straightforward and col loquia l flavour o f W u folksong, but also inherits from it a number o f images which symbolize love, such as lovebirds, butterflies and flowers on twigs; a l l o f wh ich are in pairs, strongly contrasting wi th the woman's loneliness. A l s o noteworthy is its use o f homophonic characters as puns, which is an exceptionally salient feature o f W u folksong. For example, lian zi 31 ^f- ("lotus") in line 3, stanza 4, is pronounced l ike "cherishing y o u " ( '[H ); and si ("s i lk") in line 6, stanza 9, Z e n g Z a o , Yuefu yaci ( C h a n g s h a : S h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 3 9 ) , CSJC, v o l . 1 , 1 7 - 1 9 ; QSC, v o l . 5 , 3 6 5 0 a - 3 6 5 1 a . 24 Yuefu yaci, v o l . 1, 1 5 - 1 7 ; QSC, v o l . 5 , 3 6 4 9 b - 3 6 5 0 a . 7 5 l ike " longing for" ( Jg ).25 The distinctive marks o f oral performance demonstrated by the above anonymous lyr ics are seldom presented in elite oeuvre, largely because elite writers, deeply influenced by the Confucian aesthetic, tended to use poetic form mainly as a vehicle for "expressing one's aspirations" (yan zhi Hf ^ ). For this reason, their lyrics are, as Kang- i Sun Chang points out, almost exclusively characterized by the lyr ica l mode . 2 6 Popular ci, on the other hand, had to rely on a variety o f stylistic modes—including ly r i ca l , narrative and dramatic—in order to amuse and attract relatively uneducated audiences and satisfy their demand for instant pleasure o f a tangible story or play wi th in a poem, rather than a solo o f spiri tual questing. This difference in style is also generated by the economic and social factors discussed in the fo l lowing section. 2. The continuity between popular ci. lyrics and daily life Medi ta t ing on the passage o f time and subtle expressions o f personal melancholy are the main themes o f the Tang and Song elite ci lyr ics . Popular lyrics are more varied in subject matter. The soldier 's complaints o f war, the sing-song g i r l ' s misery, traveling merchant's nostalgia, the ci ty-dweller ' s humble l ife, the hermit 's insouciant manner and even the doctor 's prescriptions are intermingled with the most common theme o f romantic or erotic love. Al though differences in function and aesthetic are certainly the main factors which contribute to this thematic (as 2 5 Despite its straightforward content, the series is interpreted allegorically by Chen Tingzhuo. Seizing upon a tenuous analogy, he comments, "The Song anonymous 'Nine Looms' consists of the words of a banished minister and an abandoned woman. Sad and delicate, intricate and elegant, they are excellent pieces [like the] ancient Yuefu poems . . . They are simply derived from the 'Lesser Elegantiae' ["Xiao ya," a section in the Shijing] and the 'Li Sao.' Ci lyrics like these have already reached their pinnacle. ^ M ^ ^ f l ^ & W , , ^ ^ ^ & ^ M i i M ° ^ Mffim,m®-£%jfi & - • • • m £ * m < m m m m • I I S - B S IS II ° CHCB, vol. 4, 3901-2. This passage is not much different from the comment Chen makes on Wen Tingyun's "Pu sa man" (note 9); both emphasize the resemblance between an abandoned woman's situation and that of a banished minister. It shows that the practice of allegorical interpretation cannot only legitimately be applied to elite compositions, but also to works of popular origin, given that they too contain, consciously or unconsciously, stock allegorical elements. 2 6 Chang 19. 76 wel l as stylistic) dist inct ion, the disparity in economic and social conditions also play a part. Pierre Bourdieu insists that the conditions o f existence for an elite are basically characterized by the suspension and removal of economic necessity and by objective and subjective distance from practical urgencies, which is the basis of objective and subjective distance from groups subjected to those determinisms.27 These preconditions enable the elite to acquire " a l l learning o f legitimate culture." Its obsession wi th "aesthetic distance" in high art (e.g. Post-Impressionist painting) and its distance from the common people are thus al lowed to take shape. Bourdieu further emphasizes how the elite constitutes its specif ical ly "aesthetic disposi t ion": The aesthetic disposition, a generalized capacity to neutralize ordinary urgencies and to bracket off practical ends, a durable inclination and aptitude for practice without a practical function, can only be constituted within an experience of the world freed from urgency and through the practice of activities which are an end in themselves, such as scholastic exercises or the contemplation of works of art.28 Nourished by an abundance o f time and money, such an "aesthetic disposi t ion" despises works o f art which merely offer easy gratification and accessibility. Main ta in ing an aesthetic distance between the object represented and the "ordinary sensibi l i ty" is considered by the elite to be more intellectually challenging, or interesting, than seeing the object as it actually is. But the "ordinary disposi t ion," generated from the commoner 's material deficiency and lack o f leisure, tends to demand a practical function for art. It would l ike to see how art can be related to life and how art can speak for the audience. Based on Bourdieu ' s theory, the literati poets, freed from material urgencies and possessing this "aesthetic disposi t ion," incl ine to present the imagery, content, language and other facets o f their works indirectly. A m o n g the various Song ci B o u r d i e u 5 4 . B o u r d i e u 5 4 . 7 7 lyr icis ts , the most immediate example o f this k ind o f poet is the prime minister Yan Shu J | ^ (991-1055). Yan is known for his precocious and successful publ ic career, and a life o f comfort and affluence. Hi s work is characterized by its ambiguous voice, balanced emotion, subtle references to luxury and wealth, and frequent detachment between the object described and the poet himself. For example, one o f his most famous lyrics goes: Tune: "Huan xi sha" ^ M fp ("Silk Washing Creek Sands") A n e w song, a single cup of wine, — m m Last year's weather, the same pavilions and balconies. "TTTt " f e t ^ m The sun sets in the west, when wi l l it return? m m T m The flowers w i l l fall for all you can do. M Ri And the swallows that look familiar return. ftX "ft" On the scented garden path I pace to and fro. / J N H This lyr ic meditates on the passage o f time. Al though it expresses a certain sense o f loss aroused by the memory o f last year's experience and the setting sun, the solace comes in the fifth l ine, reaching that something familiar w i l l always return. From the last l ine, the reader gets the impression that Yan is in a state o f contemplation and that his emotion is in a we l l balanced condit ion after acquiring the phi losophical perception o f the previous couplet . 3 0 Bourdieu ' s theory may not apply absolutely to a l l literati poets (especially Song shi writers) or elite readers, for some s t i l l inherently or deliberately maintain an "ordinary d ispos i t ion ." 3 1 However, in general it is undeniable that most common 2V QSC, v o l . 1 , 8 9 a ; T r a n s . E g a n , 1 4 3 . 3 0 F o r t h i s r e a s o n , P r o f e s s o r C h i a - y i n g Y e h l a b e l s h i m a n " i n t e l l e c t u a l p o e t " a n d g i v e s the f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n : " T h e i n t e l l e c t u a l p o e t is a l w a y s r e f l e c t i n g o n h i s e x p e r i e n c e , t r y i n g to u n d e r s t a n d i t , o r e x a m i n i n g h i s o w n f e e l i n g s a n d k e e p i n g t h e m u n d e r c o n t r o l . " " A n A p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e Tz'u o f Y e n S h u , " t r a n s . J a m e s R . H i g h t o w e r , i n Song Without Music: Chinese T z ' u Poetry, e d . S t e p h e n C . S o o n g ( H o n g K o n g : C h i n e s e U n i v e r s i t y o f H o n g K o n g P r e s s , 1 9 8 0 ) , 8 4 . 3 1 S o n g shi p o e t s a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y k n o w n f o r t h e i r e x p l o r a t i o n o f g r e a t e r r a n g e o f t h e m e s a n d s u b j e c t m a t t e r t h a n w r i t e r s o f a n y p r e v i o u s p e r i o d , a n d are f o n d o f d e s c r i b i n g " p e t t y " t h i n g s , s u c h as i n s e c t s , a n d q u o t i d i a n a f f a i r s . T h e y a l s o e m p l o y e d a l a r g e a m o u n t o f c o l l o q u i a l l a n g u a g e i n t h e i r w o r k . H o w e v e r , t h e i r a t t i t u d e t o ci w r i t i n g d i f f e r s s h a r p l y f r o m t h e i r t r e a t m e n t o f the shi, t h u s B o u r d i e u ' s c r i t i c i s m is h i g h l y a p p l i c a b l e h e r e . F o r m o r e d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n s o f e l i t e ci a e s t h e t i c s , s ee t h e l a t e r s e c t i o n s i n t h i s c h a p t e r a n d p a s s i m . F o r a s t u d y o f S o n g shi p o e t r y , s e e Y o s h i k a w a K o j i r o ill P^- ^K. Jt|5 , Introduction to Sung Poetry, t r a n s . B u r t o n W a t s o n I i A3-m W fin 7 8 readers demand that poetry have a close relationship wi th ordinary l i fe . A n anonymous lyr ic written i n the Song provides a good example. Tune: " X i n g xiang z i " f j § ("Song of Presenting Incense") At Huating in East Zhe, The price of goods is cheap. There was a time I bought three pints of wi Opened the bottle, Strong, mellow; bouquet, good. It made you drink it right away, Drunk right away and right away sober. I heard [Tao] Yuanming talk to L i u Ling: This bottle of wine weighs three catties. If you still don't believe, Take a scale and weigh them. There is one catty of wine, One catty of water, and one catty of bottle. Se l l ing watered-down wine was probably quite common i n Song China , but is o f course a minor misch ie f next to the rife c i v i l wars, extortion, famine and penury. This explains why the above piece was written i n an offhand tone. The piece talks about how a man was deceived by a cunning wine seller. On ly after he drank the wine d id he realize the truth (line 6-7). Here the two we l l -known poets and great drinkers, Tao Yuanming PU f£J (365-427) and L i u L i n g glj ffr (third century), are used as models for the wine connoisseur and wine addict, respectively. A sense o f humour is revealed through the conversation about the wine ' s "ingredients" (lines 13-14). Though the a l lus ion suggests the piece's author was o f higher literacy, the co l loquia l expression (line 3, yi dao hui —- JH H" and line 5, hua la guang qing H i )^  i ) also indicates his predilect ion for the rough edge o f the tongue. ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 ) . 3 2 I n C h e n S h i c h o n g ^ t t # ( f l . t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) , Suiyin manlu M M Wk %k (Informal Records of the Leisurely Hermit) ( S h a n g h a i : J i n b u s h u j u , 1 9 1 0 ) , 2 : 5 a ; a l s o QSC, v o l . 5 , 3 6 8 2 a . ne. f f £ W <Jr — M H" -n m m m m Tfe m m m m f p it J E n * w M — fr M - fx * , - ff 32 7 9 Whereas elite aesthetic, usually, requires poetry to focus on l i fe ' s serious aspects, popular aesthetic tends to indulge i n its most ordinary and does not, for example, repudiate a " s i l l y " and " f r ivolous" ly r ic such as the fo l lowing : Tune: "Lang tao sha" $g fj> ("Waves Washing the Sand") You "mushy rice" my sworn foe! 7k, IS 1§ 51 And a wee touch of ginger and melon. / [ N H JH Head on with a bottle, I 'm just about to drink some wine. # flfj J£ ffll ffc tffl But you come, right so, to stop me. #P fj* 5fc HU JT f i Oh! how boring. PS A £P I can only spoon you into my mouth, ^ ^ ^ j§b Jfl|5 Just like swallowing sand. — ff If the host wants someone to praise him, i A i I f A I Then don't begrudge pouring three or five cups, 1 1 B I I S E | Adding flowers to this brocade. _t 3 3 A guest was invi ted to a meal, but the niggardly host served only cheap dishes. " M u s h y r i ce" (shuifan 7JC IS ) was probably common fo lk ' s dai ly fare, thus the guest calls it his "sworn foe" (line 1 ) . In a book wh ich records i n detail the hustle and bustle o f the Northern Song capital Kai feng §@ fej" ( in present Henan province), there is an entry about "mushy r ice": From Vermilion Bi rd Gate, go straight down to Dragon Ford Bridge. Turn south from the bridge, [and you w i l l find] mushy rice sold right on the street. t B * i P 1 , I S I # i , S W ffi 3? £ , # £l * , IS -34 Food "so ld right on the street" was almost certainly o f poor quality. A l s o , its l i teral meaning indicates that it was perhaps made o f boi led water and cooked rice only. Based on this evidence, we can te l l that the guest was a lower class ci ty-dweller . 3 3 In H o n g M a i jg (1123 -1202) , Yijian zhi H M ^ (Record of the Listener), ed. H e Z h u o fof ( B e i j i n g : Zhonghua shuju , 1981), v o l . 3 , j i j u a n B # , 7: 1352; QSC, v o l . 5, 3666a. 3 4 M e n g Y u a n l a o sg; jt 3£ et a l . , Dongjing menghua lu (wai si zhong) ^ jj( ^ lj§ ^ ( #f E9 S ) (^Ae Reminiscences of the Eastern Capital, and Four Other Books) (Shanghai : Shanghai gudian wenxue chubanshe, 1956), 2 : 13. 80 H i s strong dis l ike o f the food is vented by personifying it as a "foe" (line 1), from which the audience also enjoys comic relief. When life is diff icult , pursuing higher goals becomes a luxury wh ich only the wealthy can afford. The above example shows that a good meal is a basic goal o f the common people, s imply because they can rarely have one. It wou ld be a very unpleasant experience for them i f even this simple goal could not be approached, but it is a mouthful the elite wou ld consider too infra d ig . W h i l e the "mushy r ice" poem humorously expresses the common people 's aspiration for a better material l i fe , the fo l lowing sol i loquy voices their hope for a sincere romantic relationship. Tune: "Nan ge z i " $ j f t ? ("Song of the How can I not think it over? I fear your heart lies elsewhere. Recently I've heard things, and I feel uneasy. Night after night my dreams are uncontrolled, Always keep going to visit you. In the daytime we always see one another. At night, we lie in different places. I constantly think of you al l day, Wishing I were a love knot, Bound across your breast, for always. U p o n hearing the rumour that her lover is seeing someone else, the woman feels uneasy (line 2-3). E v e n though they are seeing each other constantly, she s t i l l j cannot be sure he stays faithful (line 6-7). The piece repeatedly stresses the woman 's th inking about the man (line 4-5, 8), and ends wi th her unfeasible wi sh to control h i m . Popular culture has been charged wi th escapism. For example, Ernest Van den Haag states, "Ar t s can deepen the perception o f reality. But popular culture vei ls it, diverts from it, and becomes an obstacle to experiencing it. It is not so much an South") (P. 3836) f ^ I A 1 te & g m ill 3fc M M ^ # S£ ^ M. ¥ 3& IM! IH £ a m m i t 5 s § *I Ji. 6 m & EH BK m m m 0 m m m m ft $ * ® m & m ft ^ m m  35 DHGCZB, v o l . 1, 3 7 7 ; DHQJL 8 0 ( # 1 2 4 ) . 81 escape from life but an invasion o f life first, and ult imately evasion altogether." 3 6 However, popular lyr ics such as the above examples affirm a convergence on problems i n art as i n l i fe . They effectively display the perhaps "insignif icant ," but also the most genuine, expressions o f the common people, demonstrating to us the fact that life is sometimes serious, sometimes not; and it is quite often in a t r iv i a l , laughable matter that we discover its true implicat ions. The unveiled s impl ic i ty o f articulation i n popular lyrics is perfectly i n accord wi th the "ordinary disposi t ion," wh ich is manifested i n a desire to see the things and persons as they are; a desire, as Bourdieu defines, "to enter into the game, identifying wi th the characters' joys and sufferings, worrying about their fate, espousing their hopes and ideals" and also " l i v i n g their l i f e . " 3 7 3. Straightforward and colloquial expressions The style o f the popular lyr ic is most notably demonstrated i n its frequent use o f straightforward expressions and dai ly language which is relatively rare i n elite ci composit ions. These characteristics, l ike the variety o f different subject matter discussed i n the previous section, are closely connected wi th the ly r i c ' s "ordinary disposi t ion." They are formulated chiefly i n response to the demands o f the publ ic , who accept pieces expressed i n its own id iom most easily. B y and large, the popular lyr ic ignores the subtle ambiguities treasured by the elite and substitutes a strong statement and a clear-cut message for it. Some o f the earlier examples also contain these elements. For example: It's unbearable that this magpie lies so much \a. ^ fi ft§ ^ [$§ in You "mushy rice" my sworn foe! 7JC IS M. M M. Wishing I were a love knot, I ^ t ^ f Bound across your breast, for always. 4j| H ^£ {fr fij E r n e s t V a n d e n H a a g , " O f H a p p i n e s s a n d o f D e s p a i r W e H a v e N o M e a s u r e , " i n R o s e n b e r g a n d W h i t e , Mass Culture: The Popular Arts in America, 5 3 0 . " B o u r d i e u 3 3 . 82 Lines l ike these focus on the emotional state o f the subject who expresses his or her l ike or d is l ike i n respect to the second person (ni % ) or object. U n l i k e some o f the literati ci, such as Wen Tingyun 's " P u sa man," i n wh ich the personae's feelings are always ambiguous, popular lyrics tend to state expl ic i t ly the identities or feelings o f the persons represented, enabling its audience to directly relate its own experiences and sentiments to specific characters. Sometimes, even i f the identity o f the character is vague, their state o f mind is s t i l l expl ic i t . The fo l lowing Dunhuang lyr ic is perhaps the most conspicuous example: Tune: "Pusa man" | H ("Bodhisattva Barbarian") (S. 4332) Across the pil low I made a thousand vows: tt ffl fit 18 IS: JSJS Not until green mountains crumble H Pf. J=L f# W [JL| ffl then w i l l I stop, Not until a weight can float on top of water, TK HJ _h yjjj§ ffi Not until the Yellow River is dried completely to its bottom. [IC M ItSt Jls fe Not until Orion appears in broad daylight, £3 0 0 M Not until the B i g Dipper turns south; 4t -^1- 0 $9 Hfl Stop loving you~I yet cannot, {fc JSP 7^ f t £fc Not until we see the sun in the third watch of the night. J. If H M M H ^ 3 8 Whether this piece is a creation o f a man or a woman, its statement is s t i l l strong and clear. In this short ly r i c , six out o f the eight lines are given to the lover 's pledge o f fidelity. There are no deviations from its linear progression; no other sophisticated emotions are involved . It is so strongly and frankly expressed that the reader need only fo l low the message offered, and conjecture as to its meaning is hardly necessary. The lover 's vows, through the use o f "the trope identified as ' i m p o s s i b i l i a ' , " is probably influenced by the Han Yuefu folksong " O h Heaven!" ( "Shangye" ± ): Oh Heaven! ± Jfl I wish our love Wi JH % £0 Would hold forever and be never undone S np H M S 38 3 9 Wagner 34 . DHGCZB, v o l . 1, 3 2 6 ; DHQJL 34 (#041). 83 T i l l slopes from the mountains are gone, (If T i l l water in the river runs dry, flC T i l l summer snow falls, winter thunders boom and thump, 4 > Heaven and earth merge into one, X. Then would I dare break off from you. fj Such a direct and expl ic i t statement is generally repudiated i n literati ci c r i t i c i sm. For example, the late Song scholar Shen Y i f u tfc IS 5£ holds that "[One] cannot [express] romantic feelings too e x p l i c i t l y . " 4 1 S t i l l , it is not uncommon to f ind literati such as W e i Zhuang i n the Tang (not to mention the obviously "vulgar" lyr ic is t L i u Yong) , closely imitat ing this distinctive feature o f the popular ly r ic . Straightforwardness couples wi th co l loquia l i sm in popular ci. F rom an elite c r i t i c ' s point o f view, however, the use o f co l loquia l language (liyu {H §§ ) is tantamount to vulgarity. Zhang Yan 55 i£ (1248-1320?), a late Song lyr icis t and cr i t ic , for example, bemoans that even an elegant poetess such as L i Qingzhao ^ M (1084-1151) occasionally uses co l loquia l expressions i n her lyr ics . The "Yong Yu le" ["Always Having Fun"] by L i Y i ' a n [Qingzhao] says, "It would be better to lean against the wee curtain / To listen to other people's laughter." This lyric itself is not bad. But to sing in colloquial language 1 during a banquet by the flowers and under the moon would seem like hitting the clay instrument fou while performing the elegant "Shao" music. Truly it is a pity! ^ B ^ 7 * ® ^ S : r ^ $ [ J [ n J l f 5 f i J S T , : ii A % m • J ut m ^  s * M ° m m m & n ^ n m In ancient and modern co l loquia l Chinese, it is common practice to add the suffix er 5fi ( famil iar iz ing "wee" or " l i t t l e " i n Engl ish) after a noun. But i n formal occasions or belles lettres, this suffix is supposedly avoided. L i Qingzhao 's use' o f it after the noun "curta in" (Han J$| ) quoted i n the above comment, therefore, was 4 U Guo Maoqian, Yuefu shiji, vo l . 1, 231. 4 1 ft! tft :ff , ^ nj X M • Yuefu zhimi $ Jff fg (Yuefu Guidebook), CHCB, vol . 1, 280. 42 Ciyuan M M (The Origin of the C i ) , CHCB, vol . 1, 263. For L i ' s lyr ic, see QSC, vol . 2, 931b. 84 considered by Zhang Yan as inappropriate. A s imilar opin ion on the use o f the vernacular i n the ci ly r ic is proffered by Shen Y i f u . A n entry i n his Yuefu zhimi says, Words such as zen (how), ren (such as this), nai (unbearable), zhe (this) and ni (you), though [common] diction of ci lyricists, should not be used too often. One should also treat these words carefully and not use them unless it is unavoidable. iW ^ ^ » j j § ^ * ^ 4- » J S ^ * , % ^ 2. m , mm m m m , ft ^ ?s & m , ft m m , ^  & ti m m z °43 Whereas Shen thinks that co l loquia l d ic t ion such as zen, ren, nai, zhe and ni w i l l | "vu lgar ize" elite poetry, it is not only a common and natural, but also an essential element i n popular lyr ics . A t times, a popular ci writer wou ld deliberately play wi th the suffix er for effect: Tune: "Yuan lang gui" U SP g§ ("The Return of Mr. Yuan") Modish make-up, fashionable knots in a wee gossamer garment(er), Gilded with gold is the wee mugwort tiger(er), Lapel of painted silk, wee belted skirt(er), Its design is of little potted lotus(er). A small bag of fragrance, A wee thread-bound purse(er), The wee pair of them over the chest(er). Post toilette, from behind the embroidered curtain she comes out, Asking i f she is presentable or not. A s i f flaunting Zhang Yan ' s theory, this lyr ic consistently uses the suffix er for its rhyme (ending s ix out o f the poem's eight l ines), also v io la t ing the sacrosanct poetic rule that rhymes should not be repeated i n the same piece. Such a crude device, however, helps compound the innocence o f the g i r l , who makes a 4 3 S h e n , Yuefu zhimi, CHCB, v o l . 1, 2 8 1 . 4 4 C h e n Y u a n j i n g W. jt WL , Suishi guangji B# H fH (Extensive Record of Times and Seasons) ( T a i p e i : Y i w e n y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 8 ) , BBCS, 2 1 : 1 2 b ; QSC, v o l . 5 , 3 6 7 3 b . 1 8 5 m • m # m m m ft — • m A j f m ft ft m * m ^ 44 tremendous effort to dress herself up but s t i l l lacks confidence i n the result o f her work. In addit ion to this dist inctive feature, the piece is also an animated record o f the customs o f the Dragon Boat Fest ival i n the fifth day o f the fifth month. A c c o r d i n g to popular belief, the mugwort tiger (ai hu 3c J 7 u ) and smal l bag o f fragrance (xiang dai zi § ^ ) can dispel ev i l spirits and inauspicious omens part icularly troublesome i n the summer months . 4 5 The thread-bound purse (xu qian Iii iS ) is prescribed to proscribe "red mouth and white tongue" (chi kou bai she ^ P ^ ^ ), that is, slanderous talk and goss ip . 4 6 It is through the use o f co l loqu ia l language and simple d ic t ion that the acuteness o f popular remedies and sayings can be rubbed so potently together wi th the naivete o f the pr incipal character. 4. Unrefinement and "marketplace aura" The popular l y r i c ' s lack o f refinement results partly from its emotional immediacy and use o f co l loqu ia l d ic t ion, and partly from the mediocre sk i l l s o f the writers. The common notion o f the popular ci as subordinate to music also contributed to its comparative artistic inferiority as a ly r ic . M a n y modern scholars believe that professional entertainers, though w e l l -trained i n music , d id not take the quality o f the lyr ics too seriously, an attitude contrasting sharply to the literati poets. Professional entertainers merely demanded singable texts from the lyricis ts ; whether or not they were w e l l written was secondary. Shen Y i f u advances the fo l lowing opinion on the popular l y r i c ' s literary defects and their causes: Poets of elder generations wrote many excellent lyrics. But very often they did not fit the [musical] tunes, thus, no one sang them. Most of those lyrics performed in entertainment quarters and courtesan houses were written by professional musicians and writers who made their l iving in marketplaces. Many people sang them simply because they did not deviate from the tunes. However, the words and diction they used are completely unreadable. This i was done to the degree that when chanting of the moon, rain is mentioned; 4 5 For a detailed study about these customs, see Huang Shi ft 5 , Duanwu Hsu shi tQ *f- jjjft fe $. (History of the Rites and Customs of the Dragon Boat Festival) (Hong Kong: Taixing shuju, 1963), 177-182, 193-199. 4 6 Chen Yuanjing 21: 12b. 86 when chanting of spring, an autumn scene is also presented. Lyrics such as "Hua xin dong" ["The Romant ic Heart is Restless"] are ridiculed as "consisting of four seasonal phenomena in a single piece." Also , within a given lyric, things are [likely to be] disordered and repetitious. For example, a certain "Qu you chun" ["Spring Outing by the R ive r Bank] reads, " M y face is too frail to hide the tears." In the second stanza, it says, "I cry until I am exhausted." Then it concludes, " M y sleeves are filled up with red tears." There are very many like these. They are serious defects. ft , K m w m ^ m , & &,m z • t s T i § s ? , ^ ^ « r m • s s m ^ w m m , m m w m fx • n # ^  m-m,AEzm-^M • K - m z ^,m m m m , a m m s : r m w m m m • j m• s : r ^ # w M-M, • j ' «S X 5 : r « t t n f a • jfn Itb S # , 7b A Shen's statement exemplifies the basic disparity between elite and popular lyr ics : the former usually value literary quality above music, whi le the latter do the opposi te . 4 8 The modern scholar C a i Songyun's |p? p§ j ? (1892-?) commentary on Shen's work reaffirms this phenomenon: Probably it was because the common practice of the time that, whereas literary writers did not think highly of [musical] rules, professional musicians cared little about texts; so they moved down opposite paths. This is one of the critical reasons which has resulted in the severance of music from lyrics. I f ^ I | , ^ ± ^ I # J I ^ I X , m m ^ m. m m , it m z ^ m m m m ft m z - A m 47 CHCB, vol. 5, 281. The hodgepodge-like "Hua xin dong" is recognized as an anonymous piece. However, the "Qu you chun" is ascribed to the elite poet Kang Yuzhi M 2 (fl. 1147-1158). The lyrics can be found in QSC, vol. 5, 3679b and vol. 2, 1303b. 4 8 For example, Su Shi was particularly known and criticized for his inexpertness in music. See Li Qingzhao's discourse on the Ci, in Hu Zi $Q (fl. 1082-1143), Tiaoxiyuyin conghua s ?§§ M PH W IS (Collected Sayings of the Fishing Hermit of Bignonia Stream) (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1984): houji i t , 33: 254; also, Peng Cheng ^ ^ (fl. 1080-1086), Moke huixi H ^ jfE Jig (The Literary Writer Flourishing his Brush) (Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1965), BBCS, 4: 6a. 4 9 Cai Songyun, Yuefu zhimi jianxi ^ 0 ffi i§ Jfp (Commentary and Explanation of the Yuefu Guidebook), compiled in one book with Xia Chengtao J t (1900-1986) ed., Ciyuan zhu g5| f£ (Annotations to the Origin of the Ci) (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1998), 71. 87 However clear Shen and C a i ' s point may be, it does not adequately expla in why professional musicians d id not treat words and text seriously. Preceding sections emphasize the use o f ci lyr ic i n oral performance, and that the common audience demanded it be 'closely associated wi th dai ly experience. For this reason, the illiterate or semi-literate audience's role i n determining the ci repertoire should be addressed. Too elegant and intellectual lyr ics were i l l -sui ted for men who frequented the entertainment quarters or courtesan houses i n pursuit o f sensual pleasures. This is probably why C a i Songyun states that "even when elegant lyr ics were w e l l blended wi th tunes, contemporary performers s t i l l d id not want to sing them." 5 0 The lyr ics most welcomed by the common audience as w e l l as professional musicians were apparently those replete wi th "marketplace aura" (shijingqi rf? M ), the term frequently used by elite cri t ics to show their contempt for "vulgar" or unrefined lyr ics . In metropolises l ike the Northern and Southern Song capitals Kai feng and L i n ' a n 6^  (present Hangzhou), that "aura" was ubiquitous. Also , there were low-level prostitutes who came without invitation to sing in front of the banquet tables. [People might] casually give them a little money or some things to send them away. These prostitutes were called "inferior guests," or da jiu zuo. X W T ^ ^ ^ C . ^ ^ S ^ , m m & m , w* m \x s /> m m m z'm * „ m z  r m On the streets or in marketplaces there were musicians in groups of three or five, propping up one or two girls to dance and sing short ci and doing business, particularly along the streets. f t f i f j W ^ A H E J S I ^ , m - - & * m m., m ^  m , m » m n m -51 Songs sung i n these contexts wou ld be ful l o f "marketplace" elements, such as the straightforward and co l loquia l flavours. They were also identifiable by their ordinary or " sha l low" sentiments, and redundant, "artless" representations. 