Why I Like Su Shi

I’ve lately been reading “Chinese History Revisited” (“中國文明的反思”) by Xiao Jiansheng (蕭建生), in which the author, among other things, gives high praises to the Sung dynasty for its diverse, liberal and eclectic collection of literature and works of art. The relatively stable and prosperous Northern Sung era (北宋時代) under the rule of several benevolent emperors, during which intellectuals and scholars were able to enjoy a great deal of respect and creative freedom, provided a nurturing background for great literary talents like Su Shi and others. Six of the eight great scholars of classical literature of the Sung and Tang dynasty (唐宋八大家) were from the Sung dynasty. Su Shi, his father 蘇洵 and his brother 蘇徹 were among the six.

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