In the Yuan Dynasty (1276-1368) there was much literary and cultural discourse on the “objects from the Song dynasty (960-1279)” (Song wu 宋物, including antiquities, painting, items in scholars’ studio, and so on). Such discourse provides critical perspectives on the Yuan reception of Song literati culture and evaluation of cultural change. After the Yuan invaded and took over the Song court, Song wu became a symbol for Yuan literati to indulge in reminiscence of the Song and defiance against the Mongol political hegemony. Song wu represent the continuum of the value system in the cultural past, deriving their value from the lives of their owners and collectors, the anecdotes they embody, and the historical and socio-cultural meaning they possess. Amongst the varieties of Song wu, this project will focus on rocks, which have been regarded as a unique literati culture in Han 漢 China by Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 (1007-1072), Su Shi 蘇軾 (1037-1101), Mi Fu 米芾 (1051-1107), and Emperor Huizong 宋徽宗 (r. 1100-1125) of the Northern Song Dynasty. The voluminous pieces of Yuan literature on rocks from Northern Song allow us to assess their collective memory and sensibility towards the cultural change amongst Han and non-Han literati in the South and North. This project intends to make a thorough and systemic study of relevant and available material to investigate the nature and varied responses to the major cultural change. This proposal postulates the responses from literati communities at different stages of culture shock. Three of these stages are particularly important. First Song Loyalists in Lin’an 臨安 (today Hangzhou) and Wuxing 吳興 in early Yuan expressed their responses to the traumatic history of the Song Yuan dynastic transition in literature by virtue of the possession of Song rocks as their “cultural capital.” Then The Mongol nobility and scholar-officials in Dadu 大 都 (today Beijing) affirmed the subtle art of Song rocks through the court and private literary gatherings, representing the milestone of cultural integration in mid Yuan. In the last stage, Late Yuan literati in Suzhou Kunshan 蘇州崑山 defined themselves as high-minded literati recluses who retreated from the worldly political troubles during the Yuan Ming (1368-1644) transition by placing themselves into the world of Song rocks connoisseurship, criticism, and literary writing. In accordance with the description of cultural shock, the perspectives on the Yuan nostalgia for, and integration of Song values and culture, allow us to explore the thoughts and feelings of Yuan literati, and to construct the Yuan discourse on the Song culture to supplement The Official History of Song compiled by the Yuan court. The findings would be illuminating on studies of cultural changes in other periods of history and civilizations.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/20 → 30/06/23|
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