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SU SHI: COPING WITH THE FINAL EXILE

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Title:SU SHI: COPING WITH THE FINAL EXILE
Authors:Brown, Gregory David
Contributors:Spring, Madeline K. (advisor)
Chinese (department)
Keywords:Asian literature
exile
prose
Su Shi
three teachings
Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:This dissertation is a systematic examination of prose writings by Su Shi (1037-1101). Chinese history treats Su Shi as one of the Eight Great Prose Masters of Tang and Song. Su’s lifetime total of more than 4,800 prose texts is the largest number written among Northern Song (960-1127) literati. Although documentation on Su Shi is more substantial than for any other Northern Song literatus, this study fills a lacuna in Su’s final fourteen months of prose.This study contributes to the broader body of scholarship by focusing solely on Su Shi’s prose writings after his final exile on Hainan Island (1097-1100). I examined all prose writings by Su Shi after his notification of amnesty. My goal is to seek insights into Su’s final period of prose composition, and how Su Shi expresses his views within these texts on themes that include spiritual transcendence, religious concepts, and a search for ultimate life values.
The 2010 verified dating of Su Shi’s literary production accounts for 248 prose writings after his Hainan exile. In this dissertation, twenty-four carefully selected texts from those writings are translated and analyzed as the best representing this period. Close reading of these chronologically ordered texts is supported by detailed explicating of annotations and historical circumstances surrounding each prose specimen. We obtain insights demonstrating evolving nuances in Su’s psychological, philosophical, and religious thoughts following his last exile.
This dissertation epitomizes Su Shi’s coping with challenges to his life’s previously-known identity. After his Hainan exile, Su’s prose writings document him confronting three prominent themes: an unanticipated retirement suddenly erasing his political value as a scholar-official, troubling truths for spiritually transcending death, and Su’s final identifications with the Three Teachings Sanjiao 三教 of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism for unity with the Way.
Pages/Duration:183 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/73317
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Chinese)


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