At 502 pages, 1,015 footnotes, 228 translations, and a price of $170, this monograph by Stuart Sargent on the shi poetry of He Zhu (1052–1125) is substantial by any measure. Rarely does one encounter a work of such meticulousness that it threatens to overwhelm the reader with data. (I learned on p. 17, for instance, that 11.16 percent of Hebei West Circuit was irrigated in 1076). Sargent is impeccable in tracking down variant readings, locating where a poem was composed, explaining contemporary political events, and discussing secondary scholarship. There is so much information packed into this book that the reader soon yearns for generalizations to corral the stampede of facts. The exasperating quality of this book—and its genius—is that Sargent offers no easy way out of the welter. In his words, “If we reduce each poet to one or two ideas or features that fit into a received narrative of...
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Book Review| May 01 2009
The Poetry of He Zhu (1052–1125): Genres, Contexts and Creativity
The Poetry of He Zhu (1052–1125): Genres, Contexts and Creativity. By Stuart H. Sargent.
502pp. $170.00 (cloth).
Journal of Asian Studies (2009) 68 (2): 611–612.
Graham Sanders; The Poetry of He Zhu (1052–1125): Genres, Contexts and Creativity. Journal of Asian Studies 1 May 2009; 68 (2): 611–612. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911809000898
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