||Ouyang Xiu occupies a leading position in many fields in Northern Song Dynasty, including literature, historical study, politics, reformation of writing style, and Ci’s writing as well. However, his important role as a forerunner in the field of Ci is hardly paid attention to by critics for many dynasties, until Feng Xu made a comment: “The style of Shujuan (“open and elegant”) starts from Ouyang Xiu, while the style of Shenwan (“deep and emotional”) from Qin Guan.” The importance of Ouyang was finally pointed by Feng, and more studies of Ouyang’s Ci appeared after that, which mainly focuses on the rich emotion and the excellent artistic techenique expressed in Ouyang’s poems. However, Ouyang’s role in a transitional period in the development history of Ci in Song Dynasty has not yet won enough concern by scholars. As a result, I decides my research topic as “A study of style Ouyang Xiu’s Ci”.
This essay is consisted of six chapters. The first chapter is an introduction which illustrates my motivation, the scale of this research, the previous study in this field, the research method and the structure of this paper. The second chapter, "the background of Ouyang Xiu's writing", starts with a brief introduction of Ouyang's life and then deals with the social background of the Ci in Song Dynasty as well as the influence of Feng Yanji and Yan Shu on Ouyang. The third chapter is "the themes of Ouyang Xiu's Ci", in which I classify Ouyang's Ci into three categories--on love, on local culture, and on the ups and downs of one's life--so as to integrately analyse the comprehensiveness of themes and the richness of content in Ouyang's Ci. The fourth chapter, "Ouyang Xiu as the forerunner of writing Ci with the technique of writing Shi", discusses the writing technique of Ouyang by which he conveys his feelings, and by analysing the relationship between Ouyang's Ci and Su Shi's, discusses the influence and inspiration of Ouyang on Su, who carries on Ouyang's style and begins the Haofang school of Ci. The five chapter, "the artistic style of Ouyang's Ci", contains analysis from three perspectives--Ouyang's twofold preferences, his complicated style and his unique uses of Ci' tone—which is helpful for the appreciation of Ouyang's richness. The sixth chapter serves as a conclusion: by outlining the whole paper and emphasising the key points in this essay, I reconfirm the significant role of Ouyang Xiu as a connecter between the past and the future in the development of Ci in Song Dynasty.
This essay focuses on the Ouyang's versatile themes, his artistic style, as well as his life and writing background, so as to argue that Ouyang is the first one who writes Ci with the technique of writing Shi. This writing feature of him has significantly influenced many Ci schools in Song Dynasty, but there is a lack of academic attention of critics in many decades. Under this circumstance, this paper is helpful for a deeper understanding of Ouyang's Ci.