Playful You (?) in the Zhuangzi and Six Dynasties Literati Writing

Li, Xiaofan Amy (2018) Playful You (?) in the Zhuangzi and Six Dynasties Literati Writing. Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies, 8 (2). pp. 1-28. ISSN 2048-0601. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

This essay explores the notion of you ? in the Zhuangzi and Six Dynasties literati writing through a comparative reading. Used interchangeably with its variant you ?, you ? has various uses and meanings, from the more literal “swim in water”, “move in an unobstructed way”, “wander”, and “travel afar”, to its extended meanings including “ramble in a carefree way”, “travel playfully”, “travel into foreign or unknown space”, or “enjoy a leisurely activity”. You is also, significantly, combined with other characters to form compound expressions specifying different playful activities, e.g. youxi ?Ç: “play and frolic”, “amuse oneself”, or “game”; youwan ??: “play outdoors” (with an emphasis on movement); and lüyou Ù?: “travelling for leisure”, or “tourism”—which have very different connotations from lüxing Ù?, “journey”, or “travel (the main purpose of which is not pleasure)”. In these different uses and expressions of you, in both classical and modern Chinese, what we find in common is the connotation of an unhindered, playful movement that is closely connected to its spatial context. In the context of the Zhuangzi and Six Dynasties literature, therefore, can we find articulations of you as a playful activity? If yes, in what specific ways is you playful, especially in regard to the space and context in which it occurs? Finally, what do the differences and similarities between the Zhuangzi and Six Dynasties writing say about the evolution of the notion of you within the Daoist and Neo-Daoist discourse?

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN865 Comparative Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Depositing User: Xiaofan Amy Li
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2018 12:12 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2018 15:27 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66345 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Li, Xiaofan Amy: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8053-9927
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