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Master of Arts (M.A.)

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Shan Gui, image, religious ritual, romance


This is a diachronic study of Shan Gui 山鬼 (the ninth poem of the Nine Songs九歌). The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I choose to study Shan Gui from a religious perspective. A lot of effort is made to return to the scenes of sacrifice in the Nine Songs, by studying the sacrificing locations, totems, myths, and rituals. Through the literary appreciation with interrelated materials injected into this poem, Shan Gui would be read as a drama of wu’s巫 (shamans) worship performance in this paper. Western religious theories are used in order to understand primitive Chu people better and to explore the general rules in primitive people’s religious lives reflected by Shan Gui. The second part is an image study of famous Shan Gui paintings, and a lot of attention is paid to the artistic tension through the image re-creation. During this paper, I would like to create a picture of how Shan Gui developed through history from a religious image to a romance figure, and the way this image stepped from people’s common sacred sense into the literati’s private world.


First Advisor

David K. Schneider