Dissertation Reviews has posted Edwin van Bibber-Orr’s review of Liu Gang’s dissertation, The Poetics of Miscellaneousness: The Literary Design of Liu Yiqing’s Qiantang Yishi and the Historiography of the Southern Song. Here’s how it begins:
Gang Liu’s dissertation, The Poetics of Miscellaneousness: The Literary Design of Liu Yiqing’s Qiantang Yishi and the Historiography of the Southern Song, is an ambitious structural analysis of the Yuan biji 筆記 (“literally, brush notes” [p. 2]) text Qiantang yishi 錢塘遺事 (“Anecdotes of Qiantang”), by Liu Yiqing 劉一清 (ca. early 14th c.). Biji, Liu writes, is “a type of Chinese literature… whose miscellaneous content, accommodative structure, and flexible form often challenge our very conception of literary genre itself” (p. 2). Liu’s thorough introduction details the evolution of the biji genre in China and reviews scholarship in both China and the West; in his discussion of biji, Liu quotes Christian de Pee that the genre “stands in an implied contrast with a stabilizing center of imperial power, legitimate genres of written composition, and enduring civilization.” Liu points out that biji traditionally have been understood only as historical texts, and remarks that the special “literary qualities” (p. 30) of biji have mostly been ignored.
Click the image for the full review.