Zhang Shizhao's Jiayin literary style has been referred to as “political essays”, “essays of logic” and “Europeanized classical essays” in literary history. These terms highlight the characteristics of Zhang's writing against the backdrop of the evolving classical writing in the late Qing and early Republican periods. Indeed, Zhang Shizhao's concept of literature was deeply influenced by Zhang Taiyan, and his way of thinking drew from traditional academic thoughts such as Mohism and Wang Chong's Critical Essays, showing a contradictory inclination towards the objectives of modern Western logic. In terms of literary practice, Zhang Shizhao advocated for a prose style of the pre-Han philosophers, utlizing the magazine Jiayin as a platform to experiment with reviving this style. Concurrent with the emergence of rhetoric in the field of Chinese academic circle, Zhang Shizhao practiced lexicon-oriented grammatical rhetoric, demonstrating the inherent rhetorical finesse of classical literature. Examing the shifts and continuities within Zhang Shizhao's Jiayin literary style offers a localized perspective for re-evaluating the multifaceted literary attributes of classical Chinese texts.


Zhang Shizhao, Jiayin magazine, Jiayin literary style