Biographical Writings of Zhang Da-fu
|Keywords:||張大復;傳記;崑山人物傳;梅花草堂筆談;病居士;Zhang Da-fu;biography;Biography of Dignitaries on Kun Shan;Plum Blossom Cottage Essay;ailing hermit||Issue Date:||2009||Abstract:||
Biographical writing is inseparable from the author. On the one hand, an autobiography is an articulation of the author’s self or self-idealization. On the other hand, a biographer is frequently under the influence of his or her own consciousness while writing the biography of someone else. In this light, this dissertation intends, by a reconsideration of the issue of biographical writing, to examine Zhang Da-fu’s biographic works and further investigate his temperament and ideas as expressed in these texts.n the first introductory chapter, I explain research motivation and methodology, account for the development of biographic literature in China, and describe the life and oeuvre of Zhang Da-fu. The second chapter primarily deals with the biographic work—Biography of Dignitaries on Kun Shan—written by Zhang Da-fu. The practice of Ming’s regional historical and biographical compilation is taken into consideration to show Zhang’s point of view, subject matter, and self-consciousness of regional cultures while he was under the influence of his time. The third chapter focus on miscellaneous biographies of Others. Based on these writings, I will analyze how Zhang changes his writing style and sentiments as he deals with different genres for different purposes. The fourth chapter has its main focus on Zhang’s autobiographic writing, including An Autobiography of A Sick Hermit and some other informal writings that resemble diary entries. From these writings I will observe the way in which Zhang constructs his self-image, his ostensible life patterns, and his inner emotional life. In the fifth chapter, various theories and arguments will be juxtaposed and questioned, and the distinctions between texts will be blurred so as to provide a deeper understanding of one another, as well as to highlight the self-image Zhang reveals in his biographic writings, and to illustrate his emotional life, ideals, value judgments, and the pursuit for personal career and life’s pleasure.rom Zhang Da-fu’s biographic writings, it is obvious that Zhang, living in late Ming Dynasty, was constantly affected by the zeitgeist of his time. Examples can be found in his pursuit of a spiritually self-sufficient life, and the joy and pleasure in it. He also wrote biographies of local dignitaries, in order to draw people’s attention to the cultural part of different localities. But more importantly, Zhang is a traditional Confucian scholar who lives up to the standards of Confucian values and who, through his biographic writings, exhibits his philosophy of life and expresses his longing for artistic immortality.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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