5 0 u m w z m m , m A ^ * n z . cai 71. 5 1 M e n g Y u a n l a o , 1 6 ; W u Z i m u , Mengliang lu ^ ^ ^ (Records of the Dreams of Millet), i n Dongjing menghua lu, 3 0 9 . 88 The "marketplace aura" is especially remarkable i n jocular and erotic pieces. Two jocular lyr ics , " X i n g xiang z i " and "Lang tao sha," have been examined earlier. The fo l lowing example is even more derisive and mischievous. Tune: "Qing yu wan" f f 3£ ^ ("Green Jade Bowl") Hobnailed rain shoes wear down their soles and the Xiangfu road. Like white egrets, one after another they disappear. Who can spend the day with examination boxes and scholar's hat? Warriors from the Eight Wings Sector, Two Invigilators in the hall, And nowhere for cribs to be hidden. Time up, it was just about dusk. Clutching an ink-brush he crammed the space with scribbles. If one asks how great his glum idleness is: like Two candlesticks of fat, A half bowl of rancid rice, A brief fall of evening rain. This piece mocks the candidates who went to take the advanced imperial examination held i n Xiangfu , another name for the Northern Song capital Kai feng . On ly after passing was a candidate qualif ied for an off ic ia l posi t ion or to enter central government. The competi t ion was intense. Each time, only a few candidates won the title o f "Advanced Scholar" (Jin shi dr ), but thousands s t i l l hankered after the fame and gain it offered. Therefore, both i n and out o f the examination ha l l , bribery and scandals were common. Some, neither intelligent enough to answer the questions correctly, nor wealthy enough to pay of f the examination officers, wou ld try to cheat. The inveterate corruption became the subject o f gossip and even a laughingstock for both the common folks and scholarly class. The derision and jocular i ty o f " Q i n g yu wan" is amplif ied by its See the pieces about watered-down wine and "mushy rice," p. 84-86. Hong Ma i , Yijian zhi, vol . 3, j i juan, 7:1354; QSC, vol . 5, 3666b. ® m m m m w m u e m * m m £ m, & m m m A m % m 18 $ M M M IB# m m m x m * ffi • m * m Jt *J u m m ?& m » if m m m m - m n # PS 5 3 89 parodies o f the tune pattern, rhymes, d ic t ion and structure used by the Song poet He Z h u U HI (1052-1125) i n his solemn and we l l -known romantic ly r ic . Her wave of tiny steps did not cross Sideways Pond road; I could only see their fragrant dust evaporate Brocade zither, flowering years, with whom can I spend my days? Moon bridge, flowered courtyard, Carved window frames, vermilion door, Only spring knows where she is hidden. Flying clouds lift little by little, on the bank of asarum it was dusk. A coloured ink-brush scrawls anew a broken-hearted scribble. If one asks how great is my idle feeling: like A river bank of misty grass, A city full of blowing catkins, The plum going yellow—a season of rain. Compared w i th H e ' s piece, doubtlessly, the " Q i n g yu wan" parody is art ist ically inferior and inelegant. But poetic refinement was not the imitator 's primary a im. Rather, wordplay and satirical barbs concerned h i m more . 'By making fun o f both the candidates, the whole examination system, and a celebrated literatus poet He , he could easily delight both the common listeners and the elite ( i f the former knew o f He ' s piece and the latter remained unoffended). Implic i t or expl ic i t erotic descriptions can be easily found i n the anonymous Tang and Song popular ci lyr ics . Mos t probably, this type o f lyr ic was performed i n brothels or courtesan houses to entertain the "Johns," or more specifically, to stimulate their sexual fantasies. F r o m the fo l lowing two records, we know that prostitution flourished particularly i n the Tang and Song capitals. In Chang'an there was a Pingkang Lane, the place where the female entertainers lived and bravos and young men in the capital gathered together. Also , every year the new advanced scholars would visit, lingering there with red invitation cards and name cards in their hands. 5 4 2SC, vol. 1, 513a. 90 m & ^  m m m m m M m ¥ m m m m m * J 3 R m m. & m m m & ' # m & * m m m m m m ^  % m m m w> & n - jfi m n i l m •? it m m  54 Contemporaries called this lane the "Swamp of the Dashing Young Men ." it, m m ¥ m m ± m nr. m % .m m m K * , m A IS ut m n a m. m m • . . . after entering the gate of Ren's Restaurant, all along the more than a hundred-step long main corridor were small pavilions on the two sides of its north and south courtyards. Toward evening, lamps and lanterns were brilliantly illuminated and shone upon the upper and lower storeys. Hundreds of female entertainers with rich makeup gathered at the door of the main corridor, waiting to be hired by the icustomers. Looking at them one would think they were immortals, )5 A S . ~" l£ i JlE & n m % . & , m z n m m °55 Female entertainers i n the Tang and Song did not merely provide sexual services for their male customers. M a n y were also excellent entertainers and musicians, or even talented poets or lyricis ts . There are abundant anecdotes about their elegant compositions and close relationships wi th the elite wr i ters . 5 6 S t i l l , it is certain that the majority o f prostitutes had no choice but to sell sex and sing erotic lyrics such as the fo l lowing to j o l l y their customers: (1) M y showy white breast, 1 i S W i l l let you bite as you w i l l , If Djc For I 'm afraid you might spend thousands to buy a smile. ?Q sizi It ( 2 ) How listless a m i , M M P9 ^ How listless am I. M M PS M Lately I let men bite as they w i l l . ft jJf FJ H i A Totally forgetting what I had at heart. IE ffl >\j W 58 57 Wang Renyu, Kaiyuan tianbao yishi, juanshang ^ _h , 12a-b; Dong}'ing menghua lu, 15. F'or more detailed information about prostitution in the Tang and Song, see Wang Shunu jT£ U $1 , Zhongguo changji shi cp M M i£ (History of Prostitution in China) (Shanghai: Shenghuo shudian, 1935), 71-172; and Jacques Gernet, Daily Life in China: on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion 1250-1276, trans. H. M. Wright (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962), 96-8. 5 6 Wang Renyu 78-103, 123-144. 1 5 7 Tune: "Yu ge zi" & ("Fishing Song"), Pan Chonggui 162-3. 5 8 "Zui tai ping" | f ("Drunk in Peaceful Times"), QSC, vol. 5, 3828a. 91 I f the above examples, i n addition to their erotics, also reveal the helpless situation i and despair o f some women i n a patriarchal society, the fo l lowing wou ld be considered blatant objectificatipn o f women. Tune: "Jie pei' ("Untying a Pendant") Her wee face(er) is shapely and fine, Her wee heart(er),, charming and smart. Her eyebrows(er) are a wee bit long, The wee eyes(er) fringed by hair at the temples. Her wee nose(er) stands out, Wee small mouth(er), wee soft and sweet tongue(er), her wee ears(er) inside are pink and glossy. Her neck is like precious jade, Her hair, like cloud. The eyebrows look finely trimmed, The hands, like spring shoots of bamboo. Her titties(er) are sweet and succulent, Wee slim waist(er), wee tiny feet(er), and that other wee place(er) won't bear mention. Ji: 31 ffi JE >b 31 m 1% M 5E M IS % A Sf • '% /J> ia m & 31 * m * K m tu m. i m tu m m M tu m ^ tu m m w ia tr ffi m 31 m m 31 * m m * 31 - i it W F4I 59 M a k i n g abundant use o f the co l loquia l suffix er, this piece portrays a woman as a small piece o f merchandise assayed by the whims o f men: perfectly suitable for those who frequent entertainment quarters or brothels to pursue sensualities. F r o m the moral is t ' s viewpoint , it wou ld be v iewed s imply as "vulgar and l icent ious." Yet strangely, the song was presented as a gift to the k ing o f Korea by the R o y a l House o f the Northern Song, about the beginning o f the twelfth century, together wi th sixty-nine other elegant and vulgar ci.60 Acco rd ing to X i e Taofang's study, it seems that on one hand the Song emperor off ic ia l ly censured the performance o f vulgar 5 9 Zheng Linzhi M B U. (1396-1478), Gaoli shi M M £ (History of Korea) (Taipei: Wenshizhe chubanshe, 1972), 25: 464b; QSC, vol. 5, 3833a. 6 0 For these lyrics, see Zheng Linzhi, 452a-464b. For a more detailed study of these pieces, see XieTaofang § J jfi , "Gaoli shi yuezhi suochun songci kaobian" M M • ^ & ffi # 5f$ If # ("A Study and Diagnosis of the Extant Song Ci Lyrics in the 'Music, Records' in the History of Korea"), Wenxue yichan Si ^ M M (Literature Legacy), 2 (1993), 70-78. 92 or l icentious lyr ics , both i n court and i n publ ic , but on the other hand a l lowed these pieces to be sung at palace banquets. 6 1 It shows that the taste o f the court and ru l ing class was also infected by the "marketplace aura," since their ardour for sensual pleasure was litt le different from, and perhaps even stronger than, the , commoners. ///. The Formal Irregularity of the Popular Lyric and the Emendation of the Dunhuang Manuscripts i Popular lyr ics , especially those found in the Dunhuang manuscripts, were less formally standardized than the elite ci lyr ics . Compared wi th the compi la t ion o f ci patterns off ic ia l ly sanctioned i n the Qinding cipu |fc jg_ fjlj Jff (Imperial Authorized C i Manual, 1715), for example, tonal and metrical violat ions and interpolations (chen zi $ | ^ ) can be frequently found i n Dunhuang lyr ics . This phenomenon shows that formal regulation o f the ci at its in i t i a l stage was f lexible , possibly because it was treated as literature performed rather than literature read. It was i n the hands o f the literati that lyr ic patterns eventually became more standardized. The Dunhuang piece " P u sa man" (previously cited) demonstrates the formal f l ex ib i l i ty o f popular lyr ics . Across the pil low I made a thousand vows: tfc Not until green mountains crumble 5f then w i l l I stop, Not until a weight can float on top of water, 7 f c Not until the Yellow River is dried completely to its bottom, y Not until Orion appears in broad daylight, £ 3 Not until the B i g Dipper turns south; ( 4b Stop loving you~I yet cannot, ffi. Not until we see the sun in the third watch of the night. JL The syl labic scheme o f this lyr ic for each l ine is 7767, 5557, wi th in two stanzas, Xie 77-78. m m m T & m K t# w .tii m ® ± n m & B # M M IP * m 93 whi le those composed by elite lyricists usually fo l low the pattern 7755. 5555. The "excess" syllables i n the third, fourth and last lines are most l i ke ly interpolations, or perhaps the musical pattern, wh ich this piece is based on, is different from the later literatus version. A l s o , its tonal pattern violates the received regulations. For example, i n the Qinding cipu, the tonal pattern o f the first two lines i n the second stanza i s + O O I I , + I O O I ( + either level or oblique tone, O level tone, # oblique tone) . 6 3 However, in the Dunhuang piece the second syllable o f the first l ine is an oblique tone. S imi la r kinds o f metrical and tonal violat ions can be found i n the "Que ta z h i " (p. 70-71, also cal led " D i e l i an hua" jjgg , or "The Butterfly Loves the F lower") and the several " N a n ge z i " (p. 71-72, 81). None o f the off ic ia l versions i n the Qinding cipu is identical to any o f the above-cited popular examples . 6 4 M u s i c a l change might have been an important factor contributing to the tonal and metrical discrepancies between the lyr ics sung i n the Tang and those sung i n the F ive Dynasties or the Song. In such spans o f hundreds o f years, a tune or its method o f performance never remained completely unchanged, particularly when it was transmitted orally. Unfortunately, we cannot trace how the music o f a specific tune pattern evolved from the Tang to the Song due to insufficient documentation. However, based on Shen Y i f u ' s statement, we can te l l at least that interpolations, generally rejected by the elite writers, were commonly applied to the popular ly r ic . i In ancient music there were many discrepancies which could be varied to such an extent that a specific tune would vary in length by two to three syllables, or its number of syllables per line would be irregular. These alterations were made by professional musicians. There was also a singing style called piao chang, which frequently pegged the suffix liao [to the tune]. * f f i f t # W ^ I " I , S - l g W M H ^ # ^ # , W a n g Y i q i n g L£ ^£ ?f et a l . , Kintei shifu $K % p i f ( K y o t o : D o h o s h a , 1 9 8 3 ) , 5 : l a - 2 b . W a n g , Kintei shifu, 5 : l a - 2 b . W a n g , Kintei shifu, 1 3 : 1 3 a - 1 5 a , 1: 6 b - 9 b . S h e n , Yuefu zhimi, i n CHCB, v o l . 1, 2 8 3 . 9 4 The practice o f using interpolations was v iewed by Shen as an inelegant singing style, and he proposed that one should not write i n the popular style o f piao chang. This elitist op in ion was taken to its extreme when some even argued that the ci lyr ic should not admit any interpolation at a l l . The Qing scholar Wan Shu H ( f l . 1680-1692) i n his C i lit gf[ ^ ( C i Regulations, 1687), for example, claims "I do not know where the saying that the ci can use interpolation comes from. H o w ,can the ci be interpolated?" 6 6 For this reason, instead o f taking interpolations into account, he categorizes tune patterns that do not perfectly comply wi th the sanctioned versions as variant forms (you yi ti 3£ ~~ Ht ). H i s argument, , however, is challenged by another Q ing scholar Jiang Shunyi ?_E JlHf In , who in his Cixue jicheng fnj IP Jj| f$l (Collected C i Studies, 1881) stresses that the ci definitely shows evidence o f interpolation. Jiang's theory is that, just as i n the qu Eft song, interpolations are made when the regular metrical pattern o f a particular tune cannot sufficiently enable a lyr ic is t to write a complete l ine, or when two lines are not connected to each other. 6 7 He thus cr i t ic izes Wan for not understanding the or ig in and musical evolut ion o f the ci, and disapproves o f his categorization o f irregular tune patterns as var iants . 6 8 F r o m a his tor ical point o f view, current scholars may say wi th confidence that the standardization o f the ci patterns marks the evolut ion o f the ci from a literature performed to a literature read. The use o f interpolation i n popular lyr ics provides important proof o f the or ig in o f the ci as a literary form for oral performance. This theory has been reinforced wi th the discovery o f the Dunhuang manuscripts. The modern scholars Wang Guowe i IE m $ | (1877-1927) and Zhao Zunyue H # HI (1898-1965) draw the fo l lowing conclusions: 6 6 f f l ^ - | ^ , ^ ^ n ^ { R l M 5 ( 5 , f 5 l f 5 I f # W M-f ? Wan Shu, Ci lu (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1988, guangxu ernian ben #lf — ^ ^ ), 9: 13b. 67 CHCB, vol. 4, 3233. 68 CHCB, vol. 4, 3234, 3238. For further studies on interpolation in the ci, see Zhou Yukui M 3£ M , "Ci de chenzi wenti" faf ftj ffi ^ P4J II ("The Problem of Interpolation in the Ci"), Ci xue M ^ (Ci Studies), 10 (1992), 137-144. 95 The sentence structures and rhyming patterns of the two ["Feng gui yun"] are different from each other, but on the whole they are alike. [From this] one can see the flexibility of the ci pattern in the Tang. [ JS, §§ i t ] — m £ % •69 Also, these songs were [written] for the convenience of singers, and based on the music, their singers usually cut down notes or reduced words; therefore, the tunes were the same, but the versions different. As for the works by literati writers, [if] they followed the tune patterns and presented regularized pieces to female songsters, they could be called experts in music. But ultimately there was a gap, which they had yet to straddle. Thus, although following the patterns to look for [suitable] tones, they were afraid of deviating for even one syllable or line. They could not compete with the singers' practice of trimming words and notes, following the instruments, and going along with the rhythm. This was enough to make [the singers] household names and popular in the marketplace. 5J\ fg[ \m m.wt m ,m wt m & & m>m sx n m w m ^  & , WL x « n m m n m • m £ A Z ft , m n K , m w, *n M \>x m n m m , m nm F> m •70 Opinions l ike these are generally well-accepted. Nonetheless, the abundant formal irregularities, corrupt or unofficial characters and scribal errors found i n the Dunhuang manuscripts have created new problems wi th the emendations and study o f these early lyr ics , particularly when one applies the received ci patterns to them. Evident ly , certain modern scholars peruse the Dunhuang pieces wi th conventional notions o f the ci lyr ic i n mind . They use the metrical and tonal patterns found i n works by literati poets o f later generations as their standards, c la iming that the discrepancies between the Dunhuang pieces and later tune patterns must be due to scribal error or musical variations. Though these d id 6 9 Wang Guowei, "Tang xieben Yunyao ji zaquzi ba" l ^ ^ ^ z r ^ ^ ^ l f f l " ? ^ ("Colophon to the Tang Manuscript Songs of the Clouds'"), Guantang jilin H ^ ft # (Collected Works from the Hall of Contemplation) (Taipei: Shijie shuju, 1961), vol. 21, 1022. 7 0 Zhao Zunyue, "Yunyao ji zaquzi ba" 5 I S M ffl T Wi ("Colophon to the Songs of the Clouds"), in Chen Renzhi X Z. and Yan Tingliang H % eds. Yunyao ji yanjiu huilu S I S M W % M H (Collected Studies of the Songs of Clouds) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998), 58-9. 96 o f the scribes, or seem to exaggerate the f l ex ib i l i ty o f a number o f ci patterns without considering that these patterns might have belonged to completely different tunes. The most prominent o f these scholars is M a o Guangsheng H St (styled Het ing H # , 1875-1959). In his emendation o f the Yunyao ji, M a o places a l l the ly r ic texts compi led i n this col lect ion alongside literati works o f the same tune titles or o f different titles but s imilar formal patterns. The result is extremely discordant. L o n g tunes such as "Feng gui yun" and " Q i n g bei l e" are part icularly at odds. Insisting on a close formal affinity between the Dunhuang pieces and literati works , M a o attempts to eliminate the discordances by reducing the size o f the "excess" syllables he takes to be interpolations and inserting blank spaces to indicate lacunae (see Figure 1, p. 98) . 7 1 Some textual alterations he makes are indeed quite reasonable, but many others seem farfetched. E v e n more misinformed is his contention that, since the Yunyao ji consists o f many long tune titles found i n L i u Yong ' s ci col lec t ion, it must be a manuscript written i n the Song, instead o f a Tang production, as universal ly acknowledged. M a o ' s methodological fa i l ing lies mainly i n this b l ind adherence to the approved pattern o f the ci tune and his denial o f any evolut ion o f ci music i tse l f between the Tang and Song period. Though he realizes that tunes could vary from lyr ic to ly r i c , resulting i n different versions o f a particular ci pattern, he seems to be too unwi l l i ng to accept the possibi l i ty that certain tunes could be varied so drastically that their metrical or tonal patterns wou ld also change fundamentally and only faintly resemble their or iginal forms; or that tunes o f the same title might not be formally related. For example, the four "Feng gui y u n " and the two " Q i n g bei l e " in the Dunhuang manuscripts are very different from L i u Yong ' s pieces. One may therefore regard them as distinct and independent tunes; even i f L i u ' s were derived from the Dunhuang versions, they shared li t t le or nothing i n 7 1 M a o G u a n g s h e n g , " X i n j i a o Yunyao ji zaquzi" $ f i 4 : z r ! l j i l $ l f f i ^ P ( " N e w C o l l a t i o n o f t h e Songs of Clouds"), C h e n a n d Y a n , Yunyao jiyanjiu huilu, 4 5 - 5 6 . 7 2 C h e n a n d Y a n , Yunyao jiyanjiu huilu, 4 2 . 97 Figure 1: Mao Guangsheng's emendation o f the Yunyao j i 4$ 4» Ll * 1* 3 * * iu % * s* \® o o o m 4& • • • • • iSS -a i n jiTrf" ntu «8 ^ 21 Iffll § 1 1 * * i ^ kg 0 - a 4^  # 1 & —=?- \ U I -- 3 2 * f I IS ^ * I yi $ C in n 3§ St i t j f ^ ^ n M . ^ * * s ^  • ^ s ^  ^  + 1 3 ? a si S » * f t 1? » fit I rm ^ 1 -u ° - ^ & I *. B ^ I ° s 2 S SI £ i a i t >-> ^ ^ 5 = 3 ^ ^ h-• £ & • ^ ffi-s Pt (TF -•» s 5& ^ h- M ; ^ f t a- fs V£ ID ^ ° ^ ^ ^ » i *! ^ -5 5 s & "a St 8 8 ^ @ 0! 4 . a ^ t[ K l J!* § s 5* i » ° nut 31 - f t o S s s > ^ ^ > ID-98 common. M a o ' s orthodox approach to emendation is cr i t i c ized by Ren Erbe i . He states that the two Dunhuang lyr ics entitled "Dong x ian ge" M fill ^ ("Song o f the Grotto Immortals") are basical ly unrelated musical ly and metr ical ly to the Song versions, whi le simultaneously point ing out the inappropriateness o f M a o ' s attempt to eradicate the= discordances between lyr ics composed i n different periods. When he edited the Songs of the Clouds, Mao Guangsheng arbitrarily unified the two Dunhuang lyrics [i.e. "Dong xian ge"] with ones in the Northern Song, painstakingly fixing up [patterns] on both sides: He deleted the original texts, or interpolated blank spaces, or put in additional words beside the lines. As a result, there is naturally no aim that one cannot attain. Basically, the validity [of this practice] needs no debate, but because of it one w i l l find numerous texts which don't make sense, f f Jjg gfc | g j f m % m m w\ m m * , m m A ^  & , m n m ^  , Ren is one o f the leading advocates o f eschewing the conventional concept o f the ci pattern i n studying the Dunhuang songs. However, he is at times s t i l l l imi ted by traditional ci aesthetics, tending to accept refined versions instead o f the commonplace ones without confronting more immediate and credible evidence. Based on the mic ro f i lm taken by Pan Chonggui i n London , the last l ine o f the piece " L i u qing l i ang" $/P W £lt ("The Lass o f Green W i l l o w " ) , for example, reads: " W h y is he ungrateful to the young lass?" (see Figure 2, p. 100) . 7 5 Yet, without seeing the or iginal manuscripts, Ren arbitrarily favours Luo Zhenyu's H 3£ (1866-1940) version: " W h y he is ungrateful to the lass who leans against the balustrade?" 7 6 7 3 Chen and Yan, Yunyao jiyanjiu huilu, 46, 51-52. 7 4 Ren, Dunhuang qu chutan, 93. For the two "Dong xian ge," see Pan, 95-96, 100-101; DHGCZB, vol. 1, 150, \51;DHQJL, 13-14 (#010, 011). For a Song version, see Long Muxun ft ftc gfr (Yusheng % £ , 1902-1966), Dongpo yuefu jian M M M (Commentary on Dongpo's Yuefu) (Taipei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 1995), 2: 8a-8b 7 5 H { 5 J ^ f t ^ ^ A .Pan 201a. 76 m ffi ^ M ffi M A DHQJL, 19; DHGCZB, vol. 1, 191. Luo Zhenyu, Dunhuang Iingshi, Series 3, vol. 7, 2473. 99 100 I Ren ' s reason is that L u o ' s copy is probably a third version (jia ben ^ ^ ) discovered i n Dunhuang, the other two are preserved i n London and Paris (which Ren calls yi ben ZJ ^ and bing ben 2 ^ respectively); also, the words "younglass" are too "hackneyed" (lan diao $H Iff ) and "fami l ia r" (shu tao 3 | £ ), whereas L u o ' s version is "especially excellent" (you miao Xt W> ) and its " impl ica t ion more profound" (han yi shen hou itr M ^ HP- ) . 7 7 The problem is that not even Luo—let alone Ren—had seen the or iginal manuscripts. The version he owned was actually the London copy (yi ben) sent to h i m by P e l l i o t . 7 8 In other words, the jia ben never existed; it is only L u o ' s modif ied version o f the London copy. Thus, Pan Chonggui comments: Mr. Ren insists that there are three copies of the Yunyao ji, and also says that Luo 's version is the most refined. Therefore, his Dunhuang qu jiaolu always emends the original manuscript based on the conjectural adjustments of Luo 's version. [His method] can be called "confusing the branch for the root." {££ .K; H Jvp f t mm , & mmm m fit, & m m fr'm. ft « n , n m m m z m B& ix IT jE~m m , m * * ® m -79 Having read Pan 's study, however, Ren s t i l l holds in f lex ib ly to the "refined" version i n his newly published edit ion o f Dunhuang songs, and he even questions O A the authenticity o f Pan 's mic ro f i lm version. Indeed, the untidiness o f the Dunhuang manuscripts has made the matter o f emendation extremely tr icky. M a n y characters are hardly recognizable due to corruption o f the copies, scribal errors, or the use o f ancient or unofficial ways o f handwrit ing. But these should not be taken as a license to freely alter or "refine" the or ig inal texts, otherwise, the artistic s implici ty , spontaneity and formal f l ex ib i l i ty o f the Dunhuang lyr ics is "v io la ted" pr "destroyed." This inaccurate emendation o f the Dunhuang lyr ics is also a result o f the diff iculty i n acquir ing materials firsthand. A m o n g the many Chinese scholars who 77 DHQJL, 19; DHGCZB, vol. 1, 197. 7 8 See Pan 12-13; also Lin Meiyi # 3& ^  , Dunhuang qu yanjiu M ft W % (A Study of the Dunhuang Songs) (Master's thesis, National Taiwan University, 1974), 10n.5. 7 9 Pan 14. 80 DHGCZB, "Chronology," 14. 101 took part i n the study, apparently only Dong K a n g It: |jt (1867-?), L i u F u §?!j Hi (1891-1934), Wang Chongmin 31 M ^ (1903-1975), Jao Tsung-yi , and Pan Chonggui had seen the or iginal manuscripts. Others have had to rely heavily on second-hand versions, unaware that further scholarly adjustments and errors have already been made i n certain copies, and that some—such as M a o Guangsheng— even make additional alterations based on conjecture and personal preference. In order to preserve the authentic style o f the Dunhuang lyr ics , particularly the Yunyao ji, Pan Chonggui proposes to faithfully fo l low the or iginal manuscripts i n the course o f emendation. He also points out that many characters wh ich scholars took as scribal errors are i n fact written i n an ancient but commonly practiced script. For example, the character zao ^- ("early" or "soon") is written as | | r , and zhong ("at the end") as 4 1 • These "borrowed characters" (tong jia jj| '(lx), he argues, should be clearly distinguished from the "wrongly written words" (wu zi m ^).81 He further stresses this point for the handling o f emendation i n another article: Many scholars thought that since Songs of the Clouds is full of wrong characters, there is no harm in correcting them at w i l l , even correcting them as much as possible. I know that these are not wrong characters; thus, I hold the texts of the original manuscripts in great respect, and w i l l never change them lightly. l l g l f c l l f f i f f i i B * * ! ^ ' , § m ^  m a m m B& , # # m B& . n $n m m. s? % ^  , M % a* m •82 Pan contends that one should have a clear understanding o f the people 's common practice o f handwrit ing i n a given period i n order to correctly emend the manuscripts passed d o w n . 8 3 Fai lure to do so means "the more emendation, the more drift ing away from the o r i g i n a l . " 8 4 8 1 Pan 20-25. 8 2 Pan, Dunhuang cihua ffc 'JH |B] fj§ (Dunhuang Ci Remarks) (Taipei: Shimen tushu gongsi, 1981), 69. 8 3 Pan, Dunhuang cihua, 70. ^ ^ C ^ f f i J ^ ^ ^ ^ R • Pan, Dunhuang Yunyao ji xinshu, 27. 102 Conclusion This chapter has endeavoured to study the artistic features o f popular ci lyr ics from the viewpoint o f "popular aesthetics," and to point out the inappropriateness o f using only elitist analytical methods and aesthetics to evaluate these works. It does not, however, intend to overestimate the literary merits o f the popular ci, or to place them uncr i t ical ly above their literati counterparts. Though mutually influential , the two types o f works are inherently different from each other. They served different audiences, had different artistic and practical functions, and as a result, formulated their own stylistics. A thorough comparison between the two must be made wi th these distinctions i n mind . A s the earliest extant pieces found i n the Dunhuang manuscripts show, the so-called "or ig ina l colour" (ben se 7$. -fe ) o f the ci ly r ic emphasized and promoted by conventional elite cri t ics is not necessarily "delicate restraint," nor is it l imi ted to the ly r ica l mode o f expression. Straightforwardness and even vulgarity, often expressed i n narrative mode, are also major ingredients. Composi t ions l ike these should not be deemed unorthodox or "variant forms" (bian ti H§ f l ). To insist on the elitist artistic defini t ion o f the ci is not only his tor ical ly erroneous, but also l imi ts the genre's thematic and stylist ic scopes. However, certain contemporary scholars, who should have known the Dunhuang lyr ics w e l l , s t i l l clearly show a strong attachment to traditional ci aesthetics. For example, M i a o Yueh (1904-1994) takes elusiveness as the "very nature" o f the genre by stating that [t]he world of the lyric is like a mountain viewed through the mist, or a flower seen in the moonlight. Its beauty resides in its elusive ambiguity, and i f we insist on bringing it out into the light we are acting contrary to the very nature of the form, andwi l l only end up with something shallow and, crude, m ^ tu m 4> z OJ , £ T z tt , n w m JE'& m . m m> m , & $ m m , s m m ,m , # M H Z m % & -85 Miao Yueh, "Lun ci" g& | i | or "The Chinese Lyric," in Miao Yueh, Shici sanlun # |n] fft s# (Miscellaneous Discussion on the Shi and the Ci) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1982), 61; John Minford, trans., in Stephen C. Soong, ed., Song Without Music: Chinese Tz'u Poetry, 37. 