UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The "tz'u" of Ouyang Hsiu Yu, Teresa Yee-Wah


Ouyang Hsiu is well-known as a historian and a prose writer. His accomplishment as a "shih" poet has also been noted and confirmed. His "tz'u", however, remains relatively neglected. The object of this thesis is to introduce the "tz'u" of Ouyang Hsiu, to examine the qualities of these works, and to evaluate their significance in the history of "tz'u" development. Since biographical information on Ouyang Hsiu is readily available in English, I have provided in the introduction only a brief summary of Ouyang's life and his various achievements. Apart from 54 poems which are also attributed to other Sung poets, the authenticity of 73 "tz'u" (about one-third of his total corpus) in Ouyang's collection has been a question of doubt and heated dispute. In Chapter I, the different editions of Ouyang Hsiu's "tz'u" are mentioned and compared. The historical, literary and biographical factors which surround the suspicion of fabrication are presented and analysed. Chapter II is a selection of 43 "tz'u" by Ouyang Hsiu, translated and followed by annotations. This selection presents a spectrum of the various styles of Ouyang Hsiu's "tz'u". It is intended to give the readers a personal experience of the poet's works before their discussion. Chapter III is the critical study. Since much work has been done in English on the subject of "tz'u" as a genre, I have only given cursory-information on the background of "tz'u" and its development prior to Ouyang's time. The poems are classified into four major groups for discussion: "tz'u" which are typical of the "tz'u" tradition; "tz'u" which are written mainly for self-expression; "tz'u" composed strictly for entertainment; and, lastly, the 73 "tz'u" of doubtful authorship. In each case, I have contrasted Ouyang's "tz'u" with the works of other poets. I have also compared his "tz'u" with his "shih" and prose works. If the beauty of a poem is better felt by reliving the poet's creative experience than by tearing its ingredients apart for inspection, this is particularly the case with Ouyang's works. Since he excels more in artistic expression than technical innovations, I have concentrated this study mainly on interpreting his works and relating my own feelings about them. But I have also included a general survey of the technical aspects of his "tz'u".

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