Wei ChengFollow


Lu Kanru and Feng Yuanjun's History of Chinese Poetry was heavily influenced by the academic atmosphere of the Republic of China. Adopting a critical stance towards the veracity of ancient historical accounts, the authors aligned with Hu Shi's advocacies, presenting the pre-Xia dynasty era as an epoch veiled in obscurity. In terms of the structure of poetic history, it displayed great originality, for instance, by expanding the scope of “poetry” to include the majority of rhymed prose. In addition, the book elaborated on how the mainstream genres of each era evolved in succession, making the narrative more systematic. Their narrative, adeptly woven with both vernacular and classical Chinese, eschews conventional genre demarcations, introducing a versatility that reflects the transformative agenda of the New Culture Movement. These approaches placed the book as a representative of the transformation in literary and historical research prompted by the New Culture Movement. While their critical skepticism faced contemporary scrutiny, the innovative structural underpinnings of their work represent a significant, alternative discourse in literary historiography, meriting sustained academic engagement.


Lu Kanru, Feng Yuanjun, History of Chinese Poetry, New Culture Movement