103 H i s attitude significantly betrays the elite scholar 's obsession wi th the "aesthetic distance" between art and its object represented. Because o f this f ixat ion on the conventional approach, he also disparages as "inappropriate i n lyr ic verse" phi losophical and narrative lyr ics such as those written by Su Shi and X i n Q i j i ^ 3 f § (1140-1107), insist ing that " ly r i c verse can only be ly r i ca l or descr ip t ive ." 8 6 B y making this comment and brutally excluding lyr ics wh ich are allegedly "shal low and crude" from the "very nature o f the form," he seems to rashly ignore the existence o f the popular ly r ic . 8 6 t i f g m 3 3 - 3 5 . # fiff ! [ • M i a o , Shici sanlun, 5 9 - 6 0 ; S o o n g 1 0 4 Chapter Three: Liu Yong and His "Vulgar" Lyrics It has often happened that those who have been best received in their own time have also continued to be acceptable to posterity. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)1 In 1822, the publisher Arch iba ld Constable remarked on the immediate success o f Scott 's Fortunes of Nigel, "I was i n town yesterday, and so keenly were the people devouring my friend Jingling Geordie, that I actually saw them reading it i n the streets as they passed along. I assure you there is no exaggeration i n th is ." 2 This remark is reminiscent o f the enthusiastic welcome the Northern Song elite poet L i u Yong ' s ci lyr ics received from the general publ ic : When [Liu Yong] was a candidate of the Advanced Scholar examination, he frequented the pleasure quarters and brothels. He was skilled at writing song lyrics. Whenever professional musicians got a new tune, they had to ask him to f i l l in the words, only after which it became popular. For this he was well-known at the time. . . . When I was serving in Dantu, I once met a X i x i a official who had paid a tribute to court, saying that wherever there was a well where they would drink water, [people] would sing L iu ' s songs. This shows how widely they circulated. [$P ^c] j=| i | l ^ Eff # $ F m n m w ,n m w m - n • . . ^ f t f t i . t i - s £ m m .3 Records l ike the one above are common and have aroused much debate on the question o f whether an elite writer should cater to popular taste. L i u Yong ' s example (as w e l l as Scott 's) also proves that the recent concept o f popular culture, 1 "Introductory Epistle," The Fortunes of Nigel, ed. Frederick M. Link (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), xl. 2 John Gibson Lockhart, Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart (Edinburgh: Ballantyne, 1837), vol. 5, 170. 3YeMengde M W % (1077-1148), Bishu luhua M # %k IS (Summer Vacation Chats) (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1939), CSJC, juan xia # T , 49. Xixia was a regime established by the Jiang % tribe in northwest China. Trans. James R. Hightower, "The Songwriter Liu Yung: Part I," hereafter "I," HJAS, 41.2 (1981), 324, 325 with modifications. 105 which Raymond W i l l i a m s terms "the culture actually made by people for themselves," 4 is not strictly-speaking correct. I f elite writers can write i n the voice o f the people, not deliberately setting out to "exploi t and manipulate" them, then their works can be genuinely defined as "popular art" as w e l l . Before discussing what popular elements can be found i n L i u ' s work and the causes o f L i u ' s heterodox habit o f wr i t ing i n the common id iom, I w i l l first briefly recount the economic and cultural prosperity o f the Northern Song capital Ka i feng , where L i u spent his early "dissipated" years, to demonstrate why popular success regaled songwriters l ike L i u in a period almost eight hundred years earlier than the heyday o f Nor th Bri tons , S i r Walter Scott or Robert Burns (1759-1796). /. The Economic and Cultural Background of Liu Yong's Popularity Song Kai feng was unquestionably a metropolis i n both demographic and economic terms. Before it was lost to the Jurchen in 1127, the capital 's total population had soared to more than one m i l l i o n . 5 Even in L i u Yong ' s time (i.e., about 1034), it numbered no less than five hundred thousand, 6 o f which , there were large numbers o f bureaucrats, c i v i l servants and garrisons wi th their families, as w e l l as members from the royal house, merchants, craftsmen, labourers, and folk from a l l walks o f life and different regions o f the country. This rapid growth led to—and was also largely facilitated by—a fundamental change in the economic morphology o f Song cities. The o ld system o f off ic ia l ly-control led markets and the "legal restrictions wh ich confined merchants and artisans to specified quarters" (fang shi ifj rfj ) o f Kai feng started to collapse in the early years o f the Northern Song, f inal ly breaking down during the J ing Y o u jp; jjig era (1034-1037). 4 W i l l i a m s , Keywords 1 9 9 . 5 W u T a o ^ $ | , Bei Song ducheng Dong]ing it 5(5 W> Wt M St (The Eastern Capital of the Northern Song) ( Z h e n g z h o u : H e n a n r e n m i n c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 4 ) , 3 7 - 8 . 6 A c c o r d i n g t o W u T a o ' s c a l c u l a t i o n , t h e u r b a n p o p u l a t i o n o f K a i f e n g i n Z h e n Z o n g ' s jH ^ [ 9 9 7 - 1 0 2 2 ] r e i g n w a s a r o u n d five h u n d r e d f i f t y t h o u s a n d . S e e W u , 3 7 . T h e n u m b e r w o u l d n o t b e v e r y d i f f e r e n t i n L i u ' s t i m e . 1 0 6 Merchants were then able to carry on trade freely both inside and outside the city w a l l s . 7 The hustle and bustle o f the city is v i v i d l y portrayed i n the Northern Song painter Zhang Zeduan's jg £p ^ "Qingming shanghe tu" ?jf H£J _t M H ("Going U p the Rive r on the Qingming Day," see Figure 3, p. 108). A l o n g wi th this relaxation and growing commercial activity in general, the law that markets could remain open only during the daytime was rescinded. A c c o r d i n g to the Song huiyao jigao 5f5 H | i fjtj (Song Digest Draft), in 965, the government decreed that the "night market in the capital shall not be prohibited unt i l the third watch [i.e., about midn igh t ] . " 8 In the busiest districts, or on special days such as the M i d -autumn Fest ival , markets would be open even unt i l dawn. 9 The economic boom o f a city and the increasing demand for diversions from its inhabitants naturally bring about a f lourishing o f its entertainment industry. Kai feng was particularly notable in this. Publ ic amusement grounds cal led wa zi ^ , or wa she S llr , "a k ind o f vast covered market ," 1 0 were spread throughout the capital . In these places, musical performances, s inging, drama, dancing, story-tell ing, acrobatics, and magic were given i n shed-like "theatres" cal led gou lan £j flU , or peng ffl ; n some, said to be large enough to accommodate an audience o f several thousand strong. Divers commercial activit ies, inc luding medicinal drug sel l ing, d ivinat ion, gambling, catering and a wide panoply o f games were equally available in the wa zi.12 S imi la r to the night markets, a number o f such street enterprises (and also some restaurants) appeared 7 S h i b a Y o s h i n o b u $Ff f§ is , Commerce and Society in Sung China, t r a n s . M a r k E l v i n ( A n n A r b o r : C e n t e r f o r C h i n e s e S t u d i e s , U n i v e r s i t y o f M i c h i g a n , 1 9 7 0 ) , 1, 1 2 7 ; W u T a o 1 3 . 8 l ^ I ^ ^ « « $ M H I B * , ^ f # I ± . X u S o n g & fe (fl. 1 7 9 6 -1 8 2 0 ) , Song huiyao jigao ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 5 7 ) , v o l . 7 , 6 7 : 6 2 5 3 a . 9 M e n g Y u a n l a o , Dongjing menghua lu, 3 : 21 ( " M a h a n g j i e p u x i " H fj @j M 0 ) , 8 : 5 0 ( " Z h o n g q i u " cp fX )• " M o r n i n g m a r k e t s " (xiao shi B|§ TfJ ) , a n d " g h o s t m a r k e t s " (gui shi % TfJ ) a l s o a p p e a r e d ; t h e y o p e r a t e d a f t e r m i d n i g h t a n d s o l d l u x u r y g o o d s . S e e a l s o M e n g , 3 : 2 3 ( " T i a n x i a o z h u r e n r u s h i " A B i ft A A TfJ ), 2 : 15 ( " P a n l o u d o n g j i e s h i " ft M £ j m ). 1 0 G e r n e t 2 2 2 . 1 1 M e n g 5 : 2 9 ( " J i n g w a j i y i " g S g | ) . 1 2 M e n g 2 : 14 ( " D o n g j i a o l o u j i e x i a n g " ^ J% ft # ). 1 0 7 to have acquired the tacit consent from authorities to operate a l l n ight . 1 3 Needless to say, these were gathering places for a l l walks o f society, including its dregs. The fo l lowing account describes the wa she in detail. The word wa means "to meet on open ground so people can scatter easily." When [the wa she] came into existence is not known. But in the capital, it was often a place where scholars and common people could let themselves be profligate and unrestrained, and also where young people loitered and made trouble. S # , I ? 1 ^ ^ t £ £ E t i 2 , ^ & l ® S M 5 J ^ ; & m m , a m ± m m m ^ m z m , ft n •? m m m m m z m  u It was also in the wa zi where certain artisans and entertainers—and popular lyricists l ike L i u Yong—achieved fame. Quite a few such entertainer's names merit a mention i n M e n g Yuanlao 's Dongjing menghua lu.15 Apart from the wa zi, the Kai feng city-dwellers could also seek entertainment at the restaurants, tea-houses, private banquets and temporary sheds (peng ) set up at marketplaces on special days. "Low-ra te" musicians, buskers and entertainers, who sought work in restaurants, were always on c a l l . 1 6 Prosti tution was also a significant sector o f Kai feng ' s entertainment industry. Countless brothels, or ji yuan ^ , and pleasure quarters o f various sizes and levels o f sophistication were situated in different corners o f the cap i t a l . 1 7 Not only were sex services offered there, but frequently talented sing-song girls well-versed in poetry danced and gave musical performances. El i te writers were among the ji yuan's habitues. Quite often, they would compose poems for and wi th the sing-song girls , a literary practice already common by the Tang hundreds o f years before. 13 I n t h e Dongjing menghua lu t h e r e is a n e n t r y w h i c h s a y s , " I n g e n e r a l , t h e r e s t a u r a n t s a n d e n t e r t a i n i n g q u a r t e r s w e r e a l l b u s y l i k e tha t t h r o u g h t h e y e a r , w h e t h e r it w a s d a y o r n i g h t , g o o d o r b a d w e a t h e r . " * & f S ' ® # & r U , ^ & S m * § , £ S j § £ , 8 f M $ Q jJt • M e n g 2 : 16 ( " J i u l o u " aft). 1 4 N a i D e w e n g jif {# H , Ducheng jisheng f|5 Mi 15 WH (Records of the Splendours of the Capital), i n M e n g 9 5 . 1 5 M e n g 2 : 14 ( " D o n g j i a o l o u j i e x i a n g " M Pi ft ffi # ) ; 5 : 2 9 - 3 0 ( " J i n g w a j i y i " %( K -f$ W )• 1 6 M e n g 2 : 16 ( " Y i n s h i g u o z i " ffc £ H ^ ). 1 7 M e n g , passim. 1 0 9 A s many scholars acknowledge, it was precisely through this protracted practice that the ci was ingrained in the culture as a literary genre and its standard o f wri t ing elevated. The case o f L i u Yong can be used to explain the calibre and success o f these developments since he had both an exceptionally close work ing relationship wi th sing-song girls and was also a key figure in enhancing the technique o f ci wr i t ing . The burgeoning o f commerce—which underpinned the development and promotion o f ci lyr ics (and music) and its popular reception—would coalesce wi th po l i t i ca l stability i n the Northern Song regime to safeguard and sustain it. In order to prevent the recurrence o f the mil i tary separatism rampant during the late Tang and the F ive Dynasties (907-960), the Song court on the one hand consciously undermined the power o f its mil i tary officials and adopted a series o f "benevolent" pol ic ies , and on the other promoted art and literature overtly, and encouraged pleasure-seeking covertly. Wi th this mix o f legislat ion and laissez-faire, a peaceful and joyfu l ambiance was created wi th in the court and throughout the country. One quite frequently detects intimations o f it in L i u Yong ' s ci col lect ion, the Yuezhang ji ^ jjl HI (Collected Musical Pieces): Tune: "Kan hua hui" tt 0 ("On Returning from Flower-Viewing") On jade steps and golden stairs 3 i " f ^ # ft ^ zp the Shield Dance of Shun is performed. The joys of the court and environs are many. ijjfj U ^ W. Scenes in the nine streets and three markets are marvellous. j\ flUjf EL Tf? JH it M Together, the rich strings and lively pipes J£ M "M- " Hf 51 IS of ten thousand families, playing. From Phoenix Tower, which overlooks the mesh of lanes, M ft ISra I© An auspicious air and propitious smoke appears. Jftj # l@i So a-bustle are high and low, beautiful, the things on show. f | fg- EE ffi %q fg $f How could one bear to waste good years? ^ M 5? ¥ The banquet songs and laughter go on night and day. | £ ^ fig jg| § jf; Let a peck of wine cost ten thousand at Banner Post. ii IM " -4- M ~P P^ Where is it best to feast one's heart 'LN M M S e e W a g n e r 7 9 - 9 1 ; a n d W a n g S h u n u 1 3 1 - 1 4 4 . 110 But in front of a bottle? After this fashion the Song people were given more opportunities and leisure to enjoy the ci music. The practice o f wr i t ing ci also spread among the elite writers; some, such as M a o Pang ^ & (1060-ca. 1124) and Zhao Q i M ± ( f l . 1107-1119), were even said to have been promoted s imply because o f their fame as l y r i c i s t s . 2 0 They became another main force behind ci wr i t ing , many, l ike L i u Yong , being particularly favoured by common audience. Hav ing briefly presented the economic and cultural conditions under wh ich L i u Yong achieved popularity, next we w i l l discuss these incentives wh ich diverted h im, as an elite, into the composi t ion o f "vulgar" lyrics and away from the "h igh" cultural prerogatives o f his own class. //. Liu Yong: An Elite "Alien"? L i u Yong , also named Sanbian EL St , was descended from a prestigious family o f Fujian province. L i k e other children o f s imilar family background, he was inculcated wi th Confucian doctrine from an early age, and was expected to 1 9 X u e R u i s h e n g | $ Jj§ 3= , Yuezhang ji jiaozhu ^ $ ^ S 1£ , h e r e a f t e r YZJ {Collation and Annotation of the Collected Musical Pieces) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 9 7 ) , 4 0 ; QSC, v o l . 1, 1 8 b . T h e " S h i e l d D a n c e " o f S h u n is u s e d t o r e f e r t o a p e a c e f u l p e r i o d . It w a s s a i d tha t t h e a n c i e n t s a g e - k i n g S h u n , i n s t e a d o f s e n d i n g e x p e d i t i o n s t o c o n q u e r t r i b a l p e o p l e s , p e r f o r m e d a d a n c e o f t h e s h i e l d a n d s p e a r i n t h e c o u r t . B e c a u s e o f t h i s b e n e v o l e n t a c t , t h e y s u b m i t t e d t o h i s r u l e . L i u Y o n g ' s l y r i c s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e a b o u t c i t y l i f e , w e r e p r a i s e d b y s o m e f o r t h e i r v i v i d d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e t e m p e r o f the p e a c e f u l t i m e s . O n e o f t h e s e c o m p l i m e n t s is s e e n i n X i e W e i x i n ' s Iff $1 §f Gujin hebi shilei beiyao houji [ I q ^ c t l t l P ^ l l i i f l l f l t l f c {Sequel to the Essential References to Ancient and Present Joint Categorized Subject Matters), i n w h i c h a c e r t a i n F a n Z h e n |g fj| c o m m e n t s , " D u r i n g t h e f o r t y - t w o p e a c e f u l y e a r s o f E m p e r o r R e n Z o n g ' s r e i g n [ 1 0 2 2 - 1 0 6 3 ] , as a h i s t o r i o g r a p h e r I w a s u n a b l e t o e u l o g i z e i t . B u t [ L i u ] Q i q i n g c o u l d d e s c r i b e it t o t h e la s t d e t a i l " f : | 0 f l ^ i z p , # | g j f r + ^ ^ i If 2ft , ffff If #P lis H 0 I? £ . . In D i n g C h u a n j i n g T ft % e d . , Songren yishi huibian 5^ A & 1? M II (Collected Anecdotes of the Song People) ( B e i j i n g : S h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 5 8 ) , 10 : 4 2 7 . 2 0 C a i T i a o H fj£ ( f l . e a r l y t w e l f t h c e n t u r y ) , Tieweishan congtan M & iM M nfc (Collected Sayings of the Hill Encircled by Iron) ( T a i p e i : Y i w e n y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 6 ) , BBCS, 2 : 6 b . I l l attain the title o f Advanced Scholar and to have a successful publ ic career, fo l lowing in the steps o f his two uncles and his father L i u Y i $/P jt[ (f l . 985) . 2 1 The Confucian moral influence on L i u Yong is substantiated in those o f his extant 99 works i n forms other than the ci. For example, his "Song o f B o i l i n g Sea Water" Sf $S Wt. , written during his tenure as administrator at the X i a o Peak Salt Works Eji§ ts^ Ht i|§ , is a heptasyllabic shi poem in ancient form which cr i t ic izes the oppressive officials and laments the suffering o f the salt workers . 2 3 Bo th its tone and style closely fo l low B a i Juy i ' s didactic " N e w Yuefu Poems," and markedly contrast wi th his own sensual, amorous ci.24 Even more noteworthy is his only surviv ing prose work, "Quanxue wen" Wl ^  $1 ("To Encourage Studying"), a typical sententious piece resembling those by other eminent Confucian scholars. Parents who raise their children but do not educate them are neglecting them. Even i f they educate them, but not stringently, it is the same as neglecting them. Children who are educated by their parents but do not study neglect themselves. Even studying, but not diligently, is the same as self-neglect. Therefore, to bring up children one must educate them; to educate them one must be stringent. Be stringent, and the children wi l l be diligent; be diligent, and they wi l l accomplish. If wi l l ing to study, a commoner's son can become a nobleman; i f unwilling, a nobleman's son 2 1 L i u Y i , f o r m e r l y a n o f f i c i a l o f the S o u t h e r n T a n g ( 9 3 7 - 9 7 5 ) , a t t a i n e d h i s h i g h e s t p o s i t i o n as V i c e - M i n i s t e r o f P u b l i c W o r k s X SB frf $1$ i n the S o n g . L i u Y o n g ' s t w o b r o t h e r s a l s o p a s s e d t h e A d v a n c e d S c h o l a r e x a m i n a t i o n . F o r a d e t a i l e d s t u d y o f L i u Y o n g ' s f a m i l y h i s t o r y , s ee W i n n i e L a i - f o n g L e u n g M M , Liu Yong jiqi ci zhi yanjiu #P ?k 5. ^ M 2 $T % (A Study of Liu Yong and his C i Lyrics) ( H o n g K o n g : S a n l i a n s h u d i a n , 1 9 8 5 ) , 3 - 6 ; a p p e n d i x , 1 2 1 - 1 2 3 . 2 2 O n l y t h r e e shi p o e m s a n d o n e p r o s e p i e c e b y L i u Y o n g a r e p r e s e r v e d . T h e s e a re c o l l e c t e d i n Y a o X u e x i a n & | J|l j | a n d L o n g J i a n g u o f l jH HI , Liu Yong ci xiangzhu ji jiping W ^ M 2& M W (Detailed Commentary and Collected Criticism of Liu Yong's C i ) ( Z h e n g z h o u : Z h o n g z h o u g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 1 ) , 2 2 4 - 2 2 5 . In h i s Summer Vacation Chat, Y e M e n g d e s a y s L i u Y o n g " w a s a l s o s k i l l e d at o t h e r k i n d s o f w r i t i n g , b u t it s o h a p p e n e d tha t h e first g o t a r e p u t a t i o n f o r t h i s [ i . e . , l y r i c s ] . H e t h e n c a m e t o r e g r e t tha t h e w a s s o i n v o l v e d , a n d l a t e r c h a n g e d h i s n a m e t o S a n b i a n . Y e t it s t i l l c o u l d n o t s a v e h i m [ f r o m t r o u b l e ] . [ T h e r e f o r e , ] o n e m u s t b e c a r e f u l i n c h o o s i n g o n e ' s a r t . " 7 * ^ # 3 i f & £ i ? , M ^ 5 f c J ^ M # « , £ 5 K i i c l n • ik & % = m , m m ^ m m • m ni ^ «r ^ m . ^ w ^ a j u a n x i a # ~F , 4 9 . T r a n s . H i g h t o w e r , I: 3 2 8 w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . 2 3 F e n g F u j i n g ?j§ |f| ( f l . 1 2 9 8 ) , Changguo zhou tuzhi H S jr\ H (Topographic Changguo Prefecture Gazetteer) ( T a i p e i : C h e n g w e n c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 3 , Xianfeng sinian kanben ^ W E9 *f fj ^ ), 6 : 6 b - 7 a . F o r a n E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n , s ee H i g h t o w e r , I: 3 3 5 - 3 3 6 . 2 4 L i u Y o n g ' s u s e o f t h e ci l y r i c t o w r i t e a b o u t a m o r o u s f e e l i n g s a n d s e n s u a l d e l i g h t s e f f e c t i v e l y s h o w s tha t it w a s at tha t t i m e a l e s s f o r m a l a n d r e p u t a b l e l i t e r a r y g e n r e t h a n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l shi p o e t r y . 112 may become a commoner. ^ S S K : i 1 F O ; F i ( , l - f ; S J C • +J2 • m. iK * . =f & tfc , tfc M >& m ; i$ SO & f j , S i M & $ ° ^ I'J J* A £ ^ n in , ^ ^ fj & m £ T n J* A -25 The L i u Yong who wrote this piece rings totally untrue to the one we know as a rakish lover and erotic lyr ic is t . Here he appears to be a moral ly correct, self-d isc ip l ined and aspiring person. In reality, he was a truly diligent and persevering scholar, engaged i n ceaseless attempts at passing the c i v i l service examinat ion . 2 6 A s a government off ic ia l , he was also known for competence and virtue, though never r is ing above the lower echelon throughout his l i f e . 2 7 The conventional, pejorative description o f L i u as a social and moral eccentric is unmistakably incomplete and misleading. Despite his " f r ivo l i ty , " he s t i l l maintained the essential virtues o f a traditional Confucian scholar in his str iving after superior status (i.e., the title o f Advanced Scholar) to acquit his family duty and serve the state, his later exemplary performance o f off ic ia l tasks, and his wri t ing o f didactic works to design a moral ly upright model for the wor ld and bring to it "harmonious perfection." What led L i u Yong , primari ly, to become a "notorious rake" is uncertain. Some scholars conjecture—and it is probably the case—that relaxation o f family restrictions and the attractiveness o f the capital 's entertainment industry enticed H u a n g J i a n ft ( f l . t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) , Guwen zhenbao ^ 3£ JI Jf (True Treasures of Ancient Prose), e d . H o s h i k a w a K i y o t a k a H. ]l| ~/f # ( T o k y o : M e i j i s h o i n , 1 9 6 3 - 6 7 ) , 13 . W e d o n o t k n o w u n d e r w h a t c i r c u m s t a n c e a n d i n w h i c h p e r i o d o f L i u ' s l i f e t h a t h i s Quanxue wen w a s w r i t t e n , b u t p r o b a b l y it w o u l d n o t b e a c o m p o s i t i o n o f h i s " d i s s i p a t e d " y e a r s i n K a i f e n g . 2 6 W e a r e n o t c e r t a i n h o w m a n y t i m e s L i u f a i l e d t h e e x a m i n a t i o n . It w a s h i g h l y p o s s i b l e tha t it t o o k m o r e t h a n t w e n t y y e a r s f o r h i m t o p a s s i t . F o r d e t a i l e d s t u d i e s o f h i s a t t e m p t s at t h e e x a m i n a t i o n , see L e u n g 1 0 - 1 3 . 2 7 L i u i s l i s t e d i n t h e " B i o g r a p h y o f P r o m i n e n t O f f i c i a l s " i n t h e Changguo zhou tuzhi, 6 : 6 b - 7 a . S e e a l s o Z h a n g J i ' a n 51 cJ 2? et a l . , Yuhangxianzhi f& |rC % ^ (Yuhang County Gazetteer) ( T a i p e i : C h e n g w e n c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 7 0 , Jiaqing maochen ban I I |j( M IS ), 2 1 : 6 a . T h e h i g h e s t p o s i t i o n L i u a t t a i n e d w a s S t a t e F a r m A s s i s t a n t D i r e c t o r i£, 03 Jt 9r I|5 . F o r h i s o f f i c i a l c a r e e r , s ee L e u n g 1 3 - 1 7 , 1 9 - 2 0 ; a n d H a g i w a r a M a s a k i §c IM J£ Hf , " R y u e i n o k o h a n s h o t o s o n o s h i " $P | < C ? ) t ^ £ £ ^ Qy | f ( " T h e L a t e r L i f e o f L i u Y o n g a n d h i s Ci"), Gakurin H # 12 ( 1 9 8 9 ) , 3 7 . 113 L i u , a young country man, to suspend his Confucian morals and indulge . 2 8 H i s unrestrained life in Kai feng is represented abundantly in lyr ics such as: Tune: "Xuan qing" fi ^ ("Xuan qing"), excerpt B3 Secretly I dwell on Bg Ip Those old outings and old chases, ff j@ Tapestry-like ambiance and scenery in the great capital. jrt JH f^ J $0 IS Thinking of friends whom women would shower with fruit, ^ J|[S |pc fjfj f?t And banquets where tassels were cut off caps.29 18 ffi S ^ I drank endlessly in those days. If B# "ft" -IS tft We bade the swallow dancers flutter up M ffi M M And sing strings of pearly notes. If£ Jf ^ > Coming before the turtoise-shell banquet tables [q] 5ft $K ft) They were all from the ranks of immortals. II jH jjif {[If ^ nn The later it got, The wilder we grew. ©ft 3EE And one by one JJ ^§ jff We sped into the lovebird rooms behind the phoenix curtains. M< M Wc 30 Such antics and his doubly close relationships with sing-song girls resulted directly in the production o f many "vulgar," but formally vigorous and styl is t ical ly innovative l y r i c s . 3 1 They won h im high regard as a gifted lyr icis t i n the 2 8 S e e Z e n g D a x i n g # A M , Liu Yong he tade ci f P ftl ffe #J M (Liu Yong and his C i Lyrics) ( G u a n g z h o u : Z h o n g s h a n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 9 0 ) , 6 - 7 . 2 9 " T h r o w i n g f r u i t " is a n a l l u s i o n t o t h e W e s t e r n J i n ( 2 6 5 - 3 1 6 ) p o e t P a n Y u e ( 2 4 7 - 3 0 0 ) . B e c a u s e o f h i s g o o d l o o k s , w h e n e v e r P a n w a s o n t h e s t ree t , o l d w o m e n w o u l d t h r o w f r u i t o n t o h i s c a r r i a g e . S e e F a n g X u a n l i n g f J |p ( 5 7 9 - 6 4 8 ) et a l . , Jinshu # | l | (History of the Jin) ( B e i j i n g : Z h o n g h u a s h u j u , 1 9 7 4 ) , v o l . 5 , 1 5 0 7 . " C u t t i n g t a s s e l s " r e f e r s to a s t o r y a b o u t the D u k e o f C h u . A t a b a n q u e t , the l i g h t s s u d d e n l y w e n t o f f . O n e o f the D u k e ' s s u b o r d i n a t e s g r a s p e d t h e c l o t h e s o f h i s c o n c u b i n e . S h e t h e n c u t o f f h i s t a s s e l s a n d s h o w e d t h e m t o t h e D u k e . B u t t h e g e n e r o u s D u k e f o r g a v e the i m p r o p r i e t y o f h i s s u b o r d i n a t e . S e e L i u X i a n g \a\ ( c a . 7 7 B C - 6 B C ) , Shuo yuan jjft (Garden of Fables) ( T a i p e i : T a i w a n s h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 5 ) , WYWK, 6 : 5 2 . L i u u s e s t h e s e t w o a l l u s i o n s t o d e s c r i b e h i s j o y f u l a n d u n b r i d l e d d a y s . 30 YZJ, 1 1 7 ; QSC, 2 9 b . 3 1 M a n y t u n e s i n t h e Yuezhangji s e e m t o h a v e o r i g i n a t e d w i t h L i u Y o n g . B u t s c h o l a r s ' o p i n i o n s o n t h e n u m b e r o f n e w t u n e s a re d i v e r g e n t . F o r e x a m p l e , J a m e s J . Y . L i u a s c r i b e s o n e h u n d r e d a n d f i f t e e n p i e c e s as L i u ' s i n v e n t i o n s , o r " a t l e a s t n e w v a r i a t i o n s o n e x i s t i n g m e t e r s . " S e e h i s Major Lyricists of the Northern Song A.D. 960-1126 ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 4 ) , 9 8 . Z e n g D a x i n g finds t h a t f i f t y - f i v e a r e o f L i u ' s i n n o v a t i o n . S e e Z e n g 9 6 . W i n n i e L e u n g , t h e m o s t c o n s e r v a t i v e , b e l i e v e s tha t o n l y t w e n t y - s i x t u n e s a re n e w . S e e L e u n g 3 8 . L i u Y o n g w a s a l s o t h e f i r s t e l i t e l y r i c i s t w h o e x t e n s i v e l y u s e d t h e man ci '[§ |a] ( s l o w t u n e ) o r chang diao j | Id ( l o n g t u n e ) f o r m t o w r i t e l y r i c s , a n d e x p l o r e d t h e ling zi ? ( l e a d i n g w o r d ) t e c h n i q u e i n ci w r i t i n g . 114 entertainment quarters. He even became a "professional," composing lyr ics for money, as the fo l lowing anecdote suggests. When Qiqing resided i n the capital, he visited all the brothels in h i s spare time. Wherever he went, he was welcomed by the sing-song girls because of h i s fame as a lyricist. He was good at changing the mode of tunes a n d composing songs. Once he mentioned a sing-song g i r l [in a lyric], her reputation would increase ten-fold. For this reason, many sing-song girls supported h i m with money o r gifts. f l g g f . l H l i K m , m m + f t? , m m & m m m $.  n In reference to this passage, scholars such as X u e Ruisheng believe that since L i u ' s father had already died during L i u ' s long stay in the capital, he probably could not have obtained adequate financial support from his uncles—especially i f they knew about his unorthodox behaviour. It was only when he could make a l i v ing by wri t ing "vulgar," commercia l ized lyrics that he was able to secure and prolong his stay i n Kai feng. In order to tailor to the professional needs o f sing-song girls and thus profit from them, his lyrics inevitably advertised their physical beauty, talents and charming personalities, simultaneously garnering favour from the popular, mostly male, audience. "[T]he public favor" had thus become his "only lot tery." 3 4 Repeated failure i n the imperial examination is another widely accepted explanation for L i u Yong ' s "degeneration." After one unsuccessful attempt, he wrote the fo l lowing we l l -known lyr ic to vent his frustration. Tune: "He chong tian" H fF A ("A Crane Leaps Into the Sky") On the gold metal board, M it W XL It so happened I failed to top the list. f | ^ f1 §| H In this enlightened age, the worthy are temporarily neglected— HJJ f t W jfi K Where am I to turn? #Q {nj [HJ M y ambition to seize wind and clouds, unrealized, 7F< M M M H! F o r L i u ' s u s e o f t h e man ci f o r m a n d h i s p o e t i c s , s ee K a n g - i S u n C h a n g 1 1 2 - 1 4 7 ; L e u n g 6 1 - 1 0 5 . 3 2 L u o Y e if ( f l . t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) , Zuiweng tanlu Wr It W< i l (Recorded Sayings of the Drunken Old Man) ( T a i p e i : S h i j i e s h u j u , 1 9 6 2 ) , B i n g j i ft , 2 : 3 2 . 