Reviews 145 Wendy Swartz. Reading Philosophy, Writing Poetry: Intertextual Modes of Making Meaning in Early Medieval China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018. xii, 304 pp. Hardcover $49.95, ISBN 978-0-674-98382-3. This new study on pre-Tang classical Chinese poetry is one of a kind. For the ﬁrst time, the handful of best-known poet-intellectuals from the Period of Disunion are discussed as a group. The theoretical framework thoroughly laid out at the beginning and adopted throughout the case studies makes this rather unusual grouping possible, and even desirable. The author’s creative interpretation is buttressed by a solid grasp of the texts discussed. The kind of attention given to the poems and accuracy in rendering some of the most difﬁcult passages are commendable. Even more valuable is the crisp clear logic and thoughtful structuring that differentiate this work. The combination of these traits makes the volume a gem. It will satisfy the expert as well as pique the interest of a novice in classical Chinese literature. For graduate students in the ﬁeld, this book surely sets an example to follow in research and writing. Additionally, Swartz’s theoretically informed study, by no means self- referentially theoretical, opens new avenues for bringing Chinese poetics
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jun 4, 2019
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