Cornell University

Classical Chinese: What you can buy and what you can’t: two essays from Xianqing ouji

Friday, October 18, 2019 at 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Rockefeller Hall, 374
Central Campus

All of the Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquia text-reading sessions are held in Rockefeller Hall Room 374 (also known as the Asian Studies Lounge) from 3:30 to 5:30.

Our second text reading will be lead by Professor Tina Lu of Yale University.

She will be leading a text-reading titled, What you can buy and what you can’t: two essays from Xianqing ouji.

Professor Lu describes the reading as follows: 

I will be talking about two essays from Li Yu’s Xianqing ouji (Casual Notes on Idle Feelings, 1671), a collection of 300-odd pieces about all manner of what we might consider private life and ranging from theater to food to interior decoration.  I will be focusing on two particular essays: on clothing (衣衫) and on antiques (骨董).  I am especially interested in considering Li Yu’s distinctive style of classical Chinese, which is at once remarkably inclusive while still retaining classical Chinese’s use of allusion.  I would like to consider the ways in which this style and the substance of the essays treats wealth and status: what can be purchased?  What cannot?  What is the relationship between one’s social status and what one can buy? 

CCCC is a reading group for students and scholars with interest in premodern Sinographic text.

All are welcome, at any level of experience with classical Chinese.

At each session, one participant presents a text in classical Chinese. Attendees discuss historical, literary, linguistic, and other aspects of the text, and work together to resolve difficulties in comprehension and translation.

Presentations include works of all sorts, from the earliest times to the twentieth century.

No preparation required: all texts will be distributed at the meeting.


Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type

Class/ Workshop


Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, East Asia Program, Global Learning, China and Asia-Pacific Studies, Asian & Asian American Center, College of Human Ecology, Anthropology, Fiber Science & Apparel Design, Society for the Humanities, Asian American Studies Program, Global Cornell, Cornell China Center



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Amala Lane

Contact Phone



Tina Lu

Speaker Affiliation

Yale University

Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information

wheel-chair accessible; other accessibility needs addressed with advance notice

Open To


Recent Activity