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> Books > Book Review

A collection of literary theories by Wang Xianpei

YU SANDING | 2021-07-01
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

The Collected Works of Wang Xianpei 

The Collected Works of Wang Xianpei gathered most of the works of literary theorist and critic Wang Xianpei. This eight-volume collection mainly involves such fields as literature and art theory, psychology of literature and art, ancient Chinese literary theory, and contemporary literary criticism. 

The Disciplinary Map of Literary Theory portrays the literary theory not of one country, one era, or one school, but introduces a variety of influential and valuable literary theories from ancient times. It introduces three main sections of literary theory’s history that beginners need to focus on: ancient Chinese literary theory, ancient Western literary theory, and modern Western literary theory. The Beauty of Literature is another popular work on literature and art theories written in a prose style. 
The first edition of The Literary Review Course was published in 1986, which was the earliest published work on literary criticism in China, thereby establishing a rigorous theoretical system of literary criticism. The collection also includes such articles as “Constructing a ‘Round’ Literary Criticism,” “An Informal Discussion of the Validity of Literary Criticism,” and “The Academic Vision and Theoretical Character of Literary Theory Researchers.” 
A Reader of the Psychology of Literature and Art, first published in 1988, builds a systematic and in-depth viewpoint system on the psychology of literature and art. It also discusses three important issues which academia had overlooked at the time: the influence of scientism as an ideological trend on the psychology of literature and the psychology of art, the research perspectives of humanistic psychology, and the research strategies of the psychology of literature and the psychology of art. 
Wang also succeeds at identifying ideological resources for the psychology of literature and the psychology of art from the long river of ancient Chinese culture. Chinese Cultural and Artistic Psychology and Thought is a representative achievement in this regard, which is most characterized by closely linking ancient Chinese artistic psychological thought with ancient culture. 
Fifteen Lectures on Ancient Chinese Poetics is a representative work on ancient Chinese literary theory, which selects and explains major concepts, propositions, and judgments concerning ancient Chinese poetics. 
A Theoretical Criticism History of Ming and Qing Fiction was also a pioneering work which was first published in 1988. It systematically and comprehensively sums up theories regarding Ming (1368–1644) and Qing fiction (1644–1911), which constitute an integral part of ancient Chinese literary theory. The Prefaces and Postscripts of Ancient Fiction also falls within the research scope of ancient Chinese literary theory. 
Yu Sanding is a professor from the School of Chinese Language and Literature at Hunan Institute of Science and Technology.