Essays in Medieval Chinese Literature and Cultural History  book cover
1st Edition

Essays in Medieval Chinese Literature and Cultural History

ISBN 9781138375321
Published January 3, 2019 by Routledge
362 Pages

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Book Description

This is one of a pair of volumes by Paul Kroll (the companion volume deals with medieval Taoism and the poetry of Li Po). Collecting eleven essays by this leading scholar of Chinese poetry, the volume presents a selection of studies devoted to the medieval period, centering especially on the T'ang dynasty. It opens with the author's famous articles on the dancing horses of T'ang, on the emperor Hsüan Tsung's abandonment of his capital and forced execution of his prized consort, and on poems relating to the holy mountain T'ai Shan (with special attention to Li Po). Following these are detailed examinations of landscape and mountain imagery in the poetry of the "High T'ang" period in the mid-8th century, and of an extraordinary attempt made in the mid-9th-century to recall in verse and anecdote the great days of the High T'ang. The second section of the book includes two articles on birds (notably the kingfisher and the egret) in medieval poetry, and four of Kroll's influential studies focusing on the verse-form known as the fu or "rhapsody," especially drawing from the 3rd-century poet Ts'ao Chih and the 7th-century poet Lu Chao-lin.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; In and About the High T'ang: The dancing horses of T'ang; The flight from the capital and the death of Precious Consort Yang; Verses from on high: the ascent of T'ai Shan; Lexical landscapes and textual mountains in the high T'ang; Nostalgia and history in mid-9th-century verse: Cheng Yü's poem on 'The Chin-yang Gate'. Poetry from Different Angles: 7 rhapsodies of Ts'ao Chih; The image of the halcyon kingfisher in medieval Chinese poetry; The egret in medieval Chinese literature; The memories of Lu Chao-lin; Tamed kite and stranded fish: Interference and apology in Lu Chao-lin's fu; The significance of the fu in the history of T'ang poetry; Index.

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Paul W. Kroll is Professor of Chinese in the Dept. of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, University of Colorado, USA and the editor of the Journal of the American Oriental Society.


'This book [...] is not just another entertaining book to read to learn about Chinese literature and history. It provides an impressive demonstration of how to conduct research in the field of classical Chinese literature. The author locates one issue or object of study in each of his writing, collects copious data about the object, and then unveils a comprehensive picture of all the author has discovered through analysis of the literary work.'

China Review International

"Paul W. Kroll’s "Heyue yingling ji and the Attributes of High Tang Poetry" challenge today’s views of anthologies and collections.Working on the Heyue yingling ji ?????, an anthology from the High Tang, Kroll finds very different selections of poems, critical comments on each poet, and a preference for old-style verse."

Hsiang-Lin Shih, St. Olaf College