Re-figuring Liu Xie’s Carpet: on the Rhetoric of the Wenxin diaolong


  • Dinu Luca



Liu Xie, Wenxin diaolong, figure, shuniu


This paper analyzes and provides an alternative reading of several essential terms (gangling, maomu, and shuniu) around which Liu Xie famously articulates his vision on the structure of his Wenxin diaolong. It first examines how these key expressions produce contradictory projections when read non-figuratively; next it revisits their occurrences in earlier texts and proposes, in the case of shuniu, a significantly different reading; finally it explores the intricate intersections and rearrangements the “re-figuring” of these terms leads to. It suggests that respecting a text’s fundamental figurality should be seen as a prerequisite for accurate, nuanced and in-depth investigations.


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Author Biography

  • Dinu Luca
    Dinu Luca, Assistant Professor, GIECT, National Taiwan Normal University.


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1. 12. 2010

How to Cite

Luca, Dinu. 2010. “Re-Figuring Liu Xie’s Carpet: On the Rhetoric of the Wenxin Diaolong”. Asian Studies 14 (3): 3-18.

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