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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Qian Zhongshu’s theory and practice of metaphor Zheng, Zhining


This M.A. thesis is a study of Qian Zhongshu's theory and practice of metaphor. Chapter One introduces the motivation of "studying Qian through Qian's study" - to examine Qian Zhongshu's theory of metaphor through Qian's own metaphors used in literary creation and criticism. Chapter Two is a brief discussion of imaged thought and aesthetics which are the bases of Qian's theory and practice of metaphor. Qian's dialectical statements on relationship between metaphor and logic is emphasized. Chapter Three focuses on the essence of a metaphor, which is the core of Qian's theory of metaphor. An important notion of metaphor Qian has made — " A metaphor has two handles and many sides" — is illustrated. Chapters Four, Five and Six are analyses of Qian's metaphors. Chapter Four focuses on the relationship between the tenor and vehicle of a metaphor. Chapter Five deals with Qian's psychological metaphor and those related to synaesthesia. Chapter Six illustrates Qian's renewal of "dead" and sterile metaphors and his distinct scholarly metaphors. Chapter Seven is a summary, emphasizing Qian's uniqueness running throughout his literary career and works including his theory and practice of metaphor: his capacity for integration in terms of tradition, Chinese and Western literary heritages, style and relation between theory and creative writing. Finally, the significance of Qian's uniqueness in the present Chinese literature is evaluated.

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