Name and Reality in Zhuzhi Ci and the Evolution of Fengtu Shi in China

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.11, 2014


Name and Reality in Zhuzhi Ci and the Evolution of Fengtu Shi in China



Ye Ye


From the Tang and Song dynasties on, people’s awareness of zhuzhi ci (竹枝词) has shifted from gathering folk songs to making a record of folk songs, or from expressing feelings to recording events. Subsequently, as the zhuzhi ci and the zhao ge (棹歌) converged in the early Qing, village anecdotes made a frequent appearance in poetry. The idea that “fengtu equaled zhuzhi” gradually emerged, and a pan-fengtu trend started that involved a myriad local forms. Za yong (杂咏), zashi shi (杂事诗), diming shi (地名百咏) and other local forms of local poetry drew closer to fengtu shi. What was on the surface of the formal convergence of different cultural forms was actually the functional convergence of jixing shi (纪行诗), fengtu shi (风土诗) and jingguan shi (景观诗) in local writings since the Song dynasty. It represented the localization, de-familiarization and popularization of literary development in early modern Chinese literature. Only a dynamic clarification of the sequence and boundaries of the many types of fengtu shi, including zhuzhi ci, can reveal their developing themes, harmonize the value tensions between literature and culture and present their academic significance in a balanced and multi-dimensional way.