A Controversial Poet, a Forgotten Dynasty: Jin Dynasty Poets’ Reception of Bai Juyi and Its Historical Significance

in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
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A certain dispute that arose during the early Jin dynasty regarding Bai Juyi that seemed to be a coincidental occurrence was to some extent inevitable. On one hand, it foreshadowed the opposition that would later arise between followers of the Tang and Song stylistic schools; on the other, it represented both the Tang school poets’ disdain for the “ornamental avant-garde” poetry that was fashionable at the time as well as their own search for a new creative direction. The re-evaluation of Bai Juyi that occurred during that period, particularly the frequent comparison of Bai to Tao Yuanming, indicates that Bai Juyi’s poetry was widely accepted at the time, which itself represented not only a challenge to traditional perspectives, but also a historical landmark in Bai Juyi’s history of acceptance. Jin dynasty poets’ creative imitation of Bai Juyi’s carefree as well as his satirical poems spurred a maturation of Bai’s spirit of concern for self and reality, which later incorporated itself into the spirit of Chinese literati in general.

A Controversial Poet, a Forgotten Dynasty: Jin Dynasty Poets’ Reception of Bai Juyi and