Since the Eastern Jin, parallel prose was used even for minor reports and notices; in the Tang, it became the antithetical form.

I'm confused about what this sentence is saying. Is it saying that in the Tang, parallel prose was not used?

  • Apparently belongs in the writersSE site.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 5:21

2 Answers 2


Without more context it would seem so, antithetical could have the meaning of incompatible here: parallel prose became the form that was the most opposed to the style used for the most common pieces of writing, instead it was used in rare cases for very particular literary exercises.


It is a version of antithesis*. In this context, it means that this form was only used for effect.

  • Hegels Thesis and Antithesis for scientific progress. I will expand if anyone wants me to.

[edit] - expanding more I response to comment. Note that my understanding of Hegel is also not briliant.

In the context, the Thesis is the normal or main use of parallel prose. So, for the Eastern Jin, it is used in a range of writings, pretty much everywhere. The Antithesis of this is the opposing, meaning that for the Tang, it served as an obtuse or obscure usage, not the normal. Therefore, its use would have been for effect - to make something stand out from the norm.

Hegels use of this is to identify that over time, the Thesis and Antithesis tended to combine, counteract, merge to produce a Synthesis. The precise explanation of this i hte context would require a lot more of the writing.

  • I'm not sure I understand, could you elaborate? Hegel's concept of antithesis seems not only for effect but an operative concept, for example 'slaves' as antithesis of 'masters'. Disclaimer: my knowledge of Hegel is very limited.
    – Vladtn
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 11:18
  • It seems unlikely that a style of writing under the Tang dynasty refers to a 19th century German (but, of course, without context we can't be sure). Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 13:09
  • +1 Thanks, although I'm not sure why the reference to Hegel is needed, as the words have a common English meaning. I agree you have a point when you state it would make something stand out of the norm.
    – Vladtn
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 16:39
  • Because Hegel introduced the concept. That is why I originally just put it as a reference. It is often useful to understand the earlier meaning. Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 16:59

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