Submitted by Chen Yen
for the degree of Master of Philosophy
at the University of Hong Kong in April 1986.
During the period from the late Ch'ing Dynasty (1840-1911) to the May Fourth Movement in 1919, great talents appeared one after another. They were great not only in their gifted talent t but also in their devotion to the society, to all people and to the country. What they did, either politically or academically, were exactlly following the path in the great times. Therefore, what they performed or achieved could bring about very rich nutritions to the culture and chances of development to China today and tomorrow. Liu Shih-p'ei. ~Umfit~ (1884-1919) was exactly a significant figure while China evolved from the darkness into dawn.
Liu Shih-p'ei was born and grew up in a decent family at Yang chou ~~+I . He was gifted with inborn wisdom and unusual faculty of memory. Thist plus his unusual dedication and hardship in extensive
studies t he was honored as a respectable scholar before he was twenty. Influenced by his family backgrounds, he fostered very strong anti-Manchurian ideologies since he was a little child. The stimulation of new ideologies and new knowledge he received
later on further drove him into life dedication to saving China from adversities and to buildup of a reawakened nation. As his inborn personalities and the circumstances he was confronted with were not quite in harmony, he often provoked conflict and confrontation. Meanwhile, he was not tactful enough in his poli tical career, thus sometimes he became notorious among his fellow countrymen. This is quite a pity, as many people think.
This thesis is basically divided into two parts. Part one deals with Liu Shih-p'ei's career experiences and academic talents. Hopefully we can give a full picture on the rugged path of his life: the ambitious performances in his earlier ages, the confusion and loneliness in his later life, and the interrelations between his personalities and his academic and political performances.
Part two deals with Liu Shih-p'ei's literary theories. The literary theories of Liu have long been ignored. In my opinion, his viewpoints on literature not only directly influenced the new literature of the May Fourth Movement, but indirectly benefited the Chinese literature today. Therefore, in modern history of Chinese literature, Liu Shih-p'ei could be regarded as a key figure
who succeeded his predecessors and enlightened the successors. As far as achievements are concerned, he is surpassed by none in the modern history of Chinese literature. To be precise, this part deals with Liu's views on literature, literary style, literary
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language, and some minor points on literature. Of them, some are
theoretical while some are practical. Some are re-assessments
of the value of old literature while the others are on the future
of new literature.
By studying the thorough life of j\u Shih-p' ei and his literary
theories, we realize that though times pose an overwhelming power
on him, Liu just stood as a great figure in the intellectual world
in modern China.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:liu shipei 1884 1919 criticism and interpretation
Date of Publication:01/01/1986