Writing Poetry, Surviving War: The Works of Refugee Scholar-Official Chen Yuyi (1090–1139)

by Yugen Wang


"This is a meticulous study of Chen Yuyi’s evolution as a poet in the context of his personal experience and the literary trends in the transitional period between the Northern and the Southern Song. Yugen Wang’s knowledge of the subject is comprehensive; his command of primary and secondary sources in Chinese and English is impressive. The presentation of the arguments is clear and persuasive. The copious and judicious translations of Chen’s poetic works are well executed and accompanied with incisive explications. The lucid and elegant prose style of the book makes it a pleasure to read for both experts and general readers." —Xiaoshan Yang, University of Notre Dame

"In this first full-length study of Chen Yuyi in English, Yugen Wang provides a meticulous reading of Chen’s most important poems that reflect his empire’s upheaval after the Jurchen invasion of Song China in 1126. The book focuses on Chen’s poems written during his years as a refugee from the invasion, wandering through unfamiliar landscape and trying to come to terms with personal displacement and dynastic calamity. Through it all, the verse of the Tang poet Du Fu shines upon him as a beacon and a challenge, and it is through this light that Chen finds his own poetic voice and a path to solace." —Ronald Egan, Stanford University


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