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2014 Lecture

Every Rock a Universe - The Yellow Mountains and Chinese Travel Writing

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The Yellow Mountains (Huangshan) of China’s Anhui Province have been famous for centuries as a place of scenic beauty and inspiration, and remain a hugely popular tourist destination today. A “golden age” of Yellow Mountains travel came in the seventeenth century, when they became a refuge for loyalists protesting the new Qing Dynasty, among them poet and artist Wang Hongdu (1646–1721/1722), who dedicated himself to traveling to each and every peak and site and recording his impressions. Unfortunately, his resulting masterpiece of Chinese travel writing was not printed until 1775 and has since remained obscure and available only in Chinese.

Jonathan Chaves will discuss Wang's masterpiece, and explore the history of scholarly and religious pilgrimage to the area, and the role of the Yellow Mountains in the great Neo-Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist revivals of the early Qing period, that is, as the center of a yearned-for spiritual and cultural renaissance.

JONATHAN CHAVES is professor of Chinese literature at The George Washington University. His translations of Chinese poetry have been nominated for the National Book Award, and his work on the relationships between poetry and painting led to his curating of the exhibition, The Chinese Painter as Poet, at The China Institute (New York) in 2000

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The Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture Series features a yearly lecture and seminar presented by leading scholars on Chinese art and archaeology.
Event Information
  • Lecture
    Saturday, November 1, 2014
    1:00 PM
  • Seminar
    Friday, October 31, 2014
    2:00 PM
Other Years

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