Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Scribes of Gastronomy: Representations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature

Isaac Yue and Siu-fu Tang

Publication Year:

Hong Kong University Press


The culture of food and drink occupies a central role in the development of Chinese civilization, and the language of gastronomy has been a vital theme in literary productions through many different eras and genres. From stanzas on food and wine in the Book of Odes to the articulation of refined dining in The Dream of the Red Chamber and Su Shi's literary recipe for attaining culinary perfection, lavish textual representations help explain the unique appeal of food and its overwhelming cultural significance within Chinese society. These eight essays offer a colorful tour of Chinese gourmands whose work exemplifies the interrelationships of social and literary history surrounding food, with careful explication of such topics as the importance of tea in poetry, "the morality of drunkenness", and food's role in the objectification of women in certain classic texts.

Table of Contents:

List of Contributors

1 Food and the Literati: The Gastronomic Discourse of Imperial Chinese Literature
Siufu Tang and Isaac Yue

2 From Conservatism to Romanticism: Wine and Prose-Writing from Pre-Qin to Jin
Tak Kam Chan

3 The Morality of Drunkenness in Chinese Literature of the Third Century CE
Nicholas Morrow Williams

4 Making Poetry with Alcohol: Wine Consumption in Tao Qian, Li Bai and Su Shi
Charles Kwong

5 The Interplay of Social and Literary History: Tea in the Poetry of the Middle Historical Period
Ronald Egan

6 The Obsessive Gourmet: Zhang Dai on Food and Drink
Duncan Campbell

7. Tasting the Lotus: Food, Drink and the Objectification of the Female Body in Gold, Vase, and Plum Blossom
Isaac Yue

8 Eating and Drinking in a Red Chambered Dream
Louise Edwards

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