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Narrativity and Rhetorical Excess in Gong Zizhen's Essay Zunyin (Honoring the Recluse)

UC Berkeley's Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk with Stephen Roddy as part of the brown-bag lunch lecture series.

September 16, 2009 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Stephen Roddy, Pacific Studies, University of San Francisco

One of Gong Zizhen’s famously opaque essays, ‘Zunyin’ illustrates various aspects of his unique prose style, such as a fondness for abstruse, sometimes impenetrable diction, an abundance of hyperbole, and an unusually eclectic range of literary and historical references.  While recent interpretative studies tend to draw heavily on both the author’s biography and his philosophical and political views, this talk examines the rhetorical structure of this essay, in particular its use of temporal allusions that both complement and diverge from the Gongyang exegetical tradition with which Gong came to be associated.