3 3 X u e , " P r 3 4 S i r W a l t e 1 9 5 0 ) , 7 3 . " P r e f a c e , " 1 4 - 1 5 . 3 4 S i r a l t e r S c o t t , Journal of Sir Walter Scott ( 1 8 2 6 ) , e d . J . G . T a i t ( E d i n b u r g h : O l i v e r a n d B o y d , 115 Why not let myself go profligate and wild? What need to weigh the gains and losses? A talented lyricist is nature's White-robed minister. Back lanes of misty flowers, The painted screen blurs. I am happy there is someone close to my heart Worth paying a visit. For the moment let me rest on red and green-Amours: The pleasure of a lifetime, Verdant spring is but a moment. How can I bear to trade M y fleeting name for a low-sung song and small sip? Or, according to one anecdote, it was actually because o f seeing the lyr ic before reviewing the result o f the examination that a disgusted Emperor Ren Zong removed L i u Yong ' s name from the list o f successful candidates. A strong partisan o f "refined elegance" (ru ya {ft J § ) i n conduct, the emperor is said to have remarked, "Let h im go to have a low-sung song and small sip. Why does he need a fleeting name?" 3 6 Another anecdote goes further and says that, rejected and so bidden by the emperor, L i u spent the whole day gal l ivant ing w i th prostitutes, 37 i ronica l ly naming h imse l f " L i u Sanbian, Lyr ic is t by Imperial Decree." Al though anecdotes such as these cannot be taken at face value, certainly L i u Yong ' s "rebel l ious" behaviour—aside from his indisputable hedonism, was a means to comfort himself. The same intention can be deduced from his lyrics o f contempt for personal fame: Tune: "Ru yu shui" #0 & T R ("Like Fish to Water"), second stanza I w i l l strive to quit my floating ffi 45 ^ ' J " YZJ, 2 3 9 ; QSC, 5 1 b - 5 2 a . 36 K £ ^ M i& D § , fRl H £ . S e e W u Z e n g i ^ ' # ( f l . 1 1 2 7 - 1 1 6 0 ) , Nenggaizhai manlu | g B£ ^ (Casual Records of the Remedial Studio) ( C h a n g s h a : S h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 3 9 ) , CSJC, 1 6 : 4 1 8 . 3 7 f | i | | £ | . Y a n Y o u y i f t M M , Yiyuan cihuang § | lH§ ]pf (Criticism of Artistic Circles), i n H u Z i , Tiaoxi yuyin conghua, h o u j i M , 3 9 : 3 1 9 . 3£ T i g " m t# A m a 2c m * m rt # PS fom n m m-^ W M 4' A K m m. %L w m M * ¥ £ *§ w # IB — M s ffi # £ 1 7 i I © n, B 3 5 116 p r o f i t a n d f a m e . D o n ' t t a k e i t s r i g h t s a n d w r o n g s t o h e a r t . H o w c a n a m a n c o n t r o l h o n o u r s a n d r i c h e s ? T h e r i g h t t i m e h i g h a m b i t i o n s h a l l r e q u i t e . D o n ' t b e s a d a n d i d l e . S t a y s i d e b y s i d e w i t h t h e b l u s h o f r o u g e a n d g r e e n b u b b l e s o f w i n e . S t e p u p t o t h e e m b r o i d e r e d c u r t a i n , G e t d r u n k , l i e a n d s l e e p b y t h a t f r a g r a n t b o d y . W i t h t h e s e , w h a t m o r e d o y o u w a n t ? m m \% * # n a 4 > m a M JS A m m m m 1 ^  si 1 1 t t ^ M i 3 8 Such lines should not be taken too seriously, however, for though an avowed indulger in pleasure-quest, the title o f Advanced Scholar was s t i l l his ultimate goal . T u n e : " C h a n g s h o u l e ' ( " T h e J o y o f L o n g e v i t y " ) , s e c o n d s t a n z a A s o u r l o v e d e e p e n s , I a i m t o l e t t h e e v e n i n g r a i n g o o n i n m o r n i n g c l o u d . O n c e , i n t h e d e p t h o f s p r i n g , I g o t o t h e c o u r t o f t h e I m m o r t a l . W h e r e i n c e n s e c u r l s f r o m t h e I m p e r i a l c e n s e r , T o b e c l o s e l y e x a m i n e d i n H i s P r e s e n c e , I n t h e f a c e o f t h e C e l e s t i a l C o u n t e n a n c e , S u r e l y I w i l l p l a c e f i r s t , t o p o f t h e l i s t . U n t i l t h e n , Y o u c a n w a i t f o r m y r e t u r n , t o c o n g r a t u l a t e m e . B e g o o d , A n d I w i l l b r i n g y o u , m y d e a r , t h e l u c k y m o n e y . If Si Jt 3 9 ^ -m fill M w sis H m Ii m A M % it m i m m m n m m 9 m.m m # S Ms 40 Even i f cavorting wi th prostitutes, passing the examination always occupied his mind . But his promised return to the woman at the end o f "Chang shou le" also implies that the boon o f his social elevation would not end his consorting wi th or nostalgia for the sing-song g i r l s . 4 1 3 8 YZJ 1 7 9 ; QSC, 4 0 a . 3 9 " E v e n i n g r a i n a n d m o r n i n g c l o u d " m e a n s m a k i n g l o v e , a n a l l u s i o n t a k e n f r o m S o n g Y u ' s " G a o t a n g f u " jSf iff ( " R h y m e P r o s e o n the T o w e r o f G a o t a n g " ) . S e e L i S h a n , Wen xuan, 1 9 : 4 7 1 - 4 7 6 . 4 0 YZJ 1 6 7 ; QSC, 3 9 a - b . T r a n s . H i g h t o w e r , " T h e S o n g w r i t e r L i u Y u n g : P a r t I I , " HJAS, 4 2 . 1 ( 1 9 8 2 ) , 3 9 w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . 4 1 In f a c t , L i u a p p a r e n t l y c u t b a c k o n h i s v i s i t s t o b r o t h e l s a f t e r h e f i n a l l y p a s s e d t h e i m p e r i a l 117 L i u Yong ' s contradictory attitude toward the title o f Advanced Scholar was shared by many Confucian scholars. The title was certainly a highly valued, i f not vague ideal for most o f them, and the barriers were many. Fa i l i ng repeatedly to become an off ic ia l , they habitually would express a contempt for or questioning o f the value o f personal fame and wor ld ly pursuits. L i u Yong was one among many in this respect, but they differed from h i m i n their behaviour and expression. Whether "demoral ized," or conversely "enlightened," a typical literatus who had failed the examination and been unaccepted by the court wou ld probably take the path o f virtuous ancient scholars such as Tao Qian and retreat to the country, procla iming in his verse that a rustic insouciance was what he really treasured. Because o f this lofty unworldl iness, he would be much esteemed by other elite scholars. L i u Yong , however, neither conformed to conventional standards o f propriety, nor maintained his Confucian integrity through this pastoral withdrawal . Instead, his behaviour and "vulgar" poetry appalled his own class. Because o f this non-conformism, was L i u Yong then truly an elite "rebel ," or the first o f a new "rebel elite"—an "al ien"? In the zone o f "dual personality," a person's conduct i n one situation can contrast sharply to his response In another. Whether he or she be o f high or low class or ig in , as Matthew A r n o l d notes i n Culture and Anarchy, very often both an "ordinary s e l f and a "best s e l f exist concurrently. Accord ing to A r n o l d , the "lighter side" o f the "ordinary s e l f usually instinctually pursues pleasures, whi le its "severer side" seeks profit and ga in . 4 2 But the "best s e l f has a higher goal that tends to transcend class attributes altogether. . . . in each class there are born a certain number of natures with a curiosity about their best self, with a bent for seeing things as they are, for disentangling themselves from machinery, for simply concerning themselves with reason and the will of God, and doing their best to make these prevail; —for the pursuit, in a word, of perfection.43 e x a m i n a t i o n i n 1 0 3 4 , p r o b a b l y b e c a u s e o f o f f i c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s . B u t i n h i s l y r i c s , h e s t i l l r e c u r r e n t l y e x p r e s s e d h i s n o s t a l g i a f o r t h e j o y o u s a n d u n r e s t r a i n e d y e a r s a n d h i s r e g r e t at l e a v i n g b e h i n d t h e w o m e n w i t h w h o m h e o n c e h a d i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s . 4 2 A r n o l d , Culture and Anarchy, 1 0 7 - 8 . 4 3 A r n o l d 1 0 8 . 118 A r n o l d dubs such persons "aliens," redefining the term in a posit ive sense, because it is only these people—whether from the "Barbar ian" aristocratic class, the middle class "Phi l i s t ines ," or the "Populace"—who can bring "harmonious perfection" to human society. . . . when we speak of ourselves as divided into Barbarians, Philistines, and Populace, we must be understood always to imply that within each of these classes there are a certain number of aliens, if we may so call them,— persons who are mainly led, not by their class spirit, but by a general humane spirit, by the love of human perfection; . . . 4 4 A r n o l d seems to suggest that the "al iens" from the three classes w i l l form into a new k ind o f "elite class," one which would most effectively embody the spirit o f the col lect ive "best self." Only these "al iens" can run the government properly and "make the best that has been thought and known in the wor ld current everywhere." But whether they can unswervingly maintain their "best selves" and forever dispose o f their "ordinary selves" is a question A r n o l d does not ask, yet it is essential to understanding situations and people in the real wor ld . In imperial Ch ina , the elite class was composed almost exclus ively o f Confucian scholars. Assuming inborn moral and intellectual superiority, they were generally acknowledged as the legitimate supervisors o f state authority and the social educators responsible for bringing "harmonious perfection" to society. Strong emphasis on the "best self," or the "publ ic side" o f a Confucian scholar was therefore deeply implanted, whi le the "ordinary self," or the "personal side," was usually suppressed. Certain aberrant behaviours such as drunkenness, unbridled bohemianism, and eremetism became conventionalized as tolerable expressions o f the "ordinary self." For these were not seen as intr insical ly confl ic t ing wi th Confucian morals, but were rather thought to be a means o f passive resistance to A r n o l d 1 0 9 . S t r i k i n g l y s i m i l a r t o A r n o l d ' s o p i n i o n , J o s e O r t e g a y G a s s e t a l s o s ta tes t h a t w i t h i n t h e u p p e r a n d l o w e r c l a s s e s , " t h e r e a re f o u n d m a s s a n d g e n u i n e m i n o r i t y , " t h e " q u a l i f i e d " a n d t h e " d i s q u a l i f i e d . " T h o u g h g e n e r a l l y a g a i n s t t h e g r o w i n g p o w e r o f t h e t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y S p a n i s h w o r k i n g c l a s s , h e a g r e e s tha t " i t i s n o t r a r e t o f i n d t o d a y a m o n g s t w o r k i n g m e n , w h o b e f o r e m i g h t b e t a k e n as t h e b e s t e x a m p l e o f w h a t w e a r e c a l l i n g ' m a s s ' , n o b l y d i s c i p l i n e d m i n d s . " " T h e C o m i n g o f t h e M a s s e s , " i n R o s e n b e r g a n d W h i t e , e d s . , Mass Culture, 4 4 . 119 tyranny, social injustice and pol i t ica l corruption. It was never acceptable, however, to overindulge in one's most debased form o f the "ordinary self'—or even express it too expl ic i t ly and honestly in verse—let alone celebrate it, as d id L i u Yong . In this sense, L i u was an "a l ien" o f the elite class, a true "a l i en" opposite to A r n o l d ' s definit ion, who conducted a continued traffic in verse and life between the outer edges o f his personality and social norm. Yet judging from his writings in other genres and his performance in office, L i u Yong ' s "best s e l f was never lacking. Even among his lyr ics , especially those written in the later period o f his l i fe , there are also many so-called "elegant" pieces that reveal his "severer" side: 45 T u n e : " A n g o n g z i " ^ =f- ( " T h e Y o u n g G e n t l e m a n , A n " ) O n t h e l o n g r i v e r t h e w a v e s a r e a - s h i m m e r . T h e l a n d i n g a t H u a i , a n d m y h o m e t o w n i n C h u , f a r a w a y . I n a n i n s t a n t , t h e r a i n h a s p a s s e d o v e r t h e m i s t y i s l e t . A s g r e e n a s i f d y e d i s t h e f r a g r a n t g r a s s . I p r e s s o n , p r e s s o n , p a c k i n g b o o k s a n d m y s w o r d . H e r e , f a c i n g t h i s f i n e d a y a n d f i n e v i s t a , 1 f e e l m y s o r r o w s a r e m a n y , m y a i l m e n t s m a n y . H e a r t s i c k o f t r a v e l l i n g . ft JII m. n & m m m m m - s i fr s i ^ ip[ ir m m m m m m m n ut A s s « # m % m n ® >\J T h e r e , I s e e u n b o u n d e d w i l d e r n e s s , D a r k a n d g l o o m y e v e n i n g c l o u d s . M y t r i p i n t r u d e s i n t o t h e h u e s o f n i g h t , A g a i n , t h e o a r b e n d s t o m a k e l a n d i n g a t a v i l l a g e i n n . R e a l i z i n g t h e d e s t i n a t i o n i s n e a r , T h e b o a t m e n c a l l t o o n e a n o t h e r , P o i n t i n g a t t h e f i s h i n g l a n t e r n , a d o t i n t h e d i s t a n c e . n m m it SH yL JS- ^ m £ m m & ft ffl & tt J £ m m - & 4 6 Poems l ike " A n gong z i " were particularly well-received in elite circles. Chief ly narrating his sorrowful experiences as a sojourner distressed by l i fe ' s hardship and his unsuccessful off icial career, their style and themes conform we l l to the S e e H a g i w a r a M a s a k i , 4 0 - 4 6 . Z e n g D a x i n g d i v i d e s L i u Y o n g ' s ci c a r e e r i n t o t h r e e p e r i o d s . T h e f i r s t t w o a r e f r o m 9 8 3 u n t i l h e a t t a i n e d t h e a d v a n c e d s c h o l a r d e g r e e , d u r i n g w h i c h m o s t o f h i s " v u l g a r l y r i c s " w e r e w r i t t e n . T h e l a s t p e r i o d is m a i n l y c o m p r i s e d o f t h e " e l e g a n t " l y r i c s . Z e n g 3-18 . 46 YZJ, 1 6 1 ; QSC, 3 8 a . 1 2 0 Confucian literary tradition long established by the virtuous Q u Yuan in his poetry o f exi le . But it should also be noted that L i u ' s "elegant" works are less celebrated because they lament impediments to personal advancement or fulfi l lment instead of, l ike those by Q u Yuan, the excesses o f a corrupt, decaying state. L i u ' s choice o f using the ci to express his personal sentiments and the shi his publ ic concerns s imply reveals the low esteem for the ci in his time, and might support Gans 's theory that producers o f different social backgrounds w i l l occasionally choose a much higher or lower medium to express themselves. Popular art, habitually defined as the art produced by the common people for themselves, is thus in fact "open" for production as w e l l as consumption from a l l classes, so long as elite individuals can " lower" themselves and adapt to the ordinary taste. To a large extent, it is much more open or accessible than high art; and as a result, is therefore easily manipulated by artists hired by the popular culture industry such as that o f our time, to allegedly exploit the common people. But judging from L i u Yong ' s life experiences and the emotions expressed in his lyr ics , one can be certain that he is truly influenced by the popular aesthetic and in many cases is able to represent the people's genuine feel ings. 4 7 The fo l lowing section w i l l examine how his works are influenced by popular lyrics and what makes them genuinely popular. III. The Popular Elements in Liu Yong's "Vulgar" Lyrics L i k e the anonymous Tang and Song lyr ics , L i u ' s "vulgar" work is s imi lar ly characterized by its practical function as a form o f entertainment, its close relationship wi th ordinary feelings (chiefly amorous sentiments in L i u Yong ' s case), its straightforward and col loquia l expressions, and above a l l , its "marketplace" sentiments. Formal f lex ib i l i ty is also occasionally seen in his It i s l a r g e l y f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t J i a n g Z u y i M fH tp l a b e l s h i m t h e " p e o p l e ' s s i n g e r " A J33 W ^ • Zhongguo renmin wenxue shi S A S ^ ? $ (History of the Literature of the Chinese People) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i w e n y i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 1 ) , 1 0 3 . 121 col lec t ion , largely because, unlike most ci lyr ics written by other elites, L i u treated them more l ike literature performed than literature read. The provenance of Liu's "vulgar" style We know that most o f L i u Yong ' s "vulgar" works were written as a result o f his close connections wi th the entertainment quarters. However, since neither his literary discourses nor documents on his literary thought are extant, exactly how and through what process he formulated his popular ci style is unclear. Only one anecdote touches upon the question: A S o n g a n o n y m o u s l y r i c c a l l e d " T h e E m e r a l d P e a k s o f H e r E y e b r o w s " r e a d s , " S h e k n i t s t h o s e e m e r a l d e y e b r o w s t i l l t h e y w e a r o u t / O n c e m o r e , I t a k e h o l d o f h e r s l e n d e r h a n d s / F o r u s t o l o o k a t o n e a n o t h e r , a w h o l e d a y i s n ' t e n o u g h / H o w c a n I b e a r t o t u r n h e r i n t o a l o n e l o v e b i r d ? D u s k a p p r o a c h i n g , 1 l o d g e a t t h e v i l l a g e p o s t h o u s e / A l l n i g h t t h r o u g h t h e w i n d s a n d t h e r a i n s a d d e n / T h e b a n a n a t r e e , o u t s i d e t h e w i n d o w ; a n d i n s i d e , t h e m a n / T h e r a i n o n t h e l e a v e s d r o p s c l e a r i n t o t h e h e a r t . " W h e n t h e y o u n g L i u Y o n g f r o m Z h e n z h o u w a s a s t u d e n t , h e i n s c r i b e d t h i s l y r i c o n a w a l l . L a t e r [ f r o m t h i s ] h e a p p r e h e n d e d t h e t e c h n i q u e o f w r i t i n g l y r i c s . A p r o s t i t u t e t o l d o t h e r s t h a t L i u s a i d , "1 a m q u i t e v e r s a t i l e i n t h e w a y s o f t h i s [ i . e . , w r i t i n g l y r i c s ] . " T h u s t h e " T u n t i a n M e t h o d [ o f ci w r i t i n g ] " w a s f o r m e d . 5 f c | f f i ^ . R J l l i l f M S : r ^ S M » g , l * ^ m m m ° m n m m m & m , u m & m n n ° mm & n m , m m m ^  ° m ^  & m m m A , ft m m ± & m m ° j m m m*'j?mmm,&&$kmmm, ft m ft m * m - - & fa A m z , * 0 : r g n i t t ^ m m ft # 15 t& ° j m m m ^  m m m .48 Regardless o f the authenticity o f this anecdote, it is possibly right in its suggestion that L i u was already fascinated and influenced by "popular" lyrics before he came to the capital . The theme o f separation, the emotionalism and the structural smoothness o f the "Emerald Peaks o f Her Eyebrows" resemble L i u ' s nostalgic lyrics quite closely. However, it is rather "elegant" in tone and dic t ion, and 4 8 W a n g Y i q i n g 3i |£j VR ( f l . s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) et a l . Lidai cihua M iX M IS ( C i Remarks of Past Dynasties). Q u o t e d i n Y a n g S h i | § $ | ( f l . t w e l f t h c e n t u r y ) , Gujin cihua ~£i M M (Past and Present Remarks on the C i Lyrics). In CHCB, v o l . 2 , 1 1 6 4 . Tuantian 03 , o r " S t a t e F a r m , " w a s t h e s h o r t f o r m o f L i u ' s o f f i c i a l t i t l e . S e e n o t e 2 7 . 122 therefore does not seem to be the source o f L i u ' s "vulgar" style. The discovery o f the Dunhuang manuscripts i n the early twentieth century provides some hints o f L i u Yong ' s stylistic inheritance. Pieces found in the Yunyao ji, such as the " Q i n g bei l e , " "Feng gui yun" and " N e i j i a j i a o " ^3 ^ Wi t ( "Love ly Palace Lady") , are generally acknowledged as having an influence on L i u ' s long tunes and popular s ty le . 4 9 For example, part o f the fo l lowing lyr ic by L i u closely resembles " Q i n g bei l e , " a Dunhuang piece focusing exclusively on a woman's physical beauty, wh ich has been studied i n detail i n chapter two (p. 62-63). Tune: " Y u chi bei" I f M ff ("Yuchi's Cup") M y favourite beauty, f l fit M Certainly no rough procured jf 7L Ht &I W "if It tt on the nine highways can equal her. Soft face and slim moth-like eyebrows are natural, 5^ M W. Reliant on no smears of red nor painted black. f|§ M TF< W-Her eyes, lucid and clear, like autumn waters. S S fX ?K She is free with elegant looks, ^ f t W. Before uttering a word she enchants already. $ l § ft ^ H Each time we meet—on days of flowers § and evenings of moon— H ^ i S Deep down in her heart she simply adores my genius. § M fflf- W M On the phoenix pattern pillows and lovebird quilt, $1 $§> JS, tfc M. Wi we hug close. In a deep, deep place M- W- M The jasper tree and coral branch lean one upon the other. Jj | $E 3£ #f t@ Exhausted after pleasure, M ®. UK ^ The hibiscus curtain warms. 5c H HI tU , A further feeling of vexation. glj J t ' t i A i f Gfc A n amour, JK, fit Difficult to be perfect for both. It Sf H Besides, for a pledge, you have snipped ^ E Iff A lock of fragrant cloud. H 8 M M Iff Together, let us enjoy life J i {f^  4 9 For a detailed comparison between Liu's lyrics and those of the Yunyao ji, see Ren Erbei, Dunhuang qu chutan, 339-348. Overall, Liu's indebtedness to Dunhuang lyrics is largely confined to the "brothel songs." The thematic diversity found in the Dunhuang manuscripts is unseen in his ci collection. 123 For now. & ¥ £ Disinclined to part the twined branches, lightly. 7^ i f | § ft 31 33 5 0 L i k e the Dunhuang ly r ic , the first stanza o f L i u ' s piece also centres on the beauty o f a woman, stressing that it surpasses a l l others (line 2). But the "unrefined" imagery i n the Dunhuang ly r ic , such as "blood-red blouse," is avoided. A l s o , tautological descriptions are replaced by a series o f sequential movements: after the opening presentation o f the woman's beauty, L i u turns to her charming manner, wh ich sensuously and inevitably (l ike most o f the erotic novels) leads to a passage of h ighly suggestive description i n the second stanza, ending at last wi th a carpe diem statement. Mos t o f L i u ' s pieces about sing-song girls consist o f these seize the day or damsel themes (coupled on occasion wi th the regret at separation) and the formulaic progressions above. Apar t from stressing the physical beauty o f sing-song gir ls , a "vulgar" lyr ic may also boast about their musical or other talents. Such an element is already seen i n the Yunyao ji: Tune: "Nei j i a j iao," first stanza, (P. 2838) Two eyes, keen as knives, Her whole body: jade. She is the number one beauty. Clothes a la mode, Hair styled for the capital, Her natural qualites charming, her sentiments like spring With ear skilled at distinguishing the modes in music, Adept at tuning silken strings and bamboo pipes. Her ditties, sharp and new. Even citing the tale of the Luo Riverbanks and Sunny Terrace, 5 1 No way to compare the goddesses there with her. m is iu 71 m M- u as JS m. m - ti A *K M Si W. m m • g m m m m n m. ^  & m m m th m m m 50 YZJ, 6 4 ; QSC, 2 1 b . 5 1 " T h e G o d d e s s o f L u o " ( " L u o s h e n " fa jji$) i s t h e s u b j e c t o f a r h y m e p r o s e w r i t t e n b y C a o Z h i f f fit ( 1 9 2 - 2 3 2 ) . S e e L i S h a n , Wen xuan, v o l . 1, 4 8 1 - 4 8 5 . A s t o r y i n S o n g Y u ' s " G a o t a n g f u " m e n t i o n s t h e G o d d e s s o f S u n n y T e r r a c e . S e e L i , Wen xuan, 1 9 : 4 7 1 - 4 7 6 . 5 2 P a n , Dunhuang yunyao ji xinshu, 1 8 8 ; DHGCZB, v o l . 1, 2 3 9 ; DHQJL, 2 4 ( # 0 2 3 ) . 1 2 4 Quite a number o f L i u Yong ' s "vulgar" lyr ics also boast the talents o f sing-song girls alongside their beauty. I f we compare the fo l lowing piece by L i u wi th " N e i J i a j i a o , " his indebtedness to the Dunhuang songs is even more apparent. Tune: "Zhou ye le" H & ^ ("Happy Days X i u Xiang's home is on Peach Blossom Lane. Only an Immortal Fairy might keep up with her. Bright eyes finely cut from tiers of waves. Her white neck, moulded from round, glazed jade. Feasting, she likes to show her singing throat, Halting the restless clouds, Sad and frozen on the horizon. Her speech is like a charming warbler's, Every note worth listening to. A l though L i u ' s piece is obviously more refined and sk i l fu l i n its use o f paral le l ism (lines 3 - 4 ) and contrast (lines 3-4 , 8 - 9 ) , its facile and unsophisticated description o f the sing-song g i r l ' s beauty and talent differs lit t le from the Dunhuang piece.* They both cater solely to base "sensual properties" in the common male audience! provid ing them wi th a ready physical projection o f the woman 's beauty and artistry wh ich spares them the effort o f deeper comprehension. Yet, L i u Yong ' s "vulgar" works s t i l l differ dramatically from the Dunhuang songs i n one major aspect. A s " Y u chi b e i " demonstrates, although L i u uses the formulaic compliment to a sing-song g i r l , he heightens the sensual intensity o f his ly r i c by introducing an even more daring, expl ic i t image o f erotic sentiment, whi le those i n the Dunhuang manuscripts merely recapitulated the woman's physical beauty and charms. This structural pattern is again seen i n the second stanza o f i L i u ' s " Z h o u ye le , " wh ich continues wi th these lines: After drinking, the curtain is stock still M M ffc ifc M W in the secluded bedroom. We hug the scented quilt to sate our hearts'joy. H H ^ * Sfc ' 0 IS From the musk in the gilt incense burner, ^ $t H @ blue smoke curls up. , and Nights"), first stanza m m w. & mtt % n m fiii * mm M m & m m $ w-g le m m # m % H A J& -E m m m m m $ i m M . &a ae 53 YZJ, 21 ; QSC, 15b. 125 On the phoenix bedcurtain, the red rays of a candle flicker. M, -lift M ffi The wi ld unbounded hearts seize on the tipsiness. PM ffi 'L> f?t S I t This pleasure grows superlative— M Wt ^ " D f A fit Sti l l we resent the neighbour's rooster © g 3§ 2t> H For announcing autumn nights won't last forever. j j l #C W ^ Examples l ike this show that the structure o f some o f L i u ' s "vulgar" lyr ics is highly standardized. A l o n g wi th the formulaic content and structural progression, these pieces are also replete wi th set phrases, stereotyped imagery and conventional id ioms: very often, the women's s l im waists are "soft as w i l l o w twigs ," their eyes "as bright as autumn waters," and skins "smooth l ike jade." i Beauty and talents are routinely incomparable, their manner gentle, and charms seductive. A b o v e a l l , their faithfulness to their lovers (or more precisely, customers) is unswerving. These are a l l prerequisites i n the "vulgar," perhaps commercia l ized, ly r ic . A s a writer sensitive to popular taste, L i u Yong potently applied them to his work wi th a refined literary s k i l l . In addit ion to the above features, L i u ' s "vulgar" pieces are also characterized by the fo l lowing popular elements. 1) Formal flexibility The musical sk i l l s o f most elite lyricists o f L i u Yong ' s time were relatively inferior to their literary talents, whereas L i u possessed both in abundance. He not only could compose songs and rearrange o ld tunes, but modify metrical patterns o f the ci lyr ic i to fit new melodies. For example, none o f the patterns i n a l l four " M a n j i ang hong" XL £E ("The Whole R i v e r is Red") lyr ics i n the Yuezhang ji is iden t i ca l . 5 4 The first piece shows the normal syl labic pattern o f the third l ine o f the first stanza: Overlooking the islets, g§ ^ i$L - H jtjg ®ft the smartweed mist is thin and light; The corresponding line i n the fourth piece is reduced by two syllables: 54 YZJ, 1 8 6 - 1 9 0 ; QSC, 4 1 b - 4 2 a . 1 2 6 Watching the setting sun light the west; m B n m A l s o , the first and second stanzas should have one heptasyllabic couplet each. However, in L i u ' s third " M a n j iang hong," he adds an extra character to three lines. Sad, too many pil low promises, Now we two let them go nowhere. I regret making so many promises on the pi l low Are in the end so hard to be rid of. Such interpolation and technique o f word reduction are seen i n the Yuezhang ji more often than i n the ci collections by other lyricis ts . A l though we can no longer hear the music o f these ci lyr ics , i n light o f the above examples, we can ascertain that i n actual oral performance the metrical ( i f not tonal) patterns o f L i u ' s ci were not as r ig id as the sanctioned versions indica te . 5 5 2) Narrative expression and psychological revelation Dramatic effects in the Yuezhang ji are not as pronounced as i n the Dunhuang manuscripts, where the ly r ica l mode, intensified through narrative situation and psychological insights, both modulates a majority o f its pieces. Occasionally, a lyr ic such as the fo l lowing may remind us o f the prevai l ing theatrical atmosphere i n some o f the Dunhuang songs. Tune: "Jin tang chun" | | ^ # ("Spring in the Brocade Hall") > Too tired to comb the fall of her hair, t Too lazy to paint the mournful moth eyebrows The heart strings are not disposed to anything. 5 5 The several existing "Man jiang hong" in the collections of other elite lyricists around Liu's time are overall not as flexible in metrical pattern as Liu's versions. Also, probably because it is a long tune, elite writers of this time seldom filled in words for it, as short lyrics were more popular among them. This rarity indicates that Liu Yong was one of the most innovative writers of his time. For "Man jiang hong" of others, see QSC, vol. 1, 83b (Zhang Xian <jg % , 990-1078), 1 lla-b (Zhang Bian jjg ^ , 992-1077), 280b (Su Shi), 428a (Chao Duanli H ' f f i jjk , 1046-1113), 471a (Qin Guan) and 562a, 563a (Chao Buzhi & ffl £ ,1053-1110). 127 RJ ' i t f f ' t t m & m s m m ?t m m n' m m m m >o m & m w Lately I feel my looks are worn out with care, j t Iff 2fc fH .ffl And my dress of gold thread has gone loose. ^ $H 3£ HE I realize what this rake wants, M ?