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Chinese Literature: Poet Tao Yuanmings Philosophy About His Poetic Style And Lifestyle - Essay Example

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Chinese Literature: Poet Tao Yuanmings Philosophy About His Poetic Style And Lifestyle

Tao Yuanming also known as Tao Qian excelled at living rural life and writing poetic literature. As he was very much influenced by the Chinese literature and art, he enjoyed staying rural far better than urban lifestyle. It is because of this rural and pastoral life, his poetical work shows his mental contentment and commitment with life. The proof is the way of life he selected after his retirement, which was purely pastoral in nature. As he was to a great extent inspired by the Chinese traditions and culture, he realized the importance of eating and drinking which is considered to be the main source of emerging creativity along with imagination and artistic pleasure. As a matter of fact eating and drinking are so much considered to be the part and parcel of Chinese norms that it is hard to believe the concept of ‘Chinese art’ without them. “Farming, drinking and artistic creations are mutually enhancing and inspiring in their common pursuit of beauty. While exemplifying the holistic values of Chinese norms and culture, the aestheticization of eating and drinking contributes to finer, richer gastronomic experiences. It was after the Tao period that investigation was conducted into this phenomenon which opened a window to understand the development of Chinese gastronomy, thus shedding cross-cultural light on the study of contemporary gastronomy.”" (2006a)

Tao Yuanming possessed a unique philosophical way of living, thinking and writing in a poetical manner due to which he was used to make wiser justifications each time he intended to write. His poetical work is often found as leaded by the narrative voice, which introduces the reader to a certain spot on the moral map in which he combines the beauty of nature and balance of climate with harmony in human society. And Yuanming's writings are the proof of his guaranteed satisfaction.

Tao's poems were typically autobiographical. Having renounced the conventional ladder of success through an official career, he often affirmed instead the purer existence of rural life and literary creativity. "With the inevitable glass of wine in hand, Tao composed a cycle of thirteen poems, "On Reading the Guideways through Mountains and Seas" (Du shanhaijing shisanshou), which he began by announcing his pleasure at perusing the illustrations of the strange creatures. His use of the expression liuguan (to randomly contemplate) to describe his process of reading suggests a more constituitive art of visualization similar to others of his time who employed a meditative attitude when viewing landscape paintings to engage in "spiritual wandering"." (Strassberg, 2002, p. 18) Tao's poems acquired a sense of unique milieu and revealed three principal responses. Some figures are vehicles for expressing his political frustrations and criticisms. Others are envied for dwelling in utopian environments, and still others are considered tragic characters evoking commiseration.

When it comes to justify Tao Yuanming's life of 'farming and drinking', one thing is for sure that in "traditional Chinese culture, eating often goes hand in hand with drinking. Wine and tea are the two drinks that have been synthesized with, and received the most attention in, Chinese literature and art. Wine plays the paradoxical role of intoxicator and facilitator of
artistic imagination" (2006a), such imagination that awakens the poet and takes him to a new and exciting world of 'artistic creativity', which allows drinkers to reach at their optimum creative moments. For many Chinese scholars to be intoxicated is to be inspired; wine is their Muse. Wine serves occasions of leisure and pleasure as well as moments of boredom, loneliness, melancholy, nostalgia, and sorrow. Furthermore, because of Tao Yuanming's great devotion to the Chinese art and literature, it is often said that wine serves as the key for reaching the 'Tao' or immortality.

It is said that Tao ...Show more


Tao Yuanming possessed a unique philosophical way of living, thinking and writing in a poetical manner due to which he was used to make wiser justifications each time he intended to write…
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Chinese Literature: Poet Tao Yuanmings Philosophy About His Poetic Style And Lifestyle essay example
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