|Abstract as per original application
(397 words in English version)
1. Based on the PI’s previous project funded by the UGC, which explored the ‘Conception of ghosts and spirits and ritual texts of Northern Song Gu-wen 古文 writers’, this research expands the scope of study of ‘official writings’ and that’s relationship with ‘Siwen’ 斯文, focuses on studying the setting-up of a model of Siwen amid the changes occurred during Qingli to Xifeng, presents how the Wenren 文人 of Northern Song constructed ‘Siwen’ through ‘writing’ and ‘compiling’ from the perspectives of composing odes, edicts, and writings on etiquettes and rites, as well as interpreting Book of Rites. It also presents the relationship between the conception of literature of Wenren of the Northern Song and their official works, analyzing whether they could / how could they construct Siwen through "writing" and "compilation" "; and whether they could / how could they practiced “Dao” 道 in-between the identities of “Elite” 士 and “Wenren”.
This research DOES NOT assume the "conception" and "practice" of Siwen by Wenren of the Northern Song is necessarily consistent – On the contrary, this is the research object of this project - not the research presupposition. The PI will write 4 academic papers, each focusing on a sub-theme, then summarize phenomena, grasp the Northern Song Wenren’s perceptions and practice of Wen-Dao 文道from both micro and macro perspectives, and find out why the political and literary reforms took place simultaneously. Finally, all the works will be published as book, as a contribution to the academic field.
2. As for the stylistics of odes, scholars have noticed Ouyang Xiu’s criticism against the self-proclaimed Wenshi 文士who regarded writing as their only duty; Mei Yaochen said ‘laudatory texts accord with Dao no matter they are written for the purpose of praising or ridiculing’ 雅章及頌篇，刺美亦道同. Ouyang, Mei, Zeng Gong, and Wang Anshi composed many hymns (including poems praising the political condition, ritual eulogies, etc.) from Qingli to Xifeng. This approach starts from Northern Song people’s understanding and practice of praising or ridiculing, which explores how the praising in the imperial court in line with the standard of constructing Siwen while admitting the urgent need of social problems for solutions?
3. For the stylistics of edicts, exploring and analysing the relations, differences, and similarities between the official writings and personal works by Northern Song’s Wenren as well as the significance of those works. Ouyang said ‘imperial edicts should be comparable to those of Xia-Shang-Zhou’; in the preface of Waizhi-Ji 外製集, he disclosed his wish ‘to restore the earliest style in imperial edicts’. In 1058, to ‘avoid the loss of imperial edicts during the prosperous Song dynasty’, Ouyang initiated editing the Song edicts. Why were the editing and passing on of Song edicts important to him? Song people said Su Shi’s edict style differed from Wang Anshi’s --- how do their edicts reflect their perceptions of ‘the emperor’s style of writing’ 王言之體 as for setting up a model for the world?
4. For the redaction of etiquettes and rites, combined with the roles of Special Drafting Officials of the Secretariat 知制誥 of the Northern Song, as well as the Secretariat and Protocol Officers 禮官 of Wenren, analyzing the repercussions of this kind of "Wen" written by the literary figures in the age. For example, Ouyang served at the Bureau of Sacrificial Ritual 太常禮院where he ‘requested commissioners to recover and edit the lost texts’, resulting in the publication of Taichang-Yinge-Li 太常因革禮. He led the project while Su Xun and Yao Bi provided editing service. However, Su and Yao were not famous for their knowledge of the code of etiquette and rites --- why would the imperial court assign to them this important task? Su stressed that Taichang-Yinge-Li ‘fell within the category of history books’ 是史書之類and was written ‘in the style of historical writing’ 是史之體. What is the significance of such works and history books to Siwen? Will the answer enable us to study out a more comprehensive concept of Siwen perceived by the leading figures of Northern Song literature headed by Ouyang?
5. For Interpretation of the Book of Rites, James Liu suggested that the primary objective of Wang’s reform was to establish ideal social customs and order. Based on the principle of Wang’s preface of Zhouliyi 周禮義--- ‘to form a standard and writing style that could be passed on to later generations’ --- as well as Wang’s experience drafting imperial edicts and illustrating the meanings in Rites of Zhou, could we see the Wen-Dao and Liwen 禮文concepts in Wang’s mind during the Xifeng reform?