Yang Yi Omnibus
Author: Yang Yi
The seven sections of the Yang Yi Omnibus (10 volumes, 5,900 pages) were published in late 1997 and 1998. The seven academic monographs by Yang Yi are: The Science of Chinese Narrative Literature, The History of Modern Chinese Literature (three volumes), Illustrated History of Chinese New Literature (two volumes), Schools of Contemporary Chinese Literature, A Comprehensive Study of Lu Xun"s Works, On the History of Ancient Chinese Novels, and A Study of Poems in Chuci. These works cover contemporary and ancient literature, and comparative literary and artistic studies, and have been praised for their academic profundity and cultural information.
In his research Yang Yi has taken advantage of his inheritance of the Chinese tradition, and while stressing insight on the one hand, he also adopts the same attitude as his predecessors in insisting that research demands persistence and hard work before insight can be achieved. Before compiling his three-volume History of Contemporary Chinese Literature Yang Yi spent ten years reading around 2,000 books and a large number of original newspaper articles and other documents; he filled 10,000 cards with notes,and corresponded with more than 100 writers and their relatives. He even managed to find the original sources of works that the writers and their families had almost forgotten, and acquired first-hand materials.
The results prove to be worthy all of this effort. Six hundred writers are discussed in History of Contemporary Chinese Novels, the greatest number ever covered in this type of work. The structure is solidly founded on an overview of the history of literature-changes in the concept and trends of thoughts in novels, the evolution of styles, the formation and development of schools, and the artistic characteristics of writers. Yang Yi"s aesthetic understanding is liberal, and he provides an authentic account of the history of literature.
Yang Yi also initiated and acted as editor-in-chief for the highly original Illustrated History of Chinese New Literature. The book contains approximately 560 interesting and representative illustrations, designs for front covers, photographs of the authors and their manuscripts, and other pictorial material. The author focuses not only on the writing of literature,but also on its dissemination and reception. Both the text and the illustrations are a delight. This work is of great historical, academic and aesthetic value,attested to by the fact that both Chinese and overseas TV stations and the press have given considerable coverage to this work.
The author provides a full and faithful record of literary history, and with his keen understanding of aesthetics, examination of both traditional Chinese and overseas research and cross-disciplinary studies, for example, the use of exegesis, textual research, statistics, and archaeology, he presents a broad perspective, depth of thought and innovative ideas in a smooth and accessible style.
In Ancient Chinese Novels, the author presents new theories on the origin of Chinese novels, the relationship between their development and various cultures, and their Chinese characteristics in the light of their multi-level narrative structure. He also traces contemporary literature back to inscriptions on ancient bronze objects and Shang dynasty inscriptions on bone and tortoise shell. He also establishes a creative system for the study of Chinese narrative in sections on structure, time, angles of perception, images and literary critique.
In his analysis of Chinese poetry, Yang Yi has also voiced his unique opinions on topics such as the nature and status of Lisao as an epic of the Oriental soul, the innovative concepts of the poetry in Tianwen, the creative value of Jiuzhang for lyrical patterns (all by Qu Yuan), the image and symbolism of the moon in Li Bai"s poems, and Li Bai"s mode of thought when inebriated.
Yang Yi, male, born on 30 August, 1946 in Dianbai county, Guangdong province. Graduated in 1970 from the People"s University of China, majoring in journalism. From 1978 to 1981 he studied in the Department of Literature,Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Currently a research fellow, Ph. D. student tutor, director of both the Institute of Literature and the Institute of Minorities Literature, and deputy president of the Association of Chinese Contemporary Literature Research. His important works include: A Comprehensive Criticism of Lu Xun "s Novels (Shanxi Peoples Publishing House, 1984), Anthology of Lu Xun"s Novels (Guangming Daily Press,1985), A History of Contemporary Chinese Novels (three volumes, People"s Literature Press, 1986, 1988 and 1991), Chinese Novels and Culture in the 20th Century (Taipei: Yeqiang Press, 1992), Chinese Novels and Culture Through the Ages (Taipei: Yeqiang Press, 1992), A Comparison of the Beijing and Shanghai Schools (Shanxi: Taibei Press, 1994), The History of Ancient Chinese Novels (China Social Sciences Publishing House, 1996), A Compendium of the History of Chinese Comparative Literature (Taipei: Yeqiang Press, 1998), A Study of Chinese Narrative (Taiwan: Nanhua Press, 1998), and Yang Yi Omnibus (People"s Press, 1997 and 1998).Yang Yi"s works have won numerous prizes, including the national printing prize and the prize for outstanding scientific achievements. Yang Yi has also been chosen by the government as one of the national middle-aged and young experts having made a distinguished contribution. He was a visiting scholar at Oxford University in 1992, and is an honorary professor of the British Royal Academy and Leiden University in the Netherlands.