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Su Shi's Prose

Su Shi is a prominent writer in the history of Chinese literature, who was highly accomplished in poetry, song lyrics and prose creation. His works, with their heroic spirit, rich ideological content and unique artisticstyle, are regarded as the height of literary achievement of the Northern Song Dynasty.

Su Shi's prose rivals that of Han Yu, Liu Zongyuan and Ouyang Xiu.Political essays are the most significant of Su Shi's prose ."Ce Lue," "CeBie" and "Ce Duan" express the author's Confucian political ideas. Theseessays were greatly influenced by Intrigues of Warring States, as well asJia Yi and Lu Zhi's works. Su Shi's essays on history are another form ofhis political essays, as represented by "On King Ping" and "On the MarquisLiu." In these articles the author's own political views are put forth throughcommenting on historical figures, events and classical allusions. Althoughthere is nothing of unique value in the content of these articles, the styleof writing merits attention.

Su Shi also left behind a large number of correspondence,miscellaneous writings and fragmentary argumentation. These short andelegant works express the writer's views and love of life and art. As well,their literary value far exceeds that of his political essays. His prose givinghis opinions about art seamlessly blends rationality thinking and imagery,as represented by "On Vivid Painting" and "On Wu Daozi's Painting."

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