There is a unique system in Yang Xiong's literary criticism, which is based on the Book of Changes
, and which does develop it indeed. The Book of Changes
has something to do with the Extreme Profundity
written by Yang Xiong, but there are differences between them. The former holds a theory of two elements, the latter a theory of three elements. The heaven, the earth and man are the three elements. This means nothing but the two elements of yin
plus another element of man, which serves as the subjectivity of criticism. It is Yang Xiong that protrudes the subjectivity of man which dominates literary criticism and sets up an integrated system of literary criticism. This is a prominent contribution Yang Xiong made to Chinese literary criticism in line of history. At this point no western critics whosoever can match themselves up with Yang Xiong. In both literary creation and academic researches, Yang Xiong has a stance of development and advancement, as may be capsulated into a term, namely, a developmental view of criticism, in that both writers and scholars have in fact criticized their forerunners already, when they push forward any literary creation and academic researches made by those forerunners. Objectively Yang Xiong's literary creation provides us with a paradigm which we may now boldly have a try, that is, to dig up as many as possible the Taoist elements dwelt in a given work. And what is more, Yang Xiong puts forth, in the Extreme Profundity
, four pairs of antithetical categories.