Wang Fuzhi 1619-1692

Qing-dynasty thinker and poetic theorist. Wang came from Hengyang in present day Hunan province. He passed the juren examination in 1642, but with the fall of the Ming, he declined all contacts with the new Qing dynasty and dedicated himself to scholarship. Wang compiled three anthologies of poetry, but is best known for his Shihua [Talks on poetry], the Jiangshi shihua. According to one commentator, the "central idea of Wang's poetics is that poetry is a totally independent human activity". He also rejected the notion that poetry could be based on any contrived regularity or law, and allowed for the role of personal emotional response in the reading process.

Works available in English:

  • Notes on Poetry from the Ginger Studio (Siu-Kit Wong). Hong Kong: Chinese
       University Press, 1987.