Ouyang Xiu (Ou-yang Hsiu) 1007-1072

A major writer, historian and statesman of the Song-dynasty (960-1279), Ouyang Xiu was brought up in a remote area of present day Jiangxi province, and studied mostly be himself. After passing the jinshi examination in 1030, he embarked on a successful official career, serving as the Minster of War and Hanlin Academician among other posts, but was later demoted to the preffecture level. His interests as a writer were remarkably diverse. They included treatises on the classics, historical works (he compiled the Xin Wudai shi [New history of the Five Dynasties]), poetics as well as poems, fu and prose pieces. Of these, the prose piece 'Zuiweng ting ji' [The pavilion of the old drunkard] and the fu 'Qiu sheng fu' [The sounds of autumn] are the best known first advocated by Han Yu. Perhaps Ouyang Xiu's most important achievement was the promotion of the guwen prose style. He is one of the 'Eight Prose Masters of the Tang and Song Dynasties'.

Works available in English:

  • The Literary Works of Qu-yang Hsiu (1007-72) (Ronald C. Egan). Cambridge:
       Cambridge University Press, 1984.