The Book of Literary Design
(文心雕龍)
Siu-kit Wong, Allan Chung-hang Lo, and Kwong-tai Lam
August 1999
220 pages
6.5" x 9.5"
HK$120 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only)
US$22 (Other Countries)
Paperback 978-962-209-464-2

The earliest book-length treatise in Chinese literary criticism, the Wenxin diaolong is of central importance in the Chinese tradition. The work was compiled in the sixth century, one of the most fertile and original periods in Chinese critical thinking. Its author, Liu Xie, was a Buddhist monk as well as a Confucian scholar, and so represented the main persuasions of China. The Wenxin diaolong first came to be noted in the seventeenth century, when it was studied by scholars and edited by Mei Qingsheng. When the study of literary criticism became an independent discipline early in the twentieth century, it developed into a cynosure that was widely discussed and provided with learned annotations.

This volume presents a fresh translation of the Wenxin diaolong that is at once authoritative and elegant. It may well be regarded as a standard reference by students of sinology and comparative literature.

Siu-kit Wong, educated at the University of Hong Kong and Oxford, has taught Chinese literature and translation in the University of Hong Kong since 1967. He is the author of Early Chinese Literary Criticism and Notes on Poetry from the Ginger Studio, the latter being a study of the Jiangzhai shihua by the seventeenth-century Chinese critic Wang Fuzhi. Allan Chung-hang Lo teaches translation in the University of Hong Kong and is writing a doctoral thesis on Buddhist hagiography of the Six Dynasties period for the Australian National University. Kwong-tai Lam teaches Chinese language in the University of Hong Kong and is writing a doctoral thesis on the virtual literary criticism in the canonical scholia of the Qing period for the University of Hong Kong.