Another Thought on Works Mimicking the Yongjing Folk Songs of Xiao Gang in the Liang Dynasty
The Yuefu in the Southern Dynasties represents two types of folk songs, the Wu folk songs of the Wu region in the lower reach of the Yangtze River and the Yongjing folk songs of Xiangyang and the surrounding regions in the middle reach of the Yangtze River, and its main theme is sexual intimacy. The birth of love poetry is summarized in a previous study as follows: merchants called “Hanren” gained power along with the development of commerce in the Liu Song Dynasty and introduced the Wu folk songs and the Yongjing folk songs to the palace. Those songs became popular in the palace and affected the poetry style of the literary figures in the Southern Dynasties to vulgarize. The paper attempts to review the theory by comparing the original Yongjing folk songs and the mimic works.
Xiao Gang left only the works mimicking the Yongjing folk songs. The shared motif of people’s residence can be extracted from his works mimicking the Yongjing folk songs. In turn, people’s residence was not found in the original Yongjing folk songs but common denomination of people’s mobility was extracted.
Importantly, the first to be pointed out is that Yongjing was the place that Xiao Yan of the Wu Emperor or Xiao Gang’s father started to found the Liang Dynasty. Poets in the Liang Dynasty praised the region as paradise. Xiao Gang placed residence of people at the heart of his works mimicking Yongjing folk songs and praised this region due to the following reasons; firstly traditional political and economic ideologies hated people mobility and Xiao Gang followed them, and secondly Xiao Gang saw Jiankang, the city of the Liang Dynasty in Chang’an of the Western Han and Luoyang of the Eastern Han where were the setting of his different work and depicted both cities as paradise to congratulate prosperity of the Liang Dynasty using residence of people as motif. As the author discussed on another paper, this is one of various traditional congratulations to affirm eternal pleasure. Xiao Gang is considered to have applied this approach also to works mimicking the Yongjing folk songs.
For these reasons, it is considered that Xiao Gang composed works mimicking the Yongjing folk songs to praise the Yongjing area as paradise. It is said that Xiao Gang’s works mimicking the Yongjing folk songs are sophisticated rather than vulgarized from the original.
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