# M SiL ff St T He mocks in front of the others, as i f I 'm nothing. [n] A fft If $D DA But when I tidy up my petal-scented appearance, 5? ^ 11 ® See i f he ignores me st i l l ! @ iife ffi 5H How can he bide easy? , >LV ^ As usual, he's late for our date again. ft 1 S 7 1 Why did he take advantage of me, then, H Hf # J IS fie To get me secretly to cut a lock of cloudy hair for him? i f S i S Watch when he finally comes back, B# f# 1§ 2fc M y scented bower shall be shut tight. Hr Pil !S When he wants to nuzzle the cloud and the rain, f^ f fj* | ? -I shall wrap the embroidered quilt about me, $8 $f ^ And share no joy with him. ^ f | IRJ | | £ Not until the darkest watch of night, fS H $ i Then shall I ask him, gentle and slow, ifc §K fn] fj* "After this, do you dare be bad again?" ' 4 t I S I MM 56 The women i n L i u Yong's. lyr ics are seldom passive subordinates to men; rather, they frequently voice their resentment at male fr ivoli t ies and their leading separate lives—outbursts very much characteristic o f the folk song and strongly contrasted to the lachrymose female characters i n elite lyr ics . >. The main objective o f a narrative lyr ic l ike " J i n tang chun" is to real is t ical ly describe the mind sets, emotional states and experiences o f the personae i n order to arouse immediate sympathy i n the common audience. A l l u s i o n and c i rcumlocut ion are s imply anathema. In a l ike manner, because o f the l imi ted length o f the ci form and the audience's demand for instant pleasure, at times even scenic description, conspicuous i n the elegant lyr ics o f both L i u and elite writers, must give way to the mounting o f sensational excitement. Such a focus on narrative devices and psychological impact was probably influenced by the art o f i 57 58 contemporary story-tell ing. S imi lar ly , L i u ' s lyr ic inspired the later qu bal lad. In 56 YZJ, 1 1 8 ; QSC, 2 9 b . 1 5 7 F o r t h e r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n L i u ' s l y r i c a n d s t o r y - t e l l i n g , s ee U n o N a o t o , ^ U W. A , Liu Yong lungao~Ci de yuanliu yu chuangxin W W$ Wi M ffi M ffi* $1: M %T (A Study on Liu Yong: the origin of the C i and its Innovation), t r a n s . Z h a n g H a i o u ?R $5 H a n d Y a n g Z h a o h o n g 1 2 8 regard to the absence o f scenic description i n the romantic qu pieces, the M i n g scholar Wang Jide 3E H i H i (?-ca. 1623) makes this cogent remark, which may ' i be also applicable to L i u ' s "vulgar" lyr ics : By'his use of many scenic descriptions to write qu about boudoir feelings, I know that this writer has run out of ideas. To a master-hand, he [simply] grasps the word "emotion," thoroughly explores [its meanings] and 1 incisively expresses them. [The meanings of the word,] so rich and expansive, are just then inexhaustible for him to draw and write about. He can play solely with it in absolute ease. How can he have the leisure to care about the flowers, birds, mist and clouds which are in front of his eyes but are unrelated [to his [feelings], letting them drown his true temperament, and confuse his tiny brush? fflltftl^Sfi.f.Sl^ m , n z ^ m,, m m w m , & & ti , ® <m & m w m m m =. 2. & ilk mm , w & m m & , m m ^  m $ ? 5 9 In traditional elite literary theory, scenic description is used to help accentuate, simulate, or symbolize one's innermost feel ings. 6 0 Wang may be too extreme when he claims that its use hinders the abi l i ty to express genuine emotions, but certainly a song can engage romantic or erotic feelings more palpably and expl ic i t ly , instantly gratifying the sensual expectation o f its audience without getting lost i n the surrounding scenery. L i u ' s " J i n tang chun" has not a word about external phenomenon. A l l it deals wi th is the woman's thoughts and longings. Such a device also contributes directly to the forthright style o f L i u ' s ly r ic . 2. Straightforwardness and colloquial expressions In respect.to thematic ^ HS IE ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 9 8 ) , 1 2 3 - 1 3 1 , 1 3 7 - 1 3 9 , 1 4 7 - 1 5 0 , 1 5 4 - 1 5 6 . 5 8 Q u i t e a f e w a n c i e n t a n d m o d e r n s c h o l a r s p o i n t o u t t h a t L i u Y o n g ' s l y r i c s h a d a s i g n i f i c a n t i m p a c t i o n t h e J i n ( 1 1 1 5 - 1 2 3 4 ) a n d Y u a n ( 1 2 7 1 - 1 3 6 8 ) qu s o n g . S e e K u a n g Z h o u y i ffl Wi ( 1 8 5 9 - 1 9 2 6 ) , Huifeng cihua M S If IS (Orchid Breeze C i Remarks) , CHCB, v o l . 5 , 4 4 5 9 -4 4 6 0 ; s e e a l s o , Z h a n g D e y i n g JBi j§[ , Ci zheng p W. (Verifying the C i ) , CHCB, v o l . 5 , 4 0 8 6 . 59 Qu lu ft # (The Rules of the Q u ) ( T a i p e i : Y i w e n y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 7 ) , BBCS, 4 : 4 b - 5 a . 6 0 F o r e x a m p l e , Z h o n g H o n g § j | $ , Shi pin f # ffn (Classification of Poetry) ( T a i p e i : T a i w a n s h a n g w u y i n s h u g u a n , 1 9 6 5 ) , WYWK, j u a n s h a n g # _ h , 1-2; L i u X i e , " N a t u r e o f E x t e r n a l P h e n o m e n a " # J -fe , i n Z h a n , Wenxin diaolongyizheng, v o l . 3 , 1 7 2 6 - 1 7 6 2 . 1 2 9 i narrowness, L i u Yong closely resembles the Huajian poets such as Wen Tingyun and Wei Zhuang o f the late Tang and the F ive Dynast ies . 6 1 Whereas the Huajian poets, especially Wen, prefer elusive d ic t ion and maintain an "aesthetic distance" from the "objects" (women) represented, L i u specifies his passion, regret and longing i n simple and co l loquia l language. For example, a piece pinpoint ing the pain o f a recent love reads: Tune: " M u lan hua l ing" if. ffl ^ ("Short Version of the Magnolia Flowers") There's a certain person truly worth admiring, But when you ask her, she acts shy and looks away. If you do not feel for me, How in my dreams could we see each other so often? i Better surrender to my desire forthwith, So as not to craze my soul mad for naught. This fond heart of mine is not so immured, I 'm afraid it w i l l tear apart because of you. To say that the woman is always i n his dreams or he is broken-hearted because o f her cruelty is to a certain extent banal and lacking i n imagination. But by admitting it succinctly, L i u cuts directly to the point, g iv ing her—and the audience—the exact message he intends; for these common people, i n Bourdieu ' s d ic t ion, wou ld neither have the required time and energy, nor the aesthetic disposi t ion to decode and savour allusions or abstruse metaphors. t W i t h the intensely autobiographical tone throughout his work, L i u also distinguishes h imse l f from the earlier Huajian poets as w e l l as the anonymous Tang writers, whose romantic lyr ics were mostly writ ten,in the feminine voice , highly impersonal, and seldom i n the first person. 6 3 L i u replaced affected ventr i loquism wi th direct speech, clear-cut statements and rhetorical questions, unashamedly expressing his longing for a woman. These devices are'effectively 6 1 For a detailed study and translation of the Huajian lyrics, see Lois Fusek, Among the Flowers. 62 YZJ, 209; QSC, 46a. 6 3 Though one should avoid taking Liu's lyrics as faithful accounts of his life story, it is still plausible that most of them are based on his own experiences. 130 m m A A m m m m m # mm mm M i i I«I i A ^ $n m ^ 1 i I m m m A m. m SL a fit m ftt ^ m ^  m & « m M m demonstrated i n the " M u lan hua l i n g . " Here is another notable example o f 1 straightforward, direct expression, ending i n a rhetorical question. Tune: "Ying chun le" ffl # ^ ("The Welcoming Music of Spring") i Lately my haggard look frightens folk— jfi! 3fc Ht ffi A I ' 1 'Cause I think of you oh so much since we parted. M %. " ffi J^> f$s In a past life I must have owed you some debt of sorrow, S f i * 1 }t ft I* ^ ft For this I suffer and can't be quit of it. f ^ i i i ^ This fine night lasts long—I can't help but think of you. B. ^ zK " $ fit M #f <m Under the brocade quilt, your perfume is still there. ^ =K " t& § ® ^ How could I, under the lamplight, ^g. f# $c Stf M ~F Delight in your charms as I please, as before? ^ M. 'H? M M 64 i Besides lyr ics l ike this, autobiographical lines such as the fo l lowing also suffuse the Yuezhang ji (note the use o f a rhetorical question i n i i , also). (0 I only hope my Chong Chong in her heart, {0. J§t $c - Ht H 'L> T W i l l treat me always ffi A 3t f f As when first we met. S # 1 f@ 65 (ii) I ask when I can be with you, f4 S K M ft Deeply love and dearly care for each other as we did before? '$f-Iff f a j§ i f 6 6 ( i i i ) I won't regret even i f the belt on my dress grows looser, & S f S i I S For you it 's worth being wan and haggard. f^ " ft| f# A Ht W 67 In Confucian China , women were thought o f as mentally weak, excessively emotional, and lacking i n ambit ion; hence, i n ci lyr ics o f the Tang and early Song, they are typical ly afflicted by separations or unrequited loves. In addit ion, a female persona is habitually assumed by the male poet to voice his own suffering. It wou ld be unusual and especially improper for an elite male to confess that he is 6 4 YZJ, 1 2 3 ; QSC, 3 0 b . 6 5 T u n e : " Z h e n g b u y u e " ffi ffl HI ( " S o l d i e r ' s M u s i c " ) , YZJ, 6 6 ; QSC, 2 2 a . 6 6 T u n e : " Q i n g b e i l e , " YZJ, 3 0 ; QSC, 1 7 a . 6 7 T u n e : " F e n g q i w u " J ! ( " P h o e n i x P e r c h e d o n a Wu T r e e " ) , YZJ, 8 7 ; QSC, 2 5 a . 131 " loves ick" ; for according to the traditional concept, he must espouse higher po l i t i ca l and moral aspirations that transcend personal aff l ict ion. But L i u Yong disregards this social norm. H i s lyr ics real is t ical ly voice his all-too-human frailties and " f r ivo l i ty , " continuously immersing h i m i n his t idings o f common, emotional excess. This "ordinariness," wh ich prompted the late Song lyr ic is t and theorist Zhang Yan to deem h i m as "enslaved by emotion," also led directly to L i u ' s huge acceptance by the common audience. 6 8 This accompanying excess o f popularity was further enhanced by extensive and conspicuous use o f co l loquia l id ioms, various instances o f wh ich are underlined below. ' See i f he ignores me st i l l ! @ ffjj 5H How can he bide easy? M> /[> ^ Lately my haggard look frightens f o l k - TS. H W A H 6 'Cause I think of you oh so much since we parted. ^ S'J 'tfk " ffi ® z$L The second stanza o f one o f the four " M a n j i ang hong" is especially notable i n this aspect. A-growing go my hurt feelings. . $ S % ^ About that, what can I do? • M fqf I f I just feel flat-out fed up and tired of this. $ K I , M M ife With no one around I ponder it over, I A i S I And often let drop a tear. 1 1 I | | I regret making so many promises on the pil low f# |fB -f-Are in the end so hard to be rid of. ff @ jjs ffi: It $r Ifl At long last, f f 3\ M • I can only ask her > X F$ fF M About how to handle it. M I 6 9 68 M fit Pfl fi£- Ci yuan, CHCB, vol. 1, 266. Regarding Liu's popularity, the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao E3 HI # @ I? {Synopsis of the Four Imperial Libraries) comments, "the ci was originally a kind of seductive music, and Liu Yong's work was charming and intimately emotional, allowing people easy access to it, so though it is quite flawed by its vulgarity, there has been no end to those who delight in it." I s l ^ ^ l f ^ ^ i S ^ l l f j f T f f 7* m ft m m s& m , m A % A , m m & ® m m , m i? z m ® ^ m (Taipei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 1965), WYWK, 198: 4419. 69 YZJ, 189; QSC, 42a. According to Winnie Leung's statistics, in the Yuezhangji, the colloquial 132 C o l l o q u i a l d ic t ion also exacerbated the "vulgar i ty" o f L i u ' s lyr ics and thus became a major target o f elit ist c r i t i c i sm. The commonest terms used to reprove L i u ' s co l loqu ia l i sm are bi li HP {H or bi su HP f& (vulgar, co l loqu ia l , common). Referr ing, for example, to L i u Yong and another lyr ic is t K a n g Y u z h i ' s jjt H 2. ( f l . twelfth century) works, Shen Y i f u sniffs, I i The tones of both Kang Boke [Yuzhi] and L i u Qiqing's ci are very harmonious, and their sentence structures are also not bad in many places. • But they can't avoid using vulgar diction. Jjt nj - | $ ^ J/g] | | f ^ « 1 * S f i § i .70 Shen Y i f u ' s statement corresponds w e l l wi th traditional scholarly commentary on folk verse: Wang Y i on the C h u folk songs, and L i u Y u x i ' s preface to his "Bamboo Branch" poems (see Chapter one, p. 30-32). The difference is , whi le "vulgar i ty" is deemed somewhat natural and unavoidable i n the folk song, in an elite poet's work it is not just unacceptable but outrageous. Should he try his hand at a lower literary genre, he was expected to eradicate unseemly language. 4. "Marketplace aura " and eroticism A s already noted, p roof o f the immorta l iza t ion o f the "marketplace aura" o f L i u Yong ' s lyr ics comes i n Ye Mengde ' s record that "wherever there was a w e l l where they could drink water, 1 people wou ld sing L i u ' s songs." 7 1 Another Song scholar, Huang Sheng jf If- ( f l . 1240-1249), also affirms this wi th the fo l lowing statement: [Liu Yong] excelled in writing delicate and amorous lyrics. But very often he verged on a colloquial and vulgar style (// su), and therefore is favoured adverbs ren (like this, in this way) appears fifty-eight times, zheng (how) thirty-six times, chu j jg (where, place) more than twenty times and zen (how) over ten times. As for verbial and adverbial suffixes, de % is employed forty-nine times, cheng gSc over twenty times and liao T over ten times. Other types of colloquial diction, such as the pronouns yi ffi (you) and wo fH (I), or measure words yi chang — i | § (once) and yi xiang — f|n| (a while) are also numerous. Leung, "Liu Yong and his Tz'u" (M.A. diss., University of British Columbia, 1976), 99-101. Also in her Liu Yong jiqi ci zhi yanjiu, 65. 1 7 0 Shen, Yuefu zhimi, in CHCB, vol. 1, 278. 7 1 See note 3. The word shijing Tf: # (marketplace), literally "market and well," probably indicates that in the marketplace, there was usually a well for water supply. , 133 by people of the marketplace. & ft 1& & Z M , 1& VS. M , m # z A ^ £ .7 2 A l o n g wi th co l loquia l expressions, this "marketplace aura" is especially redolent i n L i u ' s erotic pieces. Definitely, he was by no means the only—nor the first—elite poet who dealt wi th erot icism in the ci. For example, the Huajian lyr icis t Ouyang J iong ifc R§ 'M (896-971) had already written the fo l lowing infamous couplet long before: In the faint orchid and musky fragrance I heard your moan.M M ffl § Ml &fij M. Underneath the light gauze and fine silk I saw your skin. MMfflkM^iBlfli73 Under L i u ' s influence, eminent literati such as Huang Tingj ian ipf 0 | g (1045-1105) and Zhou Bangyan HI % M (1056-1121) also wrote quite a few erotic p ieces . 7 4 For example, the second stanza o f Huang 's " Q i a n q iu su i " ^p fX Wl ( " A Thousand Autumns") goes: The pleasure over, lovely and listness Jade turns soft, flowers droop to fall . The hairpin dangles on my sleeve, Cloudlocks pile on my arm. The lamp shines on her lovely eyes, Perspiration-soaked, intoxicated. "Go to sleep darling, Sleep darling, go to sleep." E v e n the elegant poetess L i Qingzhao, who is known for her candid rejection o f L i u ' s ci, could not avoid imitat ion wi th her " R e d waves are seething under the ft U M f& 7J 9 W m ® m m m ff mm m m u u m u u m m u u 72 Hua'an cixuan %g f§J |g (Flower Hut Selected Ci) (Hong Kong: Zhonghua shuju, 1962), 5: 93. 7 3 Tune: "Huan xi sha" rxi fj> ("Silk-Washing Stream Sand"), Zhao Chongzuo, ed., Huajian ji, 32. 7 4 For example, see Huang's "Hao nu er" £F ic Si ("The Good Girl") no. 2, in CSC, vol. 1, 408b; and Zhou's "Yu tuan er" 5 ffl 31 ("The Jade Ball") no. 2, "Hua xin dong," CSC, vol. 2, 619a, 623b 75 CSC, vol. 1, 412b-413a. Trans. Egan, 176. 134 q u i l t . " 7 6 Nonetheless, no extant col lec t ion o f elite lyrics (though there surely are many lost ones) possesses so many candidly erotic images as L i u ' s . In our previous examples, several such passages have been cited. W h i l e those are mixed wi th other themes arid emotions, the one below is unabashedly about the sheer bliss o f sexual love. Tune: "Ju hua xin" $f ("The Chrysanthemum Blossoms Anew") Unhappy at the short night, before the perfumed bed curtain has bee She knits her moth-like eyebrows to discuss love: She urges the young man, "Go in first and warm the lovebird quilt." Soon she puts down the undone needlework, And takes her silk dress off. They are as wild as can be. He leaves the light in front of the curtain on, So that always, He can look upon her charming face. In lines portraying carnal pleasure, l ike " A n d takes her s i lk dress of f " and "They are as w i l d as can be," the pr inciple o f "aesthetic distance," by defini t ion, does not hold . Because o f the aesthetic contradiction, elite Chinese literature eschews such a topic, or only mentions it obliquely, always fa i l ing to provoke a str iking effect. On ly i n lower art, where this aesthetic pr inciple is ignored, can it be daringly and real is t ical ly explored. L i u Yong ' s " Ju hiia x i n " and other highly erotic pieces show that he s t i l l treated the ci as a lower art form. He thus not only shocked and offended many conventional cri t ics as an elite writer, but also presented h imse l f as the main 76 W. M ST . Tune: "Feng huang tai shang yi cui xiao" I S 1 ± I ^ 1 ("Recalling Flute Playing on Phoenix Terrace"). QSC, vol. 2, 928a. This line is an imitation of Liu's "Feng qi wu," which has a line that reads, "Under the brocade lovebird quilt, red waves are seething" M tt M W. M fSL Wk • YZJ, 88; QSC, vol. 1, 25a. 77 YZJ, 162; QSC, 38a. n pulled, m m m m. m m (B & ¥ 9t £ m m 7 % M If PS m tu i fF #fi IS 7 7 135 obstacle i n their attempt to rescue the ci for high literary purpose. It is not surprising that he received the most severe censure i n the entire history o f ci cr i t i c i sm. IV. Elite Criticism of Liu Yong: Purge of the "Alien" A s is already well-documented, L i u Yong ' s lyrics can be div ided into two distinct types: the "elegant" and the "vulgar." It is on this antithetical classif icat ion that divergent viewpoints form, and contradicting opinions held by the same cr i t ic are not infrequent. Those o f Su Sh i , the greatest writer o f the Song, are probably the most representative. For example, the fo l lowing remark attributed to Su commends an "elegant" lyr ic by L i u . People claim that L i u Qiqing's songs are vulgar. This is not so. As his "Ba sheng gan zhou"["Ganzhou in Eight Rhymes"] says, "The frosty wind is chilly and pressing / the passes and rivers, quiet and desolate / dwindling light is now oh the tower." These words in verse are not inferior to a Tang poet's excellence. W m fflT * M ft fe , # & , $• A 9 1t W ^ , ?f m m A M m .n Because o f Su's preeminent status, this passage has become an authoritative and oft-quoted defense o f L i u . Yet according to various records, as Su deliberately advocated a "masculine and heroic" style o f the ci, he also frequently held L i u ' s feminine and amorous lyr ics i n contempt. For example, on one occasion he derides his disciple Q i n Guan for imitat ing L i u : Qin Shaoyou [Guan] came to the capital from Guiqi and met up with Dongpo [Su Shi]. Dongpo said, "I did not expect that after we parted, you 1 would imitate L i u the Seventh's [Liu Yong] style in writing c/!" Shaoyou replied, "Though I am not a learned person, I wouldn't stoop to that." Dongpo said, '"Out of my mind at this moment--' Is this not L i u the Seventh's diction?" tym^^mXU,^Mi&,M^.B: r ^ m ffl ft & w m w -tr ft m ! J ty m s : r g m m 7 8 Zhao Lingchi jj| ^ B# (1051-1107), Houqing lu ffl $k (Finely Minced Fish Records) (Changsha: shangwu yinshuguan, 1939), CSJC, 7: 69-70. 136 » , ft ^ $n J i • j f & H : r r ft ^ # Jtfc m J , # fP -b I The line Su Sh i refers to is i n Q i n ' s we l l -known piece " M a n t ing fang" $j§, 0 fi ("Courtyard F u l l o f Fragrance") . 8 0 However, it only tends towards emotional ism and is s t i l l far from L i u ' s "vulgar" eroticism. Whether or not Su 's remarks are authentic, they illustrate beyond a reasonable doubt the general attitude toward L i u ' s ci shared by the elite cri t ics: L i u ' s "elegant" ci are laudable, but his amorous (and "vulgar") works should be scorned. A s imi lar ly equivocal but somewhat sympathetic statement is made by the Qing scholar Z h o u J i MJ ^  (1781-1839): Qiqing has been reproved by the world for a long time, but the way he narrates and elaborates on things is tactful. While his words are familiar, the meaning is profound. The delightful quality of richness, delicacy and quiet simplicity goes deep into the bones of his lyrics. His works are many, therefore, there are many which are detestable, hackneyed and laughable, i Had he exercised more control, he would be a master of the Northern Song. m .m ® m T m , m it m m ^  m -81 Zhou ' s mixed response clearly refers to L i u ' s "elegant" works as a compliment, whi le his c r i t i c i sm, that many are "detestable, hackneyed and laughable," is directed at his "vulgar" pieces. i I f the opinions o f Su Shi and Z h o u J i are based largely on aesthetic discr iminat ion, and therefore are relatively objective and unaffected by ad hominem bias, more than a few scholars insist on a more moral function for poetry and obstinately choose to see only L i u ' s rakish side. Despite commonly acknowledging his musical talent and wr i t ing sk i l l s , they s imply deem a l l his lyr ics unacceptable. The fo l lowing comments are typical examples o f this outright 7 9 Z e n g Z a o , Gaozhai shihua jfU W IS (High Studio Poetry Remarks), i n G u o S h a o y u ?|3 #g M , ( 1 8 9 3 - ? ) e d . , Song shihua jiyi 5f5 i# i§ H ft (Collection of Edited Lost Song Poetry Remarks) ( B e i j i n g : H a r v a r d - Y e n c h i n g I n s t i t u t e , 1 9 3 7 ) , v o l . 2 , 1 3 7 . 80 QSC, v o l . 1, 4 5 8 a . 8 1 Z h o u J i , Jiecun zhai lunci zazhu S S ift 11 H 1 (Jiecun Studio Miscellaneous C i Talks), CHCB, v o l . 2 , 1 6 3 1 . 1 3 7 . ! dismissal. i) L i u Yong's Yuezhangji was often appreciated and admired by common people. The narration progresses naturally; there is a beginning and there is an end. At times refined diction is presented. Also , he can choose harmonious tones and employ them. The only problem is that the words are shallow and vulgar. They constitute a different style which the illiterate especially delight in. I once compared him to the fops of the capital, and though they are divorced from the rustic manner of the village people, their tones and looks are still detestable. m & , & m m m , m m m m , ft m & m m , x M n , 82 i i) And then there was a certain State Farm Assistant Director called L i u Yong, who varied the old tunes and made new tunes, producing the Yuezhangji. He was highly extolled in his time. Yet, though his ci fit the musical rules, his language is as low as the dust, | | IP $ E 7]C f m « m , ft i f m m m m , * ?# m m n w ; s i m. 0 i i i ) Many commoners esteem L iu ' s musical pieces. But generally, i f they are not words about detainment in strange lands and the sorrow of abjection, then they have lewd bedchamber language. The chasm between L i u and writers like Ouyang X i u , Yan Shu, Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Zhang Xian and Qin Guan is extremely wide in comparison. The reason his name was so widespread is simply that his words verge on the commonplace, and the commoners readily delight in them. W 2 ^ ^ , A . ^ W 2 0 A m # m m m f& 2 m , su m n m m 2 m , m m 15. m , ® 7 a 'U & .84 iv) The ci L i u wrote are about nothing more than the lost souls and broken hearts of the entertainment quarters. There is not one iota of pure spirit in them, g n m m # m m m m , » m m m , m - « m £ - 8 5 . ' v) Qiqing's ci are well elaborated and narrated. Those about detainment in 8 2 W a n g Z h u o £ fa ( f l . 1 1 4 9 ) , Biji manzhi H f l %k (Casual Notes of the Blue Rooster Lane), CHCB, v o l . 1, 8 4 . 8 3 L i Q i n g z h a o ' s d i s c o u r s e o n t h e ci, i n H u Z i , Tiaoxiyuyin conghua, h o u j i , 3 3 : 2 5 4 . 8 4 Y a n Y o u y i , Yiyuan cihuang, i n H u Z i , h o u j i , 3 3 : 3 1 9 . 8 5 Q i a n P e i z h o n g $8 |§ # , Yuhua'an cihua Mf Ijl j | |W|. fj§ (Rain Flower Hut C i Remarks), i n CHCB, v o l . 4 , 3 0 1 5 . ' 1 3 8 strange lands and journeys on official services are especially skil lful . Yet the range of his poetic ideas is not lofty, and its course of thought is slightly unorthodox. His ci have completely lost the [spirit of] Wen [Tingyun]and Wei [Zhuang]'s loyalty and uprightness (my italics). H i JHI In the third statement, the Song cri t ic Yan Y o u y i clearly rejects even the so-called "elegant" pieces on t ravel l ing esteemed by Su Shi and others, probably seeing them as too downhearted. The Qing cri t ic Chen Tingzhuo i n the last quotation also attacks L i u ' s work as excessively nostalgic (i.e., "not lofty" and "unorthodox") and lacking i n the po l i t i ca l concern he finds i n the ci o f Wen Tingyun and Wei Zhuang. A s mentioned i n chapter two, Chen Tingzhuo is known for his predilect ion i n reading ci lyr ics al legorical ly. In addit ion, he is also a vigorous advocate o f the "elegant" ci style, wh ich i f fo l lowed wou ld elevate the ci to a status he and others believe as respectable as shi poetry. Hence, i n another passage he asserts When one starts learning [how to write ci], he must first distinguish the elegant from the vulgar. Once the elegant is set apart from the vulgar, then he can turn toward [the spirit of] loyalty and uprightness. After he grasps [the spirit of] loyalty and uprightness, next he should search for [the style of] gravity and solidity. Within this gravity and solidity, a modulated tone should be applied. Only such can be in the highest order of ci writing (my itaiic S).A z m , 9t m m fe • m fe a # , m m & • is # & m , B * 'u m ° j j i i z t . i M i i , m m m * m ± m .87 A s L i u seldom holds back his feelings i n his lyr ics , and that for the most part these lyr ics are only about romantic infatuations and reminiscences, it is impossible for an interpreter wi th the elitist "pure gaze" o f a Chen Tingzhuo to detect in them—or even fabricate for them—any al legorical meanings. A l s o , L i u ' s often vulgar, " f r ivo lous" and too commonplace expressions contrast sharply wi th the style o f "gravity and so l id i ty" (i.e., seriousness and intensity) adyocated by Chen. Therefore, on the whole, his work does not reach Chen 's "highest order" o f ci C h e n T ingzhuo , Baiyu zhai cihua, CHCB, v o l . 4, 3783 . C h e n , CHCB, v o l . 4, 3943 . 139 wri t ing and, not surprisingly, is disparaged by h im. The demand for a spirit o f " loyal ty and uprightness" (zhong hou JjU. 0. ) i n ci composi t ion, advocated by Chen and indeed by almost a l l cr i t ics , accords perfectly wi th the Confucian concept o f poetry: that it should be endowed wi th a po l i t i ca l and educative function. Yet this proposi t ion completely negates the c f s or ig inal function as a form o f popular entertainment and seeks to impose an aesthetic tenet o f elite ideology on the genre so as to monopol ize it, repudiating the emotional ism , found i n the popular l y r i c ' s expressions o f amorous feelings, and seeing these . elements, as the main cause o f moral degeneration i h both writers and readers. Thus, the Song cri t ic Zhang Yan says, It dallies with the "wind and moon" [i.e., romantic feelings], shaping and expressing one's sensibility and emotions, [so] the ci is more delicate than the shi poetry. As its sound is produced from the tongues of the sing-song girls, it is acceptable to be closer to [romantic] feelings. But i f it neighbours the Zheng and Wei music, how is it different from the chanling [a type of storytelling in song form]? ; . . If one can shun frivolous and erotic sentiments and enjoy [romantic feelings] without being excessive, then one would [conform to] the ideal passed down by the Han and Wei Yuefu ballads. M # ® . H , P® M 14 If , M M ^ W ' M 3P m'n ift m $ m , m ¥ if «r m • %.m ¥ m m , m m ^ ft m - • • • m m m s & m , m m ^ m , jt ^ m m f i 1 1 . • Kang [Yuzhi] and L i u [Yong]'s ci are also derived from chanting at the wind and describing the moon. The notion of "wind and moon" should be given free rein, but these two are enslaved by the "wind and moon" 0 -m it a B m & 5 . 8 8 In Zhang 's opinion, what L i u ' s work lacks is a long-standing major pr inciple o f Confucian literary aesthetics first presented i n the Great Preface o f the Shijing: emotional restraint. The variant airs of the states, though produced by the feelings, do not go beyond the rules of propriety and righteousness. That they should be produced by the feelings was in the people's nature; that they did not go 1 Zhang Yan, Ciyuan, CHCB, vol . 1, 263-4, 267. 140 beyond those rules was due to the beneficent influence of the former kings. m ® , m ¥ m , ± ¥ m m • m ¥ iff , s z 14 m ; ± ¥ , ^ 8 , ft EE £ ^ m . 