Essays in Medieval Chinese Literature and Cultural History
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 HsÃ¼an 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.