Jiang Liangfu's Introduction to Literature, published between 1930 and 1933, emerges as one of the earliest modern Chinese textbooks dedicated to literary theory. Its primary focus lies in the conversion of traditional literary resources into the creation of modern literary knowledge through the quest for the “original essence of emotions.” Within this textbook, Jiang Liangfu distinguishes between “human nature” and “emotion”, providing a localized and contemporary connotation to the theoretical concept of “emotion.” He utilizes this concept as a foundation for delving into the “original essence of emotions” present in the subjective factors and perceptible forms found within of classic works. Jiang Liangfu subsequently traces the core of literary emotions, centering his attention on the “folk origins” and “southern attributes” of traditional literary genres. His goal is to “reinvent” the literary tradition and stimulate the creation of new literary knowledge. This approach, which transforms classical literary experiences into modern intellectual forms, proves beneficial in reinvigorating our own literary tradition and advancing the discipline of literary theory.


introduction to literature, emotion, form, literary tradition