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Autobiographical Features In Bai Juyi's "Biography Of The Maestro Of Mellow Versification"

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the writing of Bai Juyi, &t;"Zui yin xiansheng zhuan"&t;. Though "Biography" is very brief, it offers a large amount of information on the poet's private life. At the same time it is deeply rooted in the previous literary tradition. In order to reveal its message, the author pens his observations on what is traditional and what is personal in this piece by Bai Juyi. Bai Juyi was one of the prominent poets of the middle period of the Tang dynasty (618-907). Bai's poetry was in vogue already during his lifetime in China and abroad (in Korea and Japan), and is still popular today. This epitaph of an unofficial nature, which emphasized the theme of wine-drinking, contributed much to the formation of the popular image of Bai Juyi. With the help of this enthusiasm and a calm outlook, the poet endeavors to resist age and time.

Keywords: Bai Juyi; biography; drinking; maestro; mellow versification; poet; tradition; Zui yin xiansheng zhuan



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