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Yugen Wang received his Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Peking University. His primary research area is classical Chinese poetry and poetic thought, with a focus on the Tang and Song dynasties. In his book Ten Thousand Scrolls, he made an argument that the excessive allusiveness of the Jiangxi School patriarch Huang Tingjian’s (1045–1105) poetry and his emphasis on the importance of book reading for poetic composition should be understood in the larger historical shift from script to print that was intensely occurring in China at the time. His recent book, Writing Poetry, Surviving War, studies the works of the Northern Song Chinese poet Chen Yuyi (1090–1139) as he fled the Jurchen invasion during the massive political and geopolitical upheavals in China in the early twelfth century. The book demonstrates how Chen’s compact, practical, ideologically coherent, and technically precise poems epitomize the new style of writing in the Song that is markedly different from that of his Tang predecessors. Through detailed analysis of Chen’s poems, and the political conditions under which they were written, the book sheds intimate light into how a classical Chinese poet conducted his business, on the road, in crisis, and into the poet's inner strengths that psychologically and emotionally sustained him on the long excruciating journey. As Chen struggled and eventually reconciled with the political situation, and with himself, he achieved a new balance between person and world, mind and landscape, a status later Chinese critics and theorists call qingjing jiaorong 情景交融, the propitious fusion and coming together of emotion and nature through poetry.

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