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The Relation between "The Book of Changes" and the Literary Style of Liu Tsung-yuan's Classical Prose
《The Book of Changes》(herein referred to “The Book”) has influenced Chinese literature and aesthetics profoundly and extensively. Among those researches and studies, we found that Liu Tsung-yuan(773-819AD) had posed a different aspect. Not only had he put emphasis on the explanation of the content, as most of the scholars did, but also had he concerned about the rhetoric functions implied in The Book, which inspired his literary style intensely. In a letter reply to his friend, Liu stated that, “…I would base on 《The Book of Changes》to seek for action.” He explained the meaning of “action” as “to act properly and exactly”, implying his attitude to career planning. Such attitude applied to his content of writing and determined his literary style. This is the primary relation between The Book and Liu’s classical prose. Secondly, Liu Tsung-yuan appreciated The Book as it demonstrated “ an imposing and expansive” style; therefore, he particularly emphasized the literary aesthetics in The Book. Further, the style in The Book was apt to “create images to express meanings”, and Liu was also adept at such skill. We may say that Liu Tsung-Yuan was inspired by the aesthetics intimated in The Book. On the other hand, he applied the concept of “action” and translated it into a rhetoric form, developing a specific literary style.
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