Abstract

This article examines how the making of pre-Tang poetry anthologies in sixteenth-century Ming China led to a reinvention of the pre-Tang poetic tradition. From the Zhengde period 正德 (1506–21) well into the Wanli reign 萬曆 (1573–1620), the compilation and publication of new pre-Tang poetry anthologies saw a dramatic increase, making the anthologizing practices in the 1500s crucial to understanding the pre-Tang tradition. Through a study of paratextual elements (book titles, tables of contents, prefaces, postscripts, etc.) in twenty-two pre-Tang poetry anthologies compiled in the 1500s, this article identifies three types of anthologizing practices. By employing quantitative and network analysis, the author hopes to historicize these practices, investigate the motivations for the anthologies, and explore their citation networks. These anthologizing practices, I conclude, gradually transformed the classification principles of previous anthologies, expanded the scope of canonized anthologies, and established a distinct pre-Tang tradition by the end of the sixteenth century.

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