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a p o e t i c method which 11 i n c l u d e s such elements as iconoclasm, i l l u s l o n i s t i c and p a r a -d o x i c a l language, s u r p r i s e and sudden enlightenment, humor, and e x t e n s i v e use of c o l l o q u i a l language. A l l of these i n n o v a t i o n s i n the c u l t u r a l f i e l d were supported by an unprecedented economic growth and a s t a r t l i n g advance i n s c i e n c e and technology.A f t e r t h i s g e n e r a l d i s c u s s i o n of Yang's l i t e r a r y theory and p r a c t i c e , I proceed to explore some of the major themes of Yang Wan-li's p o e t r y , f i n d i n g t h a t a c o n s i d e r a b l e body of h i s poetry i s concerned w i t h the Buddhist theme of i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y . S o c i a l C r i t i c i s m and Peasant L i f e . Yang Wan-li's poetry d i d not develop i n i s o l a t i o n from t h i s new c u l t u r e , and throughout the d i s s e r t a t i o n we have a t -tempted to r e l a t e Yang's h i g h l y o r i g i n a l poetry to the i n -n o v a t i v e s p i r i t of the age i n which he was l i v i n g .

Finally, I give a brief account of Yang Wan-li's influence on later poets and critics. A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of A s i a n S t u d i e s We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1975 In presenting th i s thes is in p a r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make it f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study.

I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for s cho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . Posterity 429 Bibliography 434 Abbreviations 453 v i I n t r o d u c t i o n The poetry of Yang Wan-li belongs to an age which has been almost t o t a l l y n e g l e c t e d by Western h i s t o r i a n s of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e .

The present study attempts to e x p l o r e Yang Wan-li's unique c o n t r i b u t i o n to Chinese l i t e r a -t u r e l a r g e l y by u t i l i z i n g the t o o l s of t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese l i t -e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , r a t h e r than emphasizing European methodology as i s the case w i t h most s t u d i e s on non-European l i t e r a t u r e done by Westerners. However, as r e s e a r c h on l a t e r l i t e r a t u r e p r o g r e s s e s , Western s c h o l a r s w i l l l i k e l y d i s c o v e r t h a t the l a t e r p e r i o d s of Chinese l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y are j u s t as r i c h as a n c i e n t and e a r l y medieval times.

I b egin w i t h an e x t e n s i v e account of Yang Wan-li's l i f e , p a ying p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n to the i n f l u e n c e t h a t h i s p o l i t i c a l c a r e e r had upon h i s l i t e r a r y works. This d i s s e r t a t i o n i s an attempt to f i l l i n one of the many gaps i n our knowledge of the h i s t o r y of Chinese poetry, the southern Sung dynasty d u r i n g the t w e l f t h c e n t u r y .

However, Yang's c a r e e r as a C o n f u c i a n b u r e a u c r a t a l s o was of the utmost importance f o r h i s p o e t r y , and he f r e q u e n t l y d e s c r i b e s h i s f a m i l y and h i s g e n e r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h s o c i e t y . Although many modern c r i t i c s tend to minimize the c u l t u r a l m i l i e u of an a u t h o r i n f a v o r of a more f o r m a l l s t i c , a n a l y t i c a l approach to p o e t r y , we have f e l t t h a t Yang Wan-li's works are best under-stood by r e f e r e n c e to the i n t e l l e c t u a l and a r t i s t i c background of h i s age.

He i s p a r t i c u l a r l y o r i g i n a l i n h i s verse of s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m and the l i f e of the lower c l a s s e s . The poet of Yang Wan-li's age was not j u s t a poet, f o r he f r e q u e n t l y combined h i s l i t e r a r y p u r s u i t s w i t h an a c t i v e p o l i t i c a l c a r e e r , s p e c u l a t i o n i n the realms of r e l i g i o n and p h i l o s o p h y , c r e a t i o n of works i n the v i s u a l a r t s , and, i n some cases, o r i g i n a l r e s e a r c h i n the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s or medicine.

However, the most common s u b j e c t of Yang's l i t e r a r y c r e a -t i o n s i s nature, a tendency which i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the e s t h e -t i c i n t e r e s t s of both p a i n t e r s and poets of h i s p e r i o d . To study the poetry of such men i n i s o l a t i o n from other areas of Chinese c u l t u r e seems absurd i n the extreme.

Yang's nature poetry has g r e a t s i m i l a r i t i e s to the v i s u a l a r t of h i s contemporaries', and the s t r i k i n g i n n o v a t i o n s i n Yang's nature poetry are e a s i l y compared to contemporary changes i n Chinese p a i n t i n g . Not only have we t r e a t e d Yang Wan-li's poetry i n i t s r e -l a t i o n s h i p to other c u l t u r a l phenomena of h i s age, but our gen-e r a l approach to Yang's works has been deeply i n f l u e n c e d by the methods u t i l i z e d by Chinese l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s .

The next major section focuses on Yang's theory of literature and how his Ch'an background led him to view the writing of poetry as an intuitional process which results from sudden enlightenment.

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