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Routine Production: Publishing Qianlong’s Poetry Collections

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Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799, r. 1735-1795) published his imperial poetry collections at regular intervals during his reign. This article reconstructs the gradual process of routinization of these activities through a close reading of the collections’ prefaces and postscripts. Understanding this process helps us to understand the subtlety of the intra-court communications between Qianlong and his officials, which contextualizes how Qianlong’s intent was delivered, received, and actualized in courtly practice. This routinization process also had a certain influence upon Qianlong and his successors, and suggests a possible reason behind Qianlong’s large poetry production.
L’empereur Qianlong (1711-1799, r. 1735-1795) a publié régulièrement au cours de son règne des collections de ses poèmes. Se fondant sur une étude des préfaces et postfaces de ces collections, cet article reconstruit le processus qui a mené progressivement à établir des procédures routinières en vue de telles publications. Ce processus nous permet de mieux saisir la complexité des communications au sein de la Cour entre Qianlong et ses hauts fonctionnaires, et de contextualiser les manières dont les projets de l’empereur étaient exprimés, compris et mis en œuvre au sein de la Cour. Une telle routinisation a en retour influencé les pratiques de Qianlong et de ses successeurs, et suggère une raison crédible pour la grande abondance de la production poétique de Qianlong.

Affiliations: 1: Beijing Normal University


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