8 9 1 In short, a writer who cannot restrain his feelings violates "the rules o f propriety and righteousness," and his words w i l l harm the minds o f his readers. Therefore, Zhang Yan and the vast majority o f cri t ics believe that since L i u Yong always completely surrenders h imse l f to emotional excess, his ci are as l icentious as the Zheng and Wei music and should be severely censured. i However different the cri t ics who categorically reject L i u ' s work are from those who renounce only his "vulgar" pieces, their intentions are basical ly the same. Apar t from the desire to establish an "elegant" tradit ion i n ci wr i t ing , they also seek to purge the elite o f the "a l i en" L i u . We have mentioned that L i u ' s "ordinary s e l f contrasts sharply wi th that o f the Confucian scholars, and that his catering to popular taste also smacks o f an el i t is t ' s miss ion to improve the quality o f l o w art. N o w we should turn our attention to Confucian ideology and the class attributes o f elite cri t ics to see how their antagonism to L i u and his "vulgar" work is formulated. The elite class i n imperial Ch ina had been the de facto administrative body o f . the state since the H a n dynasty. A l though rulers originated from a variety o f social backgrounds, be they commoners, warlords, nobles or ethnic minori t ies, without exception they had to use Confucian ideology to varying degrees i n order to legitimate and secure their power. This ideology was first formulated i n the pre-Q i n period by Confucius and his disciples, and was continuously modif ied, augmented and ampli f ied i n succeeding dynasties. Its basic feature, according to the renowned historian Y u Yingsh i ^ H Bvf , is an emphasis oh cultural unif icat ion (wen hua tong yi J>C 4b $t —~ ) and cultural order (wen hua zhi xu ~$C i\l ^ )• Y u points out that it is precisely because cultural unif icat ion can Translation by Legge with modifications, The She King, prolegomena, 36. i 141 greatly enhance and facilitate po l i t i ca l unif icat ion (zheng zhi tong yi ft — ) that Confucianism was vigorously supported and promoted by the H a n court, and remained so throughout imperial Ch ina . One o f the various ways to achieve cultural unif icat ion was to "transform [incongruous] social customs and manners" (yifeng yi su ^ JIl II f& ) through the "edif icat ion o f ritual and music" (//' yue jiao hua /H ^ f|£ ffc ), but before these transformations could be carried out, the cultural phenomena that d id not conform to Confucian doctrine had to be suppressed. It is no wonder, therefore, that Confucian scholars saw col lect ing folk songs as an in i t i a l and important step i n preparing for social t ransformation. 9 0 Natural ly, the "vulgar" i n song was one o f the "cultural incongruit ies" that needed to be el iminated. Y u further asserts that, to Confucians, po l i t i ca l order (zheng zhi zhi xu fe fo %k rlfi ) could be attained only after cultural order was established. Penal l aw was a coercive apparatus that might temporarily check and suppress social or cultural aberrations, but it could not fundamentally transform the minds o f the people . 9 1 Hence the Analects warn prospective rulers: If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they w i l l try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they w i l l have the sense of shame, and moreover w i l l become good. M Z HX fe , -W Z & 7PJ , S & ffi M W> ; M Z u m , m z & m , m % & t& ° 9 2 i i Based on this emphasis on cultural order, Confucian scholars assigned themselves a special task apart from maintaining pol i t i ca l order. A c c o r d i n g to tradit ional concepts established i n the Han dynasty, a virtuous off ic ia l d id not just govern the state properly and efficiently, but also educated his subordinates to br ing "harmonious perfection" to society. In his study o f Han "upright off ic ia ls" 9 0 Yu Yingshi, Shi yu zhongguo wenhua ± H ^ 1 ^ ft (Scholar-officials and Chinese Culture) (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1987), 134-136. 9 1 Yu 145. 9 2 Legge, The Four Books, 71. Quoted in Yu 145. (xun li fH j£ ), Y u specifies their two basic duties: one was to act as the actual administrator (li j£ , "off ic ia l") o f state affairs, and the o ther-not specif ical ly assigned by the cour t -as social educator (shi % , "teacher"). For Confucians, the second duty was even more essential than the first. In other words, how they could 1 successfully promote moral edification was a priori ty over implementing the laws. Those who merely fol lowed state po l icy and relied on "laws and punishment" to govern their subjects were no more than "common functionaries" (su li f# Jf£ ) . 9 3 This role o f social educator generated a sense o f "self-esteem" (zi zhong g 11 ) among Confucian scholars . 9 4 They deeply felt that their deeds and words should always fo l low Confucian "vir tue" and "propriety," for how they acted and i i what they said wou ld become examples for the common people td fo l low; and this was an arduous, l i fe- long task requiring exceptionally staunch commitment, as stated by the Analects: i ! The scholar cannot be without breadth of mind and vigorous endurance. i His burden is heavy and his course is long. Perfect virtue—the burden he considers his to sustain—is it not heavy? Only with death does his course s top ; - i s it not long? ± ^ nT• jk ^ 5t£ fk , & It M xl xi ° t ^ ft B {£ , ^ # M ¥ ? ^ M , ^ # It ¥ ?95 This characteristic—and indeed, prerequisite—of Confucian scholars essentially set them apart as a special c lass . 9 6 Yet the task's extraordinary demands and the commitment to it lacked any "substantial b inding force ." 9 7 Thus it is not surprising that at times some—such as L i u Yong—might not always be able to sustain their integrity and fai l to accomplish their moral miss ion. Nevertheless, whether they 9 3 Yu 175, 176-177. 9 4 Yul21. 9 5 Legge with modifications, 129. 9 6 Ortega y Gasset takes a similar stance when he defines two classes in twentieth century: the intellectuals are "those who make great demands on themselves, piling up difficulties and duties," and the common people are those "who demand nothing special of themselves, but for whom to live is to be every moment what they already are, without imposing on themselves any effort toward perfection; mere buoys that float on the waves." "The Coming of the Masses," in Rosenberg and White, eds., Mass Culture, 43. 9 7 Yul08. 143 could put this into practice or not, the sense o f "self-esteem" and role as social i educators remained strong, even whi le they were not employed as government officials . Y u also points out that the attitude o f Confucians toward "this w o r l d " (ci shi Jfct fJ: ) was definitely not just to adapt themselves to it, but to actively transform, i it i n accordance wi th their principles o f "vir tue" and "propriety." 9 8 This attitude is especially prominent i n the theories o f the Song Neo-Confucians. H i g h officials such as Fan Zhongyan | Q # $t (989-1052) amplif ied the undertaking that "perfect virtue is the burden he considers his to sustain" into "taking the wor ld as one's own burden" (yi tian xia wei ji ren \?X A ~F M H fi ), and to attempt a real izat ion o f their ideal through pol i t i ca l reforms. Some others, such as Cheng Hao jg gg (1032-1085) and Cheng Y i % M (1033-1107), though not employed by the court, s t i l l fo l lowed the model .of the Han "upright o f f i c i a l " and saw themselves as social educators. They were highly conscious o f their duty to "enlighten the less enlightened" Que hou jue Ji It Jt ) or the "unenlightened" (weijue H ), bel ieving that anyone, provided that he was w i l l i n g to learn, i could be transformed into a virtuous pe r son . " Prominent scholars l ike the Cheng brothers, Z h u X i , and L u Jiuyuan | i fl M (1139-1193) were a l l we l l -known educators o f the time, and one o f their lasting major contributions to general education was the establishment o f private academies (shu yuan U ^ ).100 A c c o r d i n g to Y u , another dist inctive feature o f the Song Neo-Confucians is that they were particularly concerned about the "negative forces" o f "this w o r l d " and considered the ev i l (e ^ ) elements i n human nature even stronger than the good (shan | f ). In order to combat these "negative forces" and "ev i l s " both i n society and i n individuals , they stressed the importance o f spiri tual cul t ivat ion and 9 8 Yu 487-8. 9 9 Yu 502, 501. 1 0 0 For detailed studies of these academies, see Linda Walton, "Scholars, Schools, and Shuyuan in Sung-Yuan China," in W. Theodore de Bary and John W. Chaffee, eds., Neo-Cqnfucian Education: The Formative Stage (University of California Press, 1989); and Walton, Academies and Society in Southern Sung China (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999). 144 the continuous col lect ive action o f the intell igentsia. For this reason, they often "intensified the tension between themselves and ' this w o r l d ' to its utmost l i m i t . " 1 0 1 This attitude, together wi th their emphasis on cultural order and social education, may help expla in why crit ics from the Song on were exceptionally hostile toward L i u Yong and his "vulgar" lyr ics . For them, the "a l i en" L i u was devoid o f a sense o f "self-esteem," and his work represented no doubt one o f wor ld ly "negative i forces" that wou ld hinder the attainment o f cultural order. The animus o f Confucian cri t ics toward L i u may also be interpreted from a i Marx i s t viewpoint , i n that "the ideas o f the ru l ing class are i n every epoch the ru l ing ideas . " 1 0 2 Confucian cri t ics , who belonged to the actual ru l ing class i n imperia l C h i n a both practically and ideological ly, seem to have been constantly attempting to reinforce their aesthetic as the literary paradigm. Works wh ich do not fu l f i l l the cri teria are condemned as l icentious, unorthodox or fr ivolous. To make their aesthetic "current everywhere" and prevai l in every period, they were, therefore, "compel led . . . to represent [their] interest as the common interest o f a l l the members o f society," and "give [their] ideas the form d f universality, and represent them as the only rational, universal ly va l id ones ." 1 0 3 The state was also w i l l i n g to let these crit ics promote their literary aesthetics, such as " loyal ty and uprightness," since it wou ld certainly help stabilize the status quo. For Gramsc i , elitists and intellectuals are assimilated by the class i n power. In his words, they are the unofficial "deputies" o f the state, and the educators o f the "great masses o f the populat ion" i n order to w i n their "spontaneous consent" to the hegemonic rule o f the dominant c l a s s . 1 0 4 Because o f their long-established status as social educators, the ideology they imposed on the people would be highly authoritative and the consent o f the majority would be easily secured. A s Gramsci states, i this consent is 'historically' caused by the prestige (and consequent confidence) which the dominant group enjoys because of its position and l u l Y u 4 9 0 . 1 0 2 Kar l Marx, The German Ideology, ed. C. J. Arthur (New York: International, 1974), 64. 1 0 3 Marx 65-66. 1 0 4 Gramsci, "Hegemony, Intellectuals and the State," trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowel l -Smith, from Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 219 145 function in the world of production. Such production is , o f course, intellectual and moral . B y incorporating their ideology into the ru l ing ideologies and entrusting the educative role to the Confucians as their proxies, the state had in fact "become an 'educator '" and cultural cont ro l le r . 1 0 6 It is out o f this conscious status as "socia l educators," as w e l l as their desire to . "represent their [literary] interest as the common [literary] interest o f a l l the members o f society" that traditional Confucian scholars generally reject L i u Yong ' s "vulgar" lyr ics and try to purge h i m from their coterie. The fo l lowing anecdote effectively demonstrates their antagonism: [When L i u Yong] went to the government office [to request a promotion], His Excellency Yan [Shu] asked, "Do you, sir, write songs?" Sanbian replied, " A s does your Excellency, I also write songs." His Excellency said, "Though I write songs, I never write lines like 'I w i l l sit by your side, green thread held idly in my fingers [to do needlework]'," whereupon L i u withdrew. [ & ] m n. m , m & B : R R ft ft • a •? m ? J H m B : r ' m tU ffl £ ft ft ffl ^ . j ft B : r 5fc SI ft fi 7 , ^ # m : r m m m & ff & ^ j j • m m m -107 Yan Shu is acknowledged as a high off ic ia l o f noble character, and his ci can be taken as representative o f the refined elite ci style. In contrast, L i u ' s lyr ics and rakish conduct were deemed indifferent to Confucian morality, i f not an audacious, overt challenge to it. However implausible this story may be, as M u r a k a m i Tetsumi points out, i f elite writers l ike Yan accepted L i u , it wou ld be tantamount to disapproving o f their own class privi lege and ideo logy . 1 0 8 Thus L i u ' s rejection had to be, at least i n part, ideological , and not merely a contention over aesthetic pr inciples . i 1 0 5 Gramsci 219. 1 0 6 Gramsci 220. , 1 0 7 Zhang Shunmin H g (ca. 1034-ca. 1100), Huaman lu j | i f f& (Mural Records) (Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1965), BBCS, 1: 30b. Trans. Hightower, I: 332 with modifications. The line Yan Shu refers to is in L iu 's "D ing feng bo" ^ JE ("Settling Wind and Waves"). For the lyr ic, see YZJ, 119; QSC, 29b-30a. 1 0 8 Murakami 272. • 146 Though inherently a rebel l ion against conventional aesthetics and social norms, L i u Yong ' s production o f "vulgar" lyr ics should also be interpreted, partially, as an outcome o f his failed publ ic career and subsequent material deprivation. Had he attained Yan Shu's status early on, L i u certainly would have honoured his ca l l ing and never r isked his reputation by wr i t ing "vulgar" pieces. Therefore, his "diss ipat ion" began more l ike ly as a reaction to his ostracization rather than an act o f self-alienation. Thus i n the end he grew fond o f the people whose company and culture he was forced into, and wi th whom he shared the popular solace o f song. Ul t imate ly this very failure to l ive up to the Confucian integrity expected o f h i m i n his times o f personal hardship and disappointment put h i m beyond condoning by most self-respecting elite cri t ics . Conclusion It is necessary to point out that L i u Yong was not the only elite writer influenced by the popular lyr ic i n the Song dynasty. Prominent lyricists such as Ouyang X i u , Huang Tingjian, Q i n Guan, Z h o u Bangyan and L i Qingzhao, not to mention numerous less famous ones, a l l to varying degrees adopted co l loqu ia l i sm, eroticism and straightforwardness i n their poems. However, none o f them can compare wi th L i u Yong i n his boldness as Well as the quantity o f lyr ics writ ten i n the popular style. H i s peculiar l ife experiences and his genuine devotion to popular culture also clearly dist inguish h i m from others such as Huang Tingjian, who was known for his "vulgar" lyr ics as w e l l but seemed to treat them only as literary games, showing of f his versati l i ty wi th the co l loquia l i d iom. Huang 's attitude toward "vulgar i ty" is also ambivalent when we recal l the fact that he was one o f the strong proponents o f the scholarly "elegant" quality i n the S o n g . 1 0 9 Yet, some 1 0 9 Huang once said, " A scholar-official can behave in whatever way he likes in the world, so long as he is not vulgar. Once vulgar, he cannot be cured" ±A^MW^iZX~&M,tf£:;F ] Rj fa , j$ ^ nj ff "Shu zengjuan hou" # $f %g ("Postscript to the Silken Scrol l " ) , Yuzhang Huang xiansheng wenji j§S lp£ He % 4. 3C M (Collected Literature of Master Huang of Yuzhang) (Taipei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 196-), SBCKCB, 29: 326a-b. See also the discussion on his opinion on "elegance" in Sun Keqiang ^ , Yasu zhibian ft #r 2. M (Debate on Elegance and Vulgarity) (Beij ing: Huawen chubanshe, 1997), 35-38. 147 I o f his lyr ics are even more "vulgar" than L i u ' s . Insincere and written offhandedly, they are truly frivolous w o r k s . 1 1 0 U n l i k e Huang, L i u ' s wide acceptance is mainly due to his unashamed attachment to and thorough understanding o f the feelings and experiences o f the common audience. He d id not come to them as a pedagogue from the elite c i rc le , but as one who grumbled and rejoiced as they d id . Through his straightforward and easily accessible lyr ics , their most ordinary joys , afflictions, and even "debauched" sentiments were effectively expressed in their own id iom. Since his works functioned i n a completely different domain from the elite lyr ics , and were writ ten to serve a different audience wi th a distinct artistic language and expression o f its own, one should, therefore, avoid reading them wi th the "pure gaze" o f the elite. Sun, however, only mentions Huang's "elegant" quality, and completely ignores his "vulgar" lyrics. 1 1 , ' ' 1 1 1 0 For example, see Huang's "L iang tong x in " pg |S]. >(> ("Two with One Heart") (no. 2) and " G u di l ing" ^ ® ("Song of Drum and Pipe") (no. 1). QSC, vo l . 1, 401, 407. 148 Chapter Four: Elevation and Expurgation—Elite Strategies in Enhancing C i Reputation Mountain songs and woodcutter's tunes, as well as backlane ditties and children's songs, are not necessarily worthless for anthologizing. But they in the end cannot avoid "colloquialism and vulgarity," and thus can hardly be accepted in the grand hall of elegance. People who are curious often favour this type [of song], thinking that their style is rather close to antiquity. This is indeed a heterodox approach. The arias [i.e., the Shijing] and elegies [i.e., the Chuci] have their own gateways, and are inexhaustible sources for people to derive methods [of writing] as they like. Why is it necessary to seek these from village fellows and herdboys?! LL[ 5ft Ht m , m m mm ,4^ m^j m • is.m^-mmm=-^,m * • & & m m & • a i g f P ^ . f f A t a ^ Chen Tingzhuo 1 The disparaging attitude o f Chen Tingzhuo toward folk songs is typical o f an elite c r i t i c ' s egotism. H i s be l ie f that high literature, inc luding the ci, has its own uncontaminated source and no need to be nourished by l ow art, however, is his tor ical ly incorrect. A s shown i n preceding chapters, the ci in its early stages was no product o f h igh culture. But to Chen and conventional cri t ics , as the ci became welcomed into the elite circles, it was increasingly necessary to sever its unwelcome connection wi th popular culture. Otherwise it would never be accredited an elite art and would sul ly the prestige o f those who practice it. One o f the most effective strategies adopted by these crit ics was to fabricate a "legit imate" genealogy connecting the ci wi th the canonized Shijing arias and Chu elegies— however farfetched and untenable the argument for inc lus ion i n this finer lineage might be—not to mention the fact that these canons they refer to and take as the provenance o f elite poetry had evident and inextricable kinship wi th folk songs. This strategy was coupled wi th two others: first, the promotion o f "elegance" as the orthodox style, and second, selective e l iminat ion o f "vulgar" pieces from ci 1 Chen Tingzhuo, Baiyu zhai cihua, CHCB, vol. 4, 3934. 149 anthologies and the literary collections o f indiv idual authors. After centuries o f persistent "e l i t iza t ion ," by the late Q i n g the genre could virtually—though not perfectly—share equal footing wi th shi poetry. This upward mobi l i ty provides an excellent i l lustrat ion o f the proposit ion noted i n the first chapter: that the status o f a certain cultural form does not invariably remain unchanged, especially i f it is actively promoted or censured by an influential social group or institution. Yet in the case o f the ci, the cost o f this process should not be underestimated, for i n elevating it the or ig in o f the genre was obscured, and an unaccounted number o f lyr ics eventually were lost. This chapter w i l l chiefly focus on the ci c r i t ic i sm i n the F ive Dynasties and the Song, wi th occasional reference to that o f later dynasties. Before we proceed tp the discussion o f elite strategies for elevating the c f s literary status, first let us review the "disrepute" o f the genre i n its early stages. /: The Low Esteem for the C i in its Early Stages A t the opening o f his Ci zong fSj f$% ( C i Compilation), the Q i n g scholar Z h u Y i z u n 7f< IS # (1629-1709) writes: "Ever since the Tang and Song, long-and-short verse [i.e., the ci] was seen as a different category by writers and was not included i n their collect ions. For this reason, it was the most easily lost." Al though he does not give any explanation for this exclusion and subsequent loss, quite a few scholars have pointed out that it was due to the fact that the ci was s imply not considered a respectable genre from the Tang through the early Song per iod . 3 The l ow esteem for the genre in the Northern Song is further evidenced by 2 zhu Yizun, m^^^,^m^km^mmm-m,^xm^,akmwL ft H H ."Introduction" f | /L , Ci zong (Beij ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975, Kangxi sanshi nian ben f | £ + ^ $ ), 6a. 3 See Long Muxun, "Xuanc i biaozhun lun" M M IS W> f i ("On the Selection Standards of Ci"),Cixuejikan pJ H ^ f tj (Ci Studies Quarterly), 1.2 (August 1933), 1. Long's observation is also quoted by Pauline Yu, "Song Lyrics and the Canon: A Look at Anthologies of Tz'u," in Pauline Yu, ed., Voices of the Song Lyric in China (Berkeley: University of Cali fornia Press, 1994), 72. 150 the lack o f prefaces or colophons--"fhe channels normally used to confer and sustain literary prestige"—for ci co l lec t ions . 4 W h i l e this silent evidence o f omiss ion may not be easily observed, a more v is ib le record o f "disrepute" is found i n miscellaneous contemporary notes. The fo l lowing section focuses specif ical ly on this anecdotal evidence. A s a newly emerging literary genre more f lexible and interesting i n its tonal and metrical patterns than the regulated shi, the ci was ardently practiced and enjoyed by the Tang and Song elite. But this enjoyment was always accompanied wi th a certain amount o f disrespect. The ambiguous attitude o f the scholar-officials is captured v i v i d l y i n the fo l lowing anecdote: Though Qian Sigong [Weiyan, 977-1034] was born in a rich and noble family, he had only a few hobbies. When he was in Luoyang he once told tiis colleagues and subordinates that all his life he only liked reading. When sitting he would read classics and histories, lying down he would read novels. In his privy he would glance over the little ci. So there was probably never a moment in which he put a book down. f| ® fe [' f§ m ] m ± i% m m , m ty m m ft • & m , w m m m., w ¥ ± m u m m • ^  m m m $t, & m m ^  m , ± i i i m m 'b m , m. * w m m m m m .5 This anecdote is h ighly credible, since the writer, Ouyang X i u , was once Qian ' s assistant. Significantly, it reveals that the " l i t t l e" ci was considered merely "pr ivy reading," at the bottom o f Qian ' s order o f choice. No t surprisingly, because o f its unabashedly sentimental and amatory content, i n its early stages certain Confucian moralists regarded the ci as " l icent ious" as the notorious Zheng and Wei music. I f Qian Weiyan read the ci only i n private and i n a disrespectful manner, and therefore was praised as a dil igent scholar, those who sang it i n publ ic or achieved fame by wr i t ing it naturally would invoke censure. Another anecdote records that the F ive Dynasties lyr ic is t X u e Zhaowei | $ H§ $ i 4 According to Ronald C. Egan, there are only two ci prefaces written in the Northern Song extant. Egan, "The Problem of the Repute of Tz'u During the Northern Sung," in Yu, 192. 5 Ouyang X i u , Guitian lu §§ 03 (Record of Returning to the Fields) (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1958), 14: 97. 151 ( f l . 890-910) was fond o f playing wi th his off ic ia l tablet and singing the ci "Huan x i sha" \% M ¥J> ( "S i lk Washing Creek Sands") on his way to the court. When one o f X u e ' s disciples was about to return to his hometown, he courteously admonished his mentor and said, " M y Gentleman Attendant [Xue ' s off ic ia l title] is a man o f h igh virtue, and, I am your humble student. It would be my good fortune i f you d id not play wi th the tablet and sing ' H u a n x i sha' anymore." 6 F r o m the d isc ip le ' s point o f view, X u e ' s fondness o f singing the ci was an act as indecorous as toying wi th the off ic ia l tablet and wou ld damage his scholarly reputation. Yan Shu, the prominent Song lyr icis t known for his elegant and restrained ci, was not spared c r i t i c i sm either. One day when Wang A n s h i 3E ^ S (1021-1086) was reading Yan Shu 's lyr ics , he wondered i f Yan , as a former prime minister, should be wr i t ing the " l i t t l e" ci. H i s l iberal-minded brother Wang Anguo 3 £ (1028-1074) thought that this was only a pastime and there was no evidence o f it damaging Yan ' s publ ic career. But Wang's assistant L u H u i q i n g S M HP (1032-1111) immediately disagreed and said, "To govern a country one must first banish the Zheng music . H o w could he h imse l f practice i t ? " 7 Yan Shu's son Yan Jidao H ^ i l (ca. 1030-ca. 1106), another outstanding lyr ic is t , experienced s imilar disapproval from his superior. In an attempt to impress the governor o f his prefecture, H a n Wei H $t (1017-1098), Yan presented h i m wi th copies o f his own lyr ic composit ions. But Han responded i n a letter wh ich said, " Y o u probably have a surplus o f genius, but your virtue is deficient. I hope that you can give over this excess i n your genius to remedy your deficient v i r tue ." 8 The lyr ics must have 6 f # f i P f i 1 S , K 7 i § S , W ^ W ^ # ^ l l n i UJk JP l i t • Sun Guangxian 3rj M (900-968), Beimeng suoyan it W St H (Miscellaneous Talks of the Dreams of North) (Bei j ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1960), 4: 29. 7 U k 5fe tSL M » , U g £§ 2. ¥ ? We iTa i §fc m (d. 1110), Dongxuan bilu JfC fF !jt %. (Written Records of the East Veranda) (Changsha: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1939), CSJC, 5 :31 . 8 m. * m m m m * & m , m IP m m w m 2. * , m ^ & 2. m • shao B 0 SIS tf (d. 1158), Shaoshi wenjian houlu g|3i ^ M f i (Sequel to Shao's Notes of Personal Experiences) (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1936), CSJC, 19: 125. It must be pointed out that Han himself was also a lyricist, but apparently he was not considered overly indulgent in the activity. 152 been too amatory and feminine for Han , even i f they were elegant i n both tone and dic t ion as i n Yan ' s now extant works. A l though frequent attacks from moralists d id not prevent or discourage elite writers from continually trying their hand at the ci, the genre was s t i l l v iewed by many, inc luding those who took great delight i n it, as a "lesser path" (xiao dao /]^ j J l ) o f literary activity. Lyr ic is ts thus commonly avoided making their works publ ic , or when challenged sought excuses for their wri t ings. H u Y i n $ j If (1098-1156) explains this ambivalent attitude in his "J iubian c i x u " ffi jft fs] ("Preface to The C i Sung Beside Wine"). Men of letters who are endowed with unrestrained spirit frequently entrust their thoughts to this genre. But immediately they w i l l cover their own tracks, saying that this is merely a sport or a game. 3t 1j£ HE Sfc i > m ^  m mn & m , m ft & m & m , B m & m 9& m' B •& 9 H u ' s statement stems from the situation i n the Northern Song, but the attempts by lyricists to "cover their own tracks" can already be observed by the F ive Dynasties. The simplest but also costliest tactic was to destroy them. A n entry in Sun Guangxian 's Beimeng suoyan records and comments: He Ning [898-955], the prime minister of Jin [936-946], was fond of writing ci in his youth, and they;spread widely in the Bian and Luo regions. After he became the prime minister, he sent people specifically to collect and burn them as quickly as possible. Yet, although he was honest, prudent and virtuous, he was in the end disgraced by writing erotic ci. When a Khitan envoy came to Yimen [presently Kaifeng], he addressed He as the "Prime Minister of Ditties." This is what we call "good things not going far from home, while evil conduct is known for a thousand //'." How can scholars and gentlemen not be cautioned by this? ff- |@ fTJ M , ;P mftm^^m,^nn^°mx^,m^x^^n • ^ m • m m m m « m m , & m m m % z • m n x m ri, ^ m m ^ t$ & ° N m & m ^  & ri, m m n ^ s , ± m # * $ z ¥ ?10 9 M a o J i n ^ § ( 1 5 9 9 - 1 6 5 9 ) ; Song liushi mingjia ci 5£ /\ + £ ^ M ( C i of the Sixty Song Masters) ( S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i g u j i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 9 ) , 2 2 0 b . 1 0 S u n 6 : 5 1 . 153 He N i n g ' s defensive action demonstrates that elite lyricists o f the time, perfectly aware o f the disrepute o f the ci, would censor their own works. Ironically, the cr i t ic Sun Guangxian h imse l f was also a we l l -known lyr ic is t whose works resemble He ' s quite closely; both are listed i n the Huajian ji, the earliest elite ci col lec t ion notable for its amatory style. Sun wou ld not have been unaware o f their similari ty. Possibly, his c r i t i c i sm o f He was an attempt to make a clean break wi th the Huajian lyr icis ts , and to regain for h imse l f the rectitude o f moralist and scholar. A s imilar self-defensive attitude was s t i l l seen i n the Southern Song. For example, the great poet L u Y o u | £ W- (1125-1210), confesses the "sins" o f his youth i n the preface to his ci col lec t ion: When I was young, I followed the custom of the world and wrote quite a few [lyrics]. At a later age I regretted it. However, it was too late to stop sing-song girls from performing my works. Now I have stopped writing them for several years. Thinking that eventually my former writings cannot be eradicated, I therefore write this at the beginning to acknowledge my wrongdoing. ^ & ^ B n W fe , M ^ ffi M , $1 M U 2 , ^ nr & , m m » m u m 5 m u. However, judging from his approval o f the ci i n one o f his two earlier colophons to the Huajian ji, that it was "s imple, archaic, and lovely"(/iaw gu ke ai "jj n]" U ), it is impossible to te l l whether the above preface was an attempt to save h imse l f from possible posthumous disgrace, or i f his attitude toward the genre had really changed over t ime . 