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Chinese Literature
Gushiyuan 古詩源 "The Source of Ancient Poems"


The Gushiyuan 古詩源 "Source of ancient poems" is an anthology of ancient poems. It was compiled by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Shen Deqian 沈德潛 (1673-1769). In 14 juan "scrolls" the Gushiyuan includes more than 700 poems from the Warring States 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) to the Southern Dynasties period 南朝 (420~589). In his preface Shen Deqian stressed the importance of ancient poems as precursors to the poems of the Tang period 唐 (618-907, see Tang shi 唐詩) that is often seen as the apogee of poetry. For all poems Shen has added some words commenting them. His selection of poems includes the most important, classical and famous poems, like popular songs from antiquity (geyao 歌謠), yuefu "music bureau" ballads 樂府 from the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) and the Southern Dynasties or the famous poets Cao Cao 曹操, Cao Zhi 曹植, Zuo Si 左思, Tao Yuanming 陶淵明, Xie Lingyun 謝靈運, Xie Tiao 謝脁, Bao Zhao 鮑照 or Yu Xin 庾信. Shen Deqian selected exemplarious poems of all dynasties and ages so that his anthology can also serve as a textbook on ancient Chinese poetry.
The most common publications of the Guwenyuan are those from the Wenxue guji press 文学古籍刊行社 and that of the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局, both in 1957.


Source: Shen Yucheng 沈玉成 (1986). "Gushiyuan 古詩源", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, vol. 1, pp. 193-194. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

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May 14, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail