Jennifer Guest

Dr. Jennifer GUEST
Oxford University

April 7, 2021
4:30-6:00 PM EDT

Borders of Poetic Language: Defining Chinese and Japanese-style Poetry in Medieval Commentary to the Wakan Rōeishū

The eleventh-century anthology Wakan rōeishū (和漢朗詠集, Japanese and Chinese-style Chanting Collection) was a key resource for premodern literary education that brought Literary Sinitic couplets and vernacular Japanese waka poems together into a single encyclopaedic order; its flourishing medieval commentary tradition became an important site for scholars to debate and experiment with different approaches to understanding poetry. This discussion will focus on the preface and one section of annotation from an anonymous twelfth-century commentary, Wakan rōei chūshō (和漢朗詠註抄), as a starting point for considering how commentators on this anthology imagined distinctions between different kinds of poetic language and constructed multiple histories of poetry within a broader transregional literary setting.

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