1 2 Another common defensive tactic o f the elite lyr icis ts , as H u Y i n points out, 1 1 Lu You, "Preface to Long-and-Short Verse" J | ff , Lu Fangweng quanji M Wi H % i | | (Complete Works of the "Crazy Old Man" Lu) (Hong Kong: Guangwen shuju, 1950), vol. 1, 14: 80. 1 2 Lu, "Colophon to the Huajian ji" ^ 7£ HU M , Lu Fangweng quanji, vol. 1, 30: 186. In his "Colophon to Chen Shidao's Long-and-Short Verse" WL 'ik ill f! ± M. M , Lu You also claims that "At the end of the Tang, the shi poetry became increasingly shallow, while the ci lyric was lofty, archaic and refined" ) S ^ , # S ^ , l f D S 8 i r ? , P i < f " t 5 ' X f e > . I « Fangweng quanji, vol. 1, 28: 168. , 154 was to c l a im that they were not serious about ci wr i t ing . Acco rd ing to an anecdote, when the monk Y u n x i u f t ^ tried to discourage Huang Tingjian from wri t ing ci, Huang replied that they were only fictit ious "words in the air," and for this reason believed that he wou ld not be "sentenced to an ev i l fate." In reality, however, , quite a number o f his lyr ics correspond to real incidents i n his l i fe . Y u n x i u further warned that his "w icked words" would encourage promiscuity and moral degeneration, and therefore he wou ld be severely punished after death. Contrary to the anecdote, wh ich says Huang thereupon reduced his production o f ci, he took no heed o f Y u n x i u ' s warning and wrote even more in his later years . 1 4 This anecdote is corroborated by Huang 's "Preface to Little Hill Collection" /Js | l j j j | , the ci compi la t ion o f Yan Jidao, in wh ich he again rebuts the monk ' s c r i t i c i sm and proclaims that Yan ' s (perhaps also his) works indeed deliberately run counter to orthodox literary pract ice . 1 5 This preface evidences that his reply to the monk i n the anecdote is no more than evasion. Whether elite writers l ike Huang thought o f ci wr i t ing as a game or not, the common denominator remains that they treated the ci less seriously than other literary genres—in particular shi poetry. W h i l e they might be unashamed o f dabbling i n the ci, and even expressed their most private and ordinary feelings i n i t , they obviously paid the shi, burdened wi th an educative function and a much longer literary history, the obligatory higher respect. Huang, the founder o f the J iangxi School o f shi poetry, apparently devoted substantially more effort to the art and theory o f the shi than to that o f ci. A s for thematic treatment, this difference i n attitude is also notable. The Huajian writer Ouyang J iong, for example, was notorious for his erotic lyr ics , but he is also said to have presented the court wi th fifty satirical shi poems modeled on B a i Juy i ' s po l i t i ca l , didactic " N e w Yuefu 1 3 Hu i Hong M & (1071-1128), Lengzhai yehua ft? W 1$. IS (Night Talks at the Cold Studio) (Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1965), BBCS, 10: 5b. Another version is in Hu Z i , Tiaoxi yuyin conghua, qianji, 57: 390. For a complete English translation of this anecdote, see Egan, 202. 1 4 Egan 197-201, 202. , 1 5 Huang, Yuzhang Huangxiarisheng wenji, 16: 163a-b. A complete translation of this preface is in Egan, 221-222. 155 Poems." H i s contrasting roles as a moralist ic shi poet on one hand and a rakish lyr ic is t on the other is very s imilar to the case o f L i u Yong . It is certainly not just coincidental that a l l o f the above lyricists were both c r i t i c ized and that they tried to avoid cr i t ic i sm for the same1 moral is t ic reasons. Apar t from the abuse elitists habitually heaped on any new literary form associated i wi th popular or l ow culture, i n the Northern Song the influential Neo-Confuc ian or li xue S t ^ (Study o f Principles) teachings might also augmented this shared attitude o f disapproval. Cheng Y i , the leading // xue master, especially emphasized the Confucian literary theory that "literature is to transmit the D a o " (wen yi zai dao X 1^ § 1 ), carrying the matter to its extreme apogee by contending that a l l literary activit ies were deleterious to Confucian teachings. Is not literary writing harmful to the Dao"? I say it is. Generally speaking, i f in writing literature one is not devoted, then it w i l l not be excellent. But i f devoted, then one's aspiration w i l l be confined. How can one share the greatness of heaven and earth? The Book of History says, "Playing with things saps one's aspiration." To write literary work is also playing with things. . . . Ancient scholars only aimed at cultivating their dispositions and studied nothing else. Now literary writers work specially on phrases and , lines to please the eye and ear. As they aim at pleasing people, how are they any different from comedians? fnlff X S 1 S ? B : f i& ° K m x m m g * ^ • m s = 5t ti n ^ , n ^aftum m .. * z m m m m * m tt , n e MO ^ * • ^ m s • ' i In Cheng 's opin ion , after1 successfully cul t ivat ing the Confucian pr inciples , what one expresses i n wr i t ing w i l l naturally take the form o f refined works; therefore, literary s k i l l needed no training. This radical v i ew leads h i m to d is l ike even the shi poetry and also the Tang great poet D u F u . I usually do not write poetry. It is not that I forbid myself to write it, but only because I do not want to work on those idle words. Even Du Fu, who is 1 6 T u o T u o flft M (1314-1355) et al . , Song shi 5fc £ (History of the Song) (Bei j ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1977), vol . 40, 13894. 1 7 Cheng Y i , Henan Chengshi yishu fBf j^ f % H (Posthumous Works by the Chengs of Henan) (Taipei: Taiwan Shangwu yinshuguan, 1965), WYWK, 18: 262. 156 now deemed the most skilful poet, has written such lines, "Crossing the flowers, the butterfly appears in the deep deep place / Touching water, the dragonfly gently, gently flutters." Why must one say idle words like these? i 'it ^ ft m , ft # JI m ± ^ ft , u ^ m m itt m § m • A in m m m , m m tt m • $n s : r # m m m n m m , & 7jc © & & ff§ • j $• jth w m , m m m The feminine and amatory ci lyr ic is larded wi th even more " id le words" than the shi, so Cheng 's opinion must haye been very negative indeed. The fo l lowing anecdote is thus not entirely groundless: It is said that on one occasion when Cheng Y i met Q i n Guan, he asked whether Q i n had written a ci l ine wh ich went, " I f Heaven has feelings, Heaven too wou ld be sad for people." Q i n thought that Cheng meant to praise his genius, cupping his hands to thank h im. But Cheng reproved h i m wi th "Heaven is solemn and venerable, how can you change [its disposition] and offend i t ? " 2 0 F r o m Cheng's point o f view, a cultivated scholar should not write such a s i l ly , sentimental and presumptuous l ine about Heaven, wh ich was, to a great extent, the perfect emblem o f Confucian principles . A c c o r d i n g to Cheng, Q i n Guan 's "fault" lay i n that he failed to separate ethical propriety from emotional excess; and indeed, this characteristic was shared by a majority o f the earlier and contemporary lyricis ts . W h i l e their works strongly appealed to the general audience due to their artistic immediacy i n explor ing the innermost human feelings, to Cheng and other moralists they wou ld also easily distract people from their moral betterment. Al though Cheng h imse l f wrote no 1 8 Cheng 18: 263. The couplet he refers to is in Du Fu's "Drinking Wine by the Qu River" ft tL £f ff , see Qiu Zhao'ao Hi % (1638-after 1713), Dushi xiangzhu & (Detailed Commentary on Du Fu's Poems) (Bei j ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1995), 6: 449. 19 % m • W 'If , ^ f§ A m 1S - Yuan Wen % % (1119-1190), Wengyou xianping % M PS • (Idle Comments in the Unadorned Window) (Changsha: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1939), CSJC, 5: 49. Qin 's line can be found in C S C , vol . 1, 469b. Yuan Wen probably misquotes it. In Qin 's "Shui long y in " 7JC H ("Chant of the Water Dragon"), a line says, "If Heaven were sentient, Heaven too would grow thin" ^ M ^ H . ^ ^ f J i S ! • CSC, vol . 1, 455b-456a. The same anecdote was recorded by Chen Gu 8f[. §§ (fl. early thirteenth century) in Xitangji qijiu xuwen j?§ 1g[ HI =ff f f jjf{ HfJ (Sequel to Old Sayings of the West Hall Collection) (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1936), CSJC, 8: 54. For a translation of Chen's version, see Egan 203-204. 20 ± n # ft , £ # ^ m M £ . Yuan 5: 49. , ' ' 1 157 ! discourse on the ci, based on his literary theory, to even participate i n ci w r i t i n g -let alone to devote oneself to it—must be looked on as an activi ty greatly "harmful to the Dao." This phalanx o f negative opinion against " id le words" most l i ke ly wou ld exacerbate the already widespread disparagement o f the ci among the moralists, even i f many literary writers, such as Huang Tingjian, d id not take it to heart. //: Strategy One—The Establishment of a Reputable Genealogy for the Ci • In l ight o f the above cri t ique, once the elite became invo lved i n wr i t ing ci, they real ized the need to elevate its literary status. But setting out to "cover one's tracks," or passing ci wr i t ing off as one o f their leisure activit ies, proved to be nearsighted strategies; for these could only hark back again to the lax and l o w status o f the genre. In order to legi t imize their literary practice, a series o f attempts to enhance the reputation o f the ci took place. A core tactic o f the ci apologists i n this became the establishment o f a respectable genealogy. 1 i The compi la t ion o f the Huajian ji i n the F ive Dynasties by Zhao Chongzuo is generally v iewed as the first major—though not entirely successful—attempt. It consists o f five hundred lyr ics by eighteen writers, notably the late Tang poet Wen Tingyun. Others, inc luding Wei Zhuang, mostly served i n the Former (907-933) or Later Shu (933-965). A s a ci col lect ion written by and for the elite class, the Huajian ji marks the first step i n the gradual dissociat ion o f the ci from popular culture. However, as it is permeated wi th amatory and hedonistic expressions, and was mainly used as a repertoire for banquet performance, the Huajian ji has never been considered a reputable anthology. 2 1 2 1 Although Wen Tingyun's ci are esteemed by Zhang Huiyan as comparable to the " L i sao," they were generally denounced in the Song. For example, the Retired Scholar of Zhouyang Iff )gj ± described them as "l icentious, voluptuous, obscene and intolerable to the ear" f"& $1 Rl W • "Preface to the Song lyrics of Restoring the Elegant Style" fg f | DC M ft , in Zhu M u i|5J HI , Xinbian gujin shiwen leiju M l!5 ^ WL ' (New Edition of the 1 5 8 The or iginal intention to use the col lect ion for entertainment and not canon formation is suggested i n the 940 preface, a f lor id piece o f paral lel prose written by Ouyang J iong. Ouyang, also a contributor to the col lect ion, only mentions the "licentiousness" o f the Palace Style Poetry o f the Southern Dynasties i n passing and makes no further discourse on moral edification, probably because he knows the "debauched" contents o f the col lect ion a l l too w e l l . Instead, he focuses on the or ig in o f song, manifesting a strong desire to dist inguish the elite lyr ic from the popular, and i n doing so, commences a theoretical tradition l i nk ing the ci w i th ancient and respectable literary genres. U n l i k e later ci cr i t ics , however, he excludes the most esteemed from his genealogical l ist: the canonized Shijing and Chuci—either because he d id not consider the two classics among the true historical origins o f the song form, or d id not dare imply potential canonization o f the Huajian ji. S t i l l , his list consists o f elegant pieces such as the "Whi te C l o u d Tune" E3 S I§ , wh i ch as legend says was sung to K i n g M u by the mythic Queen Mother o f the West, the "Whi te Snow" mentioned by Song Y u i n his reply to the k ing o f C h u , and Yuefu poetry wh ich had long been practiced and w e l l -received by elite writers since the late Han and Southern Dynasties. After tracing the provenance o f the song form to these reputable pieces (or genre) and expressing contempt for the "inelegant" Palace Style Poetry, Ouyang briefly alludes to the c f s popularity among common people in the Tang, but stresses qu ick ly that the genre also had a close connection wi th elite literature: Since the Tang dynasty, across the country, every household has had its own , beauty of Yue on the fragrant paths amid spring breezes. And wherever the evening moon shone on the red towers, there a Chang'e [the goddess of moon, here refers to singing girls] was found. In Emperor Xuan Zong's reign [r. 713-756], L i Taibai [Bai] under imperial order wrote the four Compilation of Ancient and Contemporary Categorized Affairs and Works), quoted in Zhang Huimin jjjt l g fl; , Songdai cixue ziliao huibian ^ f ^ f i | ^ | | 3 | B | - | g i | i i (Collected and Edited Materials of C i Studies in the Song) (Shantou: Shantou University Press, 1993), 249. ,' Judging from this lack of "moral correctness" as wel l as Zhao's disordered system of arrangement (works by individual authors are seen in different fascicles), it seems that "although the anthology," as Pauline Yu contends, "might have hoped to establish the writing of [ci] as an acceptable literati activity, it did not aspire to claim for it the canonical function of shi.n Yu 76 2 2 Ouyang, in Huajian ji, Preface, 1. 159 "Qingping Songs." More recently, there is the Jinquan ji [Golden Weir Collection] by Wen Feiqing [Tingyun]. Present-day writers are not inferior to their predecessors. f I E ' K , $ i 5 : I , | ^ IS mm,mmmm; mmzu.m^f^,^m m^m • « m ^ m , m m m ± & z m m m m m m 1$ , & tx m. m m , m m ± ^ n • m # & m , m WL m A .23 The logic goes: since eminent poets o f older generations, such as L i B a i and Wen Tingyun," had already practiced ci wr i t ing , the ci is therefore, as the passage suggests, an acceptable literary genre. In his conclusion, Ouyang maintains that their "elegant" works w i l l be performed at elite banquets and eventually oust the scurrilous popular lyr ics : i In ancient times in the city of Ying , they sang "Sunny Spring," and it was praised as the most exceptional of lyrics. It is with this in mind that I name , this book Among the Flowers. It w i l l add to the pleasure of those distinguished sages [i.e., the elite class] who ramble in their carriage in the West Garden. 2 4 And the ladies from the south can stop singing songs about the lotus boat. f l A f R I ' t f . l i f i l . T J ^ Z m , m m & z m •25 Songs about "the lotus boat," emotional and straightforward^ were or ig inal ly sung i n the Southern Dynasties; here the term s imply refers to contemporary popular lyr ics . B y imply ing a dist inct ion between "us" and "them," as w e l l as the "elegant" and the "vulgar ," Ouyang therefore roughly defines an elite ci tradition, even i f the influence o f the popular lyr ic is s t i l l very significant i n the anthology. • However clearly Ouyang's preface shows the attempt o f the Huajian lyr icis ts to promote the ci as an acceptable genre, their lack o f desire to alter its function as entertainment and their indulgence i n the feminine and amorous style essentially did not help change its disrepute. So long as their model ,was s t i l l followed—and indeed it was generally fo l lowed by the early Northern Song lyricists—the genre Ouyang 1. Translation based on Lois Fusek, Among the Flowers, 35. 2 4 The West Garden refers to the Bronze Sparrow Terrace of the Three Kingdoms Period. It was the place where the Cao Zh i , his brother Cao P i (Emperor Wen of the Wei) and their literary friends frequently held banquets. 2 5 Zhao, Huajian ji, Preface, 1. Translation based on Fusek, 36. 160 was doomed to be continually despised by the moralists. W i t h the r i se 'of the "heroic abandon" (hao fang J K ) style o f ci wr i t ing around the eleventh century, the genre was more or less rescued from opprobrium. Vigorous ly advocated by Su Shi and his followers, who iwere unhappy wi th the "unmanly" and lachrymose Huajian lyr ics , the "heroic abandon" mode is mainly characterized by its masculinity, its use o f shi wr i t ing techniques (yi shi wei ci ]>X . f t f f M ) and its wider range o f subject matter and stylistic devices . 2 6 This group o f writers no longer treated the ci as just a form for banquet revels and entertainment, but expanded its poetic scope, making it functionally comparable to the shi. In fact, they were innovative i n a l l forms o f literature, such as the shi and fu rhyme-prose, setting themselves decis ively apart from their predecessors. One could , just if iably, ca l l this innovat ion the central characteristic o f the school . Such a transformation o f fundamental themes and techniques proved to be much more effective i n ennobling the c/ 's status than Ouyang J iong 's strategy. Thus H u Y i n makes the fo l lowing we l l -known pronouncement on Su Sh i ' s achievement: It was not until the emergence of Su [Shi] of Meishan that the preoccupation with the silks and perfumes of feminine charm was cleansed once and for a l l , and the overtly sentimental and elusive feelings discarded. One is thus able to ascend high places for a distant view, and stroll with one's head up and sing aloud. One's unworldly aspirations and noble spirit can thus soar above the mundane world. Huajian poets are thus but attendants and L i u [Yong] but a sedan chair carrier. 25. M | i | : M- JS; , m m , m i$ n w:, m m m ^ lm<, m m ¥ m m z ft , Gradually, it became accepted practice for Northern Song scholars to associate the ci w i th the shi. A l though Su Sh i ' s exist ing literary col lect ion contains only one 2 6 For detailed studies of Su Shi's lyrics, see Ronald Egan, Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su Shi (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1994), 310-351; James J. Y. Liu, 121-160; and Cheng Ch'ien, "Liu Yung and Su Shih in the Evolution of Tz'u Poetry," trans. Ying-hsiung Chou, in Soong, ed., Song without Music, 143-156. 2 7 In Mao Jin, Song liushi mingjia ci, 220b. Translation by Ying-hsiung Chou with modification, in Soong, 151. 161 specific comment about using shi technique to write ci, his disciples d id make some relevant remarks. For example, i n his preface to Yan J idao 's ci col lec t ion, Huang Tingjian, even i f not entirely accurate, notes that Yan "borrows the 1 techniques o f shi wri ters" i n his l y r i c s . 2 9 Zhang L e i 3H ^ (1054-1114) also compares He Zhu ' s lyr ics wi th poems by Q u Yuan, Song Y u , Su W u H j|£ (d. 60 B C ) and L i L i n g ^ |H (d. 74 B C ) (the latter two are said to be great shi poets o f the H a n ) . 3 0 Comments l ike these may partly a im to defend and legi t imize the act ivi ty o f ci wr i t ing . But as Huang and Zhang were both deeply influenced by Su Sh i , it is very l ike ly that they also intended to min imize the generic dis t inct ion between the two genres. Innovative as Su Sh i ' s ci are, doubts and disapprovals were voiced by ci "fundamentalists," who counter-cri t icized his v io la t ion o f the delicate feminine style—the so-called "or ig ina l colour" (ben se ^f. fe )—of the ci.31 H i s lyr ics were considered unorthodox and too unsuitably masculine for sing-song girls to sing, and some o f them do not conform wi th tonal regulations. This d i lemma o f 2 8 In a letter to Chen Zao $g fui (0- eleventh century), Su Shi comments on Chen's ci: "Every line in the new lyrics you sent to me is extraordinary. They are as magnificent as the poem of a shi poet, and not in the style of the ci. But I am afraid that the Creator would not let you be so happy as to [write with such] excessive heroic abandon" M ffi M , ^1 W WL , &f X 2. m , # * n m - ifl SE m x m , & m. ® m * m x m ut m . su sw, "Letter Answering to Chen Zao" & M: ^ S H , Su Shi wenji M 3C M (Literary Collection of Su Shi) (Bei j ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1986), 53: 1569. One can see that Su's comment is not in regard to his own lyrics. Furthermore, it is somewhat reserved about the "heroic abandon" style. 2 9 ^ J^ i, &f A Sc- Huang, Yuzhang Huang xiansheng wenji, 16: 163a. 3 0 Zhang Le i , "Preface to the Yuefu of He Fanghui" M 73 HI h. M & , Zhang Lei ji 3i> ^ M (Collected Works of Zhang Lei) (Beij ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1999), 48: 755. 3 1 Typical examples of the delicate feminine ci can be seen in collections of Wen Tingyun, Yan Shu and Yan Jidao. , • 3 2 Chen Shidao W. H (1053-1102) criticizes Su's ci with, "Zizhan [Su Shi 's style] uses shi technique to write ci. It is like the dance of Ambassador, Le i of the Palace Academy, and though it represents the most excellent technique in the world, ultimately it is not the original colour of the cr Tmummm,iiumtfnxm2.M,mmxT2.x.,mw* -fe . Houshan shihua f£ fJLf j^ f m§ (Poetry Remarks of the Retired Scholar of Houshan ), in He Wenhuan f5J 3t I$l ed., Lidai shihua M ft W IS (Poetry Remarks of Past Dynasties) (Bei j ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1992), vol . 1, 309. The poetess L i Qingzhao expresses similar disapproval, saying Su's lyrics are "shi poetry in irregular l ines" >&J IK S !# . See her " C i lun," fn Hu Z i , Tiaoxiyuyin conghua, houji, 33: 254. Regarding Su's inexpertness in music, see Peng Cheng, Moke huixi, 4: 6a. 162 establishing a clear generic identity for the ci has already been well-studied by scholars . 3 3 What needs to be reemphasized here is that, by dismissing the "heroic abandon" style as an i l legit imate style, or more broadly, by refusing to use shi techniques to write ci, conventional crit ics were obl iged to seek exclus ively w i th in the domain o f the "or ig ina l colour" the tactics o f elevation (mainly by promulgating the use o f elegant and elusive expressions). This is certainly not an easy task. "Delicate restrained" lyrics cover a very l imi ted poetic scope, and sl ip back easily into the feminine, lachrymose Huajian mode. E v e n more problematic is i • 1 that, whi le these cri t ics always accentuate the dist inct ion between ci and shi i wri t ing , they are unable to control their obsession wi th tracing the c f s or ig in to the shi or their propensity to apply the shi aesthetic to ci c r i t i c i sm, and thus very often f ind themselves wa l lowing i n self-contradiction. Thematically, the ci o f "heroic abandon" conformed to the Confucian aesthetic's emphasis on the moral correctness and pol i t i ca l function o f poetry, whereas the amatory Huajian lyr ics d id not. The works o f Su Shi and his followers, abounding i n scholarly interests and classical al lusions, are actually even further distinguished from the popular lyr ic than those delicate pieces o f previous writers. This stylist ic and qualitative transformation not only helped elevate the ci to an unprecedentedly h igh posi t ion, but also provided a stronger theoretical basis for crit ics to l ink the ci w i th reputable ancient genres. In fact, after the rise o f Su Sh i ' s ' innovative ci style, there was significant growth i n the number o f prefaces to ind iv idua l ci col lect ions. A l s o , cri t ics overtly traced the or ig in o f ci to the canonized Shijing and Chuci that Ouyang J iong excluded from his genealogical l ist , regardless o f how they commented on the school o f "heroic abandon." i The c f s purported relationship wi th the Chuci has been mentioned in Zhang L e i ' s comparison o f He Z h u to the two most important C h u writers, Q u Yuan and Song Y u (p. 162). A n example o f its "affini ty" to the Shijing is given i n C a i K a n ' s 3 3 For example, see Shuen-fu L i n , "The Formation of a Distinct Generic Identity for Tz 'u," in Yu, 3-29. See also Yu, "Song Lyrics and the Canon," 71-79. 163 H ISc (b .1141) prefacdto the ci col lect ion o f Zhang Yuangan 3 5 TG f £ (1091-ca. 1170), a poet known for his lyr ics o f "heroic abandon." In reference to Zhang 's i famous piece "He x i n lang" H |ff I|5 ("Blessing the Groom") , C a i comments i "[it is subtle yet [the impl ica t ion is] observable. It is sad but not too distressed, and deeply i n accordance wi th the satirical pr inciple o f the three hundred pieces [i.e., the Shijing]."34 The lyr ic was written on the occasion o f seeing off H u Quan f59 f£ (1102-1180), who was banished from court because o f his daring peti t ion to decapitate the powerful , w icked minister Q i n G u i ••$(£ |# (1109-1155). 3 5 This type o f ci, endowed wi th a po l i t i ca l function s imilar to that o f the shi, had broken away from its roots i n banquet entertainment. It is only i n this ve in o f polit ical.satire that the ci can tentatively be l inked to the Shijing and Chuci, but there is neither argument nor evidence for a generic connection (regular tetrasyllabic Shijing lines are as unl ike the varied line lengths o f the ci as is one f ixed set o f rai lroad tracks to mult iple v i l lage trails). Neither is there any chronological evidence for ci developing from these canonized anthologies o f the previous mi l l enn ium. Nevertheless, look ing for a reputable Confucian genealogy to dignify the ci was a bo ld undertaking. Indeed, what could be more powerful than the support o f the Confucian canon i tse l f to counter the attacks o f Confucian moralists? This careful contrivance o f historical disinformation was an effective tool , especially i n a period when almost a l l scholars, whether they favoured the genre or not, were influenced by the Confucian aesthetic. A s the opinion that wr i t ing ci was not a "lesser path" spread i n the Southern Song, this strategy was, naturally, increasingly adopted i n prefaces and colophons—two o f the most often used channels o f the time for dignifying the genre. Zhang Z i ' s 3 5 f$| (b. 1153) preface to the ci col lec t ion o f Shi D a z u j£ H il l ( f l . 1205-1207) is a notable example: 34 m m m , H m ^ m , m # H S m m m 2. m . cai Kan, Dmgzhaiji £ m Mi (Collected Works of the Studio of Tranquillity) (Taipei: Taiwan shangwu yinshuguan, 1975), SKQS, 13: 4b. For Zhang's lyric, see Cao Jiping Hf zp ed., Luchuan ci jjf j![ (The C i of the Retired Scholar of Luchuan) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1991), 4-5. 3 5 Wang Mingqing, 3E ?f (1127-ca. 1215), Huizhu houlu S 1 t i (Sequel to the Records of the Waving Whisk) (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1936), C S J C , 10: 653-660. 164 "Guan Ju" and the other three hundred [Shijing] pieces are the song lyrics of ancient times. The sage master [Confucius] revised them and compiled them into a classic. People of later generations applied music to poems, performing them with percussion, string and wind instruments. Qu [Yuan], Song [Yu], Ban [Gu] and Sima [Xiangru] came forth thus. . . If [ci lyrics] can be extraordinary, aphoristic, pure and elegant, and do not fall into intemperance, dirtiness and licentiousness, then those literati and men of genius of the world who sport their brush and ink with long-and-short verse cannot be lightly said to be [practicing] an insignificant art. | | SI M T ~ ^ m , n m 2 wt m & , m m wi & m m ° & w w m m n & m , & 2 & & m & , m ft ,:m>i& , m m ¥ m ... m w 2 £ A ? ± , & m m m n m m. * J m , m m m 1 1 1 , 1 1 F I i , ^  s n%m m m , * w, & ^ , t i l .3S Zhang's passage clearly demonstrates the change o f attitude o f the Southern Song scholars toward the ci. But his widely-held argument that the ci can only be cal led a reputable genre when it conforms to traditional aesthetics is essentially conservative. However much it may defend ci wr i t ing , this new attitude s t i l l does not break out o f the elite criteria. It was a change which both actively stimulated, and was i n turn fostered by, the production o f a considerable number o f "elegant" lyr ics by writers l ike Jiang K u i H (ca. 1155-1221) or Shi Dazu , and was closely associated wi th the contemporary penchant for scholarly elegance framed i n delicate, refined artistic style (Zhang Z i was notable for his elegant and luxurious lifestyle). K n o w n for his ci o f "heroic abandon," L i u Kezhuang §1J $± (1187-1269) should therefore depart from the aesthetic Zhang Z i and most Southern Song crit ics cherished, yet somehow he shares Zhang 's attitude i n his colophon to the collected ci o f Huang X i a o m a i Hf # } § ( f l . early thirteenth century). In the opening salvo, he reviews how the genre was denounced by the Northern Song moralists. Those who followed the Luo School [i.e., the Neo-Confucian school of 3 6 Zhang Z i , "Preface to The C i Collection of Plum Blossom Stream" $g g£ p ff> , in Mao J in, Song Liushi mingjia ci, 196a-b. 3 7 For a detailed study on the aesthetic vogue in the Southern Song and Zhang Z i ' s l i fe, see Shuen-fu L i n , The Transformation of the Chinese Lyrical Tradition: Chiang K'uei and Southern Song T z ' u Poetry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 16-41. 165 Cheng Y i and his brother Cheng Hao] al l upheld [the Neo-Confucian doctrine of] inherent nature and principles, and suppressed art and literature. The ci is especially low among arts and literary genres. It emerged in the Tang and flourishes in the present dynasty. Qin Guan's line, "Heaven too would grow thin," was derived from L i He's poem, yet Yichuan [Cheng Yi ] censured it as profaning heaven. Yichuan was not alone: Master [Yun]xiu found Luzhi [Huang Tingjian] guilty of encouraging promiscuity. Feng Dangshi [Jing, 1021-1094, here an error, actually Han Wei] hoped that Yan Jidao could lessen his genius so as to increase his virtue. For this reason, men of elegance and scholars of cultivation admonished each other not to write them. ^ ^1 % i l f ^ 14 S M ffl ® £ • M XW # m , 05 ^ Jf W ^ ^ # sa . ig us r m A m m J 2^,mmmnmm, m & /II m m m ± n 2 m • § t§ & in m J ^ >± A m i I 1 g , i l f tft [ « ] I § 1 ? 