||Most distinguished essay critics are gifted essayists themselves. Yang Mu is one of them. Since Yeh Shan (Yang Mu's former pen name) began writing in the 195Os, for over 30 years Yang Mu practises what he advocates, using a variety of topics, forms and artistic devices in essay writing. With the publication of ten collection of poems and ten collection of essays, Yang Mu has proved himself a brilliant writer in moulding the modem Chinese language (or vernacular, pai-hua) which has no more than 80 years of development since the May Fourth Movement in 1919. Besides creative writing, Yang Mu also writes reviews on modem Chinese essays and edits the collected works of such important modem Chinese writers as Feng Tzu-k'ai, Chou Tso-jen, Hsu Ti-shan and Hsu Chih-mo. As one of the most important modem Chinese poets and essayists, Yang Mu has been interviewed many times to express his views on poetry and essay writing; these interviews are important for comprehending Yang Mu's artistic ideals. This thesis seeks to understand the art of Yang Mu's essay writing by studying his views on essay writing, expressed in numerous critical essays, interviews, reviews, prefaces and afterwords, and analyzing his essays as collected in nine volumes. It is hoped that this study will not only demonstrate the unity of theory and practice but also shed some light on the development of a poetic mind.