1 I , 4$[ i A fi ± , « m ^  n .38 B y quoting several we l l -known strictures on the ci, L i u clearly manifests his intent to contest the moralists. But again, l ike Zhang Z i , his arguments rest solely on the authority o f the Shijing. Then he continues to comment on the lyr ics o f Huang Xiaomai-. In the past, Confucius wanted his son to study "Zhou nan" and "Shao nan," and did not want him to "face the w a l l . " 3 9 When Confucius sang with other people, i f he found that they sang well , he would make them to repeat the song, while he sang in response to them. 4 0 Since the origin of Huang's work is "Zhou nan" and "Shao nan," Confucius, should he be reborn, w i l l certainly sing in response to his excellent pieces. How can one banish them because they are "little c f ? # ? L f ^ ^ S ? i f l J 5 l ^ * S M , rfn ^ m. m m m • £ a m A m. m # , 'm m s 2. m %. & m 2 £ • M> w \>x m m m 2 ¥ ?41 3 8 L i u Kezhuang, Houcun xiansheng daquan fcf 9u Oi A ^ {Complete Collection of i Master Houcun) (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 196-), SBCKCB, 106: 922b. 3 9 This story is recorded in the Confucian Analects. Confucius once asked his son Kong L i JL jS , "Have you studied 'Zhou nan' and 'Shao nan'? A man who has not studied them is like one who stands with his face right against a wall [and is not aware of it], is he not?" ix, M, Ml * S m £ ¥ ? A J T n ^ f l J i m - E f f i , & » I E » M W : > 2 - t e l S ? L e g g e , The Four Books, 231, with modification. "Zhou nan" and "Shao nan" are two categories of the "Ar ias of the States" in the Shijing. 4 0 This passage is also found in the Confucian Analects, see Legge, 125. 4 1 L i u 106: 923a. 166 A s L i u was w e l l aware that the ci developed i n the Tang, his contention that Huang 's lyr ics are derived from the Shijing comes more from the aesthetic than generic consideration. For h im , connecting the ci to the Confucian canon not only justifies its elevation, but demands an elegant style o f ci wr i t ing . Despite strenuous scholarly efforts to enhance the c f s reputation, after the Song its literary posi t ion s t i l l stood several notches lower than the shi, so scholars continued wi th their stratagem to legi t imize it. The M i n g scholar Y u Yan ffr jf? ("Advanced Scholar" 1601), for instance, reemphasizes the c f s antiquity to consolidate its status. Among the immortal [literary] activities, writing ci is the "lowest vehicle." But as we trace its origin, [we find] it was, like the others, derived from the primeval era of remote antiquity. |H) $$• fj ^ , f | f$ /J\ fjt ° m m n m , m & m m ± m ,.42 Simi la r opinions were frequently echoed i n the Q ing as w e l l . The Changzhou ^ 'Jt[ school o f ci c r i t i c i sm is particularly known for its stress on the c f s aesthetic lineage to the Shijing and Chuci.43 In order to promote an "elegant" and "orthodox" ci style, Zhang Huiyan , the founder o f the school , claims that Wen Tingyun 's amorous lyr ics are model led al legorical ly on Q u Yuan 's " L i sao." H i s theory is closely adhered to by Chen Tingzhuo, who also takes both the Shijing "arias" and the Chuci as the aesthetic or ig in o f the ci, and insists that since "propriety and temperance are the orthodox teachings o f the shi, they must be the basis o f the ci as w e l l " 4 4 B y exp l ic i t ly and decis ively placing the two genres into the same aesthetic tradition, C h e n and the Changzhou cri t ics firmly construct an orthodox platform for the ci and grant it equal standing wi th the shi. F ina l ly , wi th the dominant influence o f the Changzhou school i n late Q ing ci studies, the in i t i a l ly 4 2 Yu Yan, Yuanyuan cihua H PJ §§ (Yuan Garden Remarks on C i Lyrics), CHCB, vol . 1, 399. i 4 3 For a detailed study of the Changzhou school, see Professor Chia-ying Yeh Chao, "The Ch'ang-chou School of Tz'u Cr i t ic ism," HJAS, 34 (1974), 101-132. M&&mqs-,WM2.JE,rtffi2.&*-& • Chen, Baiyu zhai cihua, CHCB, vo l . 4, 3939, also 3967. ' 167 defensive, but ultimately rehabilitative argument put forth by the Song cri t ics i i f inal ly became universal ly accepted. ///: Strategy Two—The Promotion of the "Elegant" Style in C i Writing In ci wr i t ing , the vigorous promotion o f the "elegant" style had already started during the Song; the immediate proof o f wh ich was the vogue for integrating the word "elegant" into the titles o f ci co l lec t ions . 4 5 However, the word "elegant" i n titles may mislead the reader, for compilers or writers may have different or i inconsistent concepts o f "elegance" as w e l l as criteria for it. To cite one: i n his preface to the Yuefu yaci, Zeng Zao claims that "those [pieces] touching on jocular i ty w i l l be exc luded . " 4 6 Nevertheless, a number o f jocular efforts are found i n his co l l e c t i on . 4 7 The large but now lost Fuya geci, wh i ch included over 4,300 pieces i n fifty fascicles, also appears, as Pauline Y u perceives it , to "have precluded any really rigorous se lect iv i ty ." 4 8 It is l i ke ly that publishers added "elegant" to titles for readership appeal . 4 9 4 5 This phenomenon has been noticed by the Qing scholar Shen Xianglong £fc p H (f l. 1898). His Lunci suibi f i PJ gj |JE (Informal Comments on the Ci) states that "the Song people often named their ci selections with the word 'elegance'." A' M M , & & ffl £ • CHCB, vo l . 5, 4055. Examples include the two ci anthologies, Zeng Zao's Yuefu yaci and the Retired Scholar of Zhouyang's Fuya geci WL W Wt. M (Song Lyrics of Restoring the Elegant Style), as wel l as several other individual ci collections, such as Zhao Yanduan's M. M ffi (1121-1175) Baowen yaci U j£C ?§ PO (Elegant Lyrics of Valuable Literary Works), Zhang Xiaoxiang's ^ ' f£ (1132-1169) Ziwei yaci j g ft f t PJ (Elegant Lyrics of the Ziwei Star), Cheng Gai 's @ i% (fl 1186-1194) Shuzhouyaci ft J f p] (Elegant Lyrics of the Boat of Books) and Vm Zhengda's # IE A (fl. 1205-1207) Fengya yiyin & f| jf # (The Legacy of Sounds of the Airs and Elegantiae). See Fang Zhifan fS 1? 15 et al . , Zhongguo cixue piping shi ^ | 1 ^ iftfc fp (History of Chinese C i Criticism) (Beij ing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1994), 77-78; also Zhao Wanli M U M (1905-1980), Jiaoji Song Jin Yuan ren ci %L $| 5£ ^ 7C A if (Collated C i of Writers of the Song, Jin and Yuan) (Beij ing: Guol i zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1931), Preface, 2b. 1 4 6 W i t l i # III £ ~Z • Zeng, Yuefu yaci, Preface, 1. 4 7 She Zhi # £ (ShiZh icun M © # ), "L ida i cixuan j i xu lu" ffi ft PJ g ft & % (" Recorded Accounts of Ci Collections of Past Dynasties"), in Ci xue pj 1 ^ (C i Studies), 1 (1981), 285. 4 8 Y u 8 2 . 4 9 For example, Zhang Xiaoxiang's Ziwei yaci was originally named Yuhu xiansheng changduanju 168 So i n order to promote the "elegant" style more successfully and m i n i m i z e r discrepant cri teria for selectivity, Song crit ics clar if ied the essential features o f the • • • • "elegant" that distinguished it from the "vulgar" ly r ic . A l though different opinions were voiced on this problem o f quality defini t ion and control , some pr incipal features i n their concept o f "elegance" can be studied through three o f the most important extant Song discourses on the ci, namely, Wang Zhuo ' s Biji manzhi | f I t M ^ (Casual Records of the Emerald Rooster Lane), Shen Y i f u ' s Yuefu zhimi, and Zhang Yan ' s Ci yuan. The demerits o f "vulgar" lyr ics that accompanies the exposi t ion o f the value-set for the "elegant" can be grouped into three major categories, each wi th several "offensive" components. First , for a l l these cr i t ics , it is beyond dispute that lyr ics wi th emotional , 1 excess should be marked for censure and exclusion. The most severe censure is certainly reserved for L i u Yong ' s "vulgar" work. S imi la r c r i t i c i sm is leveled against other lyricists who fo l low or resemble L i u ' s style. For example, Shen Gongshu [Tang, f i . eleventh century], L i Jingyuan [Jia, f l . 1098-1100], Kong Fangping [Yi , f l . eleventh century] and his nephew Chudu [Ju], as well as Chao Ciying [Duanli, 1046-1113] and Moqi Yayan [Moqi Yong, f l . 1135] al l have composed excellent lines. Among them Yayan is particularly , outstanding. However, the origin of these six is L i u [Yong], and their defect is in their lack of poetic resonance, tfc [ Jif ] ' ^£ ~Sk ft - [ ¥ ] - ?L ¥ t m ] * m m F $ I M m * B # m t m m • A A m , m u t£ w & * , m n m n -50 This " lack o f poetic resonance" Wang Zhuo mentions probably refers to the suspension o f fu l l comprehension the reader should experience when reading good poetry, or forfeiting immediate sensory impact i n favour o f guiding subtle detai l ' T M 9h i% %L £j (Long-and-Short Verse of Master Yuhu) or Yuhujushi yuefu =f- $j Jgf db ^ M (Music Bureau Poems of the Retired Scholar of Yuhu). Cheng Gai 's Shuzhou yaci was simply called Shuzhou ci § jfy |S| (Lyrics of the Boat of Books) in Chen Zhensun's M. M M (f l . thirteenth century) Zhizhai shulujieti g If H ^ ft? H (Upright Studio's Explication of Book Collection Titles) and Mao Jin's Song Liushi mingjia ci. See Jao Tsung-yi, Ciji kao p H 3f (A Study of C i Collections) (Beij ing: Zhonghua shuju, 1992), 127, 179. ' 5 0 Wang Zhuo, Biji manzhi, CHCB, vol . 1, 83. 169 into prolonged, thoughtful repercussion through balanced and restrained expressions. 5 1 L i u Yong ' s work is constantly c r i t i c ized as too immediately gratifying, straightforward and emotionally expl ic i t , w i th no deeper meanings beyond the pleasures,and performance o f the words. For this reason too, Wang Zhuo rejects the above six lyricis ts ; popular elements i n the ci (frequently seen i n L i u ' s work as wel l ) are also condemned. In Shen Y i f u ' s Yuefu zhimi, two entries compla in : Shi Meichuan [Yue, f l . thirteenth century] . . . had read many Tang poems. Therefore, the words [in his lyrics] are elegant and refined. But occasionally there is some vulgarity, probably because he also gradually acquired the practices of entertainment quarters. S S ^ j f l f - © ] . . . ^ m m % , & m m m ° m & fe M , m ft m m m % 2. m & m . 5 2 i Sun Huaweng [Weixin, 1179-1243] has some good lyrics, and is also adept at executing his ideas. But among their elegance and propriety, all of a sudden there is a word or two of marketplace chatter. What a pity! J£ £^ ^ [ m m ] m i? m , ft m w m ° ia m JE ^ n m - m *J # m , i t " "The practices o f entertainment quarters" and "marketplace chatter" evidently indict the co l loqu ia l and erotic idioms prevai l ing in the popular ly r ic wh ich , here, Shen Y i f u wou ld exorcize by generously exercising his pity on them. In another entry, Shen stresses that Zhou Bangyan's M % M .(1056-1121) works "do not have even a t iny bit o f marketplace aura," because he borrows dic t ion and meaning from eminent Tang and Song poets . 5 4 O n the contrary, Shen singles out the popular 5 1 The Ershi si shipin ZL -f- 0 ffa (Twenty-Four Categories of Poetry) by the Tang critic Sikong Tu W] 2£ g | (837-908) is especially influential in Chinese poetics for its emphasis on restrained and balanced expressions. In his "Letter to Mr. L i Discussing Poetry" H ^ ^ f# ftp H , there is also a passage regarding poetic rhyme, or poetic resonance, which says, "One can speak of affect beyond the rhyme only when the piece is close at hand without being frivolous or far-reaching without exhausting the meaning" ^M7fW,MM^fM,M^.^JiXm IH £f- ifc 5 • See Stephen Owen, Readings in Chinese Literary Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), 352-353. 5 2 Shen Y i fu 278. 5 3 Shen 278. 5 4 — | £ f(J # M, • Shen 277-278. For a detailed study of Zhou's lyrics, see James J . Y . L i u , 161-194. 170 I style as the nefarious influence on Shi Yue and Sun W e i x i n , who l ike L i u Yong fa i l to maintain the required "elegance." E v e n celebrated lyricists are not exempt from cr i t i c i sm i f they practiced the i popular style. Z h o u Bangyan, though highly esteemed by most cri t ics for the structural coherence and refined dic t ion o f his ci, is faulted by Zhang Yan : i The ci has to be elegant and morally correct, and is where one's aspirations are expressed. Once one is enslaved by emotions, the tone of elegance and moral correctness w i l l be lost. Qiqing [Liu Yong] and Boke [Kang Yuzhi] need not be mentioned; sometimes even Meicheng [Zhou Bangyan] cannot avoid it. m m m m JE , ^ 2 m 2 , - m m m & , m & M m JE 2 w • mm* fe t m m 2 i ^ m m , m m Some o f Z h o u Bangyan's lyr ics are clearly influenced by L i u Yong and contrast strongly wi th his wide ly acclaimed elegant w o r k s ; 5 6 they are excessively emotional , and as erotically co l loqu ia l as L i u ' s pieces. But it is the sentimentalism, particularly, that Zhang Yan singles out for c r i t i c i s m . 5 7 Wang Zhuo s imi lar ly disapproves o f L i Qingzhao 's lyr ics for their "popular" borrowings: She writes at w i l l with the licentious language of the back alleys and streets. There has never been a woman with literary talent from a good gentry family as inattentive to taboos as she. ffl ^ Jfc & 2 Wi. , &F M ^ m , & 1$ m ffi 2 m & & m & , ^  & m $t m m & E v e n i f the sentimental predominates, Wang certainly exaggerates the "vulgar i ty" o f L i ' s lyr ics , but his opin ion does reiterate the rejection by other ci cri t ics o f 5 5 Zhang, Ciyuan, C H C B , vo l . 1, 266. 5 6 For example, see his " Y u tuan er" and "Hong chuang j iong" H W M ("The Red Window is Deep"), CSC, vol . 2, 618b, 619a. 5 7 This "defect" in Zhou's works is also noticed by Chen Tingzhuo, who comments in his Baiyu , zhai cihua that "Shaoyou [Qin Guan] and Meicheng are leaders of the ci circle. A l l they can be crit icized for is that they are fond of writing erotic lines and do not avoid vulgarity" ;p $| » H j£ , m m m w m • m*imm,&ftmm,*%.nm&. CHCB, voi . 4, 3808. 5 8 Wang, Biji manzhi, in CHCB, vol . 1, 88. Translation based on Grace Fong, "Engendering the Lyr ic: Her Image and Voice in Song," and John Timothy Wixted, "The Poetry of L i Ch' ing-chao: A Woman Author and Women's Authorship," in Yu, Voices of the Song Lyric in China, 119, 153. 171 patent surfeit o f emot ion . 5 9 i The second category o f "inelegant" ci consists o f those written i n a jocular ve in . In Wang Zhuo ' s Biji manzhi, an entry marks the popularity o f the humorous lyr ic and also demonstrates the author's obvious disdain. Wang Qisou (Yanling) in the Yuan You era [1086-1093] and Cao Zu (Yuanchong) [fl. 1121] in the Zheng He [1111-1117] were both skilled at literary writing. Whenever they produced long-and-short verse, it became I popular. Wang, with his comical words, gained his fame around the northern region of Yellow River. Cao Zu, penniless and without achievements, wrote the "Red Window is Deep" and several hundred miscellaneous songs. Those who heard these roared with laughter. He was the head of comical and frivolous [lyricists]. . . . Afterward, many writers followed their style. This kind of farcical, dirty and cheap piece had never been written in the past. . . . Recently, I have heard that it has been decreed that Yangzhou should destroy its printing block [i.e., Cao Zu's ci]. ft 16 m , 3E w m m m , n. m m , w m ft n , m m uc, m m s i ^ . i ^ A P - m m urn m m mn m • mm Poss ib ly due to this imperia l decree, Cao Z u ' s small col lect ion retains only three or four jocular p ieces . 6 1 Indeed, very few jocular lyr ics have been preserved, suggesting they were accounted too unworthy and defective to pass down. The rationale behind disqual ifying the "heroic abandon" style, the third category o f the "inelegant" ly r i c , varies the most from cri t ic to cr i t ic . Those who favour this style credit Su Shi and his followers wi th broadening the poetic scope o f the ci, and naturally show a distaste for the Huajian school . Wang Zhuo is one o f the proponents o f Su Sh i ' s ci: Master Dongpo was not preoccupied with musical regulations. Yet the 5 9 For an English translation of L i ' s lyrics, see Kenneth Rexroth and L ing Chung, Li Ch'ing-chao: Complete^'oems (New York: New Directions, 1979). For a more detailed study on her work, see Wixted, 145-168. 6 0 Wang 84. 6 1 Cao Zu 's ci can be found in CHCB, vol . 2, 801-807. 6 2 For a detailed study of the characteristics and development of the jocular lyric, see L iu Yangzhong glj |§ j& , "Tang Song paixie c i xulun" ("On the Tang and Song Jocular Lyr ics" ! f % # m m «c mxcixue, 1 0 0 9 9 2 ) , 53-71. 172 I songs he wrote once in a while pointed out the path upward, and refreshed the ears and eyes of the world. From then on writers started realizing that they should revitalize themselves. M ife % # ffi /[> I f W # , Yet cri t ics who insist on preserving strict generic distinctions consider the "heroic abandon" style "unorthodox" and— by dint o f its masculine voice and tone being inappropriate to conventional feminine personae and performance—"inelegant." O n this account, Zhang Yan rejects the lyr ics o f X i n Q i j i and L i u Guo |PJ M (1154-1206), two o f the most outstanding successors to Su Sh i ' s ci. The heroic lyrics of X i n Jiaxuan [Qiji] and L i u Gaizhi [Guo] are not elegant. They played with their ink and brush when composing at leisure, writing long-and-short verse in the shi style. ^ ^ f f - jglj Qx" Z ft m m, m , # m m -m • n £ * t * m , m # m m , mm m z m M M • • For Zhang and l ike cri t ics , the style o f "heroic abandon" is too blunt i n expression, too masculine and wanting i n the emotional balance and delicate elegance they take as the "or ig ina l colour" o f the ci. Furthermore, they also charge the school wi th negligence or ignorance o f ci prosody—a charge best represented by L i Qingzhao 's we l l -known cr i t i c i sm o f Su Sh i ' s lyrics as merely "shi poetry i n irregular l i n e s . " 6 5 Regarding this alleged problem o f the school , Shen Y i f u comes i up wi th a more reasonable statement. i Lyricists of recent times do not know musical regulations and thus deliberately write in the tone of heroic abandon, taking eminent writers like Dongpo and Jiaxuan as models to absolve themselves. Indeed, the lyrics of eminent writers are of heroic abandon. But when they are not composing in the style of heroic abandon, they never once violate the prosody, jf? fjf ft S , I fjTB B » , / J s s ux 'r m m , m IH z m, m m m ^ , ^  m m 66 63 Wang 85 . 6 4 Z h a n g , Ciyuan, CHCB, v o l . 1, 267 . " See note 3 2 , p. 169. 6 6 Shen 2 8 2 . 173 ft! Apologies s imi lar to Shen's,were occasionally voiced. However, later cr i t ics , under the strong influence o f L i Qingzhao and Zhang Van , s t i l l disparaged the "heroic abandon" style, continuing to categorize it as an "inelegant" ly r ic . This deep-rooted conservatism is evidenced i n the modern scholar M i a o Yueh 's excoriat ion o f Su Sh i ' s and X i n Q i j i ' s ci, mentioned i n the concluding section o f chapter two. In his postscript to his mentor Zhang Huiyan ' s Ci xuan, J i n Y inggu i ^ M ;££ (ca. 1800) sums up three faults o f the "inelegant" ly r ic . The first two are as i i temized i n categories one, two and three, relating to the erotic, jocular and unrestrained ci, whi le his third "fault" is assigned to pieces "devoid o f real content and sincere feelings." [Those which] suggest bedroom affairs and sully the women's quarters are called "licentious" ci, and it is the first fault [of vulgar ci writing]. To start a piece violently and to finish it forcefully, breaking up phrases and explicating words, joking and teasing in the way of the pettiest actors and comedians, shouting and clamouring like the arrbgantphilistines; this is the , same as the commoners from Ba who raised their voices attempting to sing in response to the "Sunny Spring," or as frogs and toads cracking their throats to sing with the scattered sound holes of the se instrument. This is called the "vulgar" ci, and it is the second fault. To closely describe external objects and to write for entertainment, but with joys and sorrows not in accord with one's temperament, and with sighs and worries unrelated to the feelings; i f all pieces repeatedly talk of flowers and birds, and descriptions and implications are but for the purpose of writing in response to each other's work; though elegant and not erotic, they have good lines but on the whole fail . This is called the "frivolous" ci, and it is the third fault. ffiBmm,??m*n', mmmm • m & * * , # m m ^  , m m m m is 2 * ^  , m m m wm2mM.,$tmGAMmummm M*& m m ix m m m , m m m m , n w ~ & ° m m m m , & K'W. For example, Tian Tongzhi EH |5J (f l. 1720) states that both the "delicate restrained" and "heroic abandon" styles are the "original colours" of the ci. Xipu cihua H ! H 1^1 !§• {West Garden C i Remarks), CHCB, vol . 2, 1455. 6 8 L i u Tiren glj H JZ (1612-1677) contends that some of X i n Qi j i ' s lyrics are like rhyme-prose, and therefore do not have the "original colour" of the ci. Qisongtang ciyi -t St ^ H $? (The Hall of Seven Acclamations Explication of the C i ), CHCB, vol . 1, 619. 174 Lyric is ts i n the Southern Song were fond o f forming ci societies and wri t ing lyrics, i n response to each other " i n a cooperative and competit ive sp i r i t . " 7 0 These ci usually describe particular external objects (thus cal led yongwu ci § ^ fy] gSJ , br "Lyr i c s Singing o f Things") and use the same rhyming patterns. A l though on one hand literary activities o f the ci societies d id enhance the art o f elite ci wr i t ing , on the other they also led to the production o f many lyrics bereft o f content and meaning: banquet fillers and extemporaneous works composed at such 1 gatherings. 7 1 For this reason, J in Y i n g g u i proposes the third fault o f the ci, partly to purge these Huajian style lyr ics , used i n banquet entertainment, o f insincerity, and partly to target work produced solely for the superficial purpose o f social intercourse. 7 2 Having examined the " f lawed" characteristics o f the "inelegant" ly r i c , we shall discuss the laudable features o f the "elegant" next. Disregarding the ind iv idua l preferences o f particular writers, conventional cri t ics o f the Song (as w e l l as their successors) recommend that the "elegant" style o f ci wr i t ing should fo l low tonal regulations arid preserve a "delicate restraint." A t the outset o f the Yuefu zhimi, Shen Y i f u renumerates the four principles o f ci wr i t ing l isted by the lyr ic is t W u Wenying ^ J ^ (ca . l200-ca. 1260), and suggests that these be used as cri teria for the "elegant" ly r i c : The tones of words should be in harmony with the music, or they would become shi poetry in long and short lines. The diction should be elegant, otherwise it would resemble that of the popular song. The use of words 6 9 J in, CHCB, vol . 2, 1618-1619. 7 0 Shuen-fu L in 9. 7 1 For a related study on the development of the yongwu shi and yongwu ci, see Grace S. Fong, "Wu Wenying's Yongwu C i : Poem as Art i f ice and Poem as Metaphor," in HJAS, 45.1 (1985), 323-347. A study of the ci for social intercourse by Wu Wenying can be seen in Fong, Wu Wenying and the Art of Southern Song C i Poetry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), 130-161. 7 2 Zhou J i also contends that " in the Southern Song there are meaningless ci written in response to the activities of the ci societies" & ^ ^ M W 2. M £1 M • Zhou, Jiecun zhai lunci zazhu, CHCB, vol . 2, 1629. 175 should not be too explicit, as explicitness is blunt and abrupt and lacks deep and lingering flavour. The expression should not be too lofty, for loftiness would lead to wildness and eccentricity and would lose delicacy. ^ ^ , s i , * m m & M mz I » T ? « » , ^ I I J I ¥ M ^ Z f§ • ffl?^'^i;I,iIJI^IISf i Shen's ci theory rests on these four principles . A s mentioned elsewhere, he often i rejects straightforwardness, the use o f co l loquia l and "vulgar" dic t ion, and any discordance between words and m u s i c . 7 4 Zhang Yan , who dis l ikes the dense structure (zhi shi MM) a n d ornateness o f W u ' s work, nevertheless endorses many aspects o f W u ' s four p r inc ip les . 7 5 For example, he disapproves o f L i Qingzhao 's use o f co l loquia l language, X i n Q i j i ' s heroic composit ions and L i u Yong ' s emotional excess . 7 6 This aesthetic conformity among the Southern Song cr i t ics verifies that W u ' s four principles characterize the contemporary, as w e l l as the later, concept o f the "elegant" ly r ic . The emphasis on musical i ty was first initiated by L i Qingzhao and reached its apex wi th Zhang Y a n . 7 7 Zhang's obsession wi th tonal precis ion is evidenced i n the entire first chapter o f his Ci yuan, i n wh ich he discusses musical theory i n a cryptic manner, suggesting that, for example, a certain musical mode should be used on the particular day and month to wh ich it corresponds i n the Chinese cosmologica l sys tem. 7 8 A n entry i n the second chapter also recollects how Zhang 's father changed the meaning o f a ci l ine to fit the melody, stressing that "harmony between 70 words and tone is the primary pr inciple o f ci wr i t ing . " 7 3 Shen, CHCB, vol . 1, 277. Translation based on Fong, Wu Wenying and the Art of Southern Song C i Poetry, 45. 7 4 Shen, CHCB, passim, 277-284. , ' 7 5 He ridicules Wu's lyric as " a many-jewelled tower which dazzles the eye, but when taken apart no structural unity is found" i\\ -fa * ffi £ , fe A IS B , W #T T M , ^ \ 'j£ it g£ . Zhang, Ciyuan, CHCB, vo l . 1, 259. 7 6 Zhang, Ci yuan, CHCB, 263, 266, 267. 7 7 L i in her Ci lun stresses that ci diction should correspond to musical tones and modes. The qualities of words, such as "pure, impure, light and heavy," }ff Wd M , should be distinguished as wel l . She also mentions what category of rhyme scheme should be used in a particular tune pattern, for certain rhymes cannot be sung. In Hu Z i , houji, 33: 254. 78 CHCB, vol . 1, 239-240. 79 M £1 W, # M & • CHCB, vol . 1, 255-256. 176 Zhang Yan also demands an elusive and ethereal quality i n ci, wh i ch he terms "purity and emptiness" (qing kong $i )'. Acco rd ing to Zhang, the lyr icis t who displays this most effectively is Jiang K u i , whose work is l ike "the c loud i n the wilderness that drifts alone, leaving no trace where it comes and goes." J iang's "Lyr i c s S inging o f Things" (yongwu ci) always achieve a balanced and elevated effect by sustaining an "aesthetic distance" between the object presented and the wri ter ' s subjective emotions, and by using al legorical associations to l ink the inherently hardy and solitary virtues o f these objects (mainly the p lum blossom) to the wri ter ' s o w n . 8 1 A similar pattern o f powerful restraint i n pure otherworldliness infuses Su Sh i ' s work. Consequently, Zhang Yan ' s disapproval o f the ci o f "heroi^ abandon" does not mar his appreciation o f Su Sh i ; rather, his comments on Su are exceptionally laudatory. Zhang finds i n the ci o f both Su Shi and Jiang K u i another quality wh ich he vaguely calls "interesting delight" (yi qu M M ). A t first glance this quality seems to denote the or iginal creativity o f a writer, as Zhang states at the beginning o f an entry that "the primary pr inciple o f ci wr i t ing is [to embody] an 'interesting delight, ' not to fo l low what early writers have s a id . " 8 2 Yet, based on the examples i he cites, this quality apparently refers to flights o f elevated and ethereal (gao yuan IHJ XS ) feeling. Therefore, it is basical ly a variant o f his term "purity and emptiness." A t the end o f this entry he comments that "these ci a l l have ' interesting delight ' w i th in 'puri ty and the emptiness ' . " 8 3 H i s predilect ion for such qualities is further evidenced i n his c r i t i c i sm o f Z h o u Bangyan's ci. W h i l e he acknowledges the refined s k i l l and dic t ion o f Zhou , he also finds that his 1 "interesting delight" does not become "elevated and ethereal" enough. 8 4 Al though Zhang Yan ' s defini t ion o f "elegance" may not be entirely " » S f f i 3 R , 4 f i i . CHCB, vol . 1, 259. 8 1 For.a detailed study of Jiang Ku i ' s yongwu ci, see L i n , 142-182., 8 2 | 5 l i ^ E @ ^ ± , ^ ^ m i i B i f A i g ^ . Ci yuan, CHCB, vo l . 1, 260. Here, by viewing "interesting delight" as the primary principle, Zhang seems to contradict the earlier passage where he contends that musicality is the most essential quality in ci writing. See note 78. S3itmmmm^^^mm. CHCB, V O L I , 26\\ 84 M M W ^ iff H • CHCB, vol . 1, 266. 177 representative o f cri t ics i n general, contemporary opinions d id make Jiang K u i ' s work a measure o f the quintessential "elegant" ly r ic . A poet-recluse o f the t ime, who was'also renowned for his talent i n music and calligraphy, Jiang successfully portrayed h imse l f as the ideal scholar, elegant and insouciant, through descriptions o f pure tranquil l i ty and withdrawal (as a lotus on a secluded pond); an itinerant floating on the small otherworlds o f his l y r i c s . 8 6 H i s best known are about quiet sadness and nostalgia, found most often i n his "Lyr ics Singing o f Things ." Part icular ly notable are his two al legorical lyr ics on p lum blossoms, " A n x iang" Bf # ("Secret Fragrance") and "Shu y i n g " ^ ("Dappled Shadows"), i n wh ich the ethereal imagery o f the flower and co ld , secluded environment suggest the poet's austere loneliness and elegance. 8 7 Jiang K u i ' s retreat from the wor ld into his elegant ci style was not exceptional for his troubled time. A surplus o f employable scholars, intense factional conflicts i n court and the loss o f hope to recover the Jurchen-occupied Nor th drove many O O I elite writers to pursue an eremetic vocation. Their pr inc ipal model was L i n B u # M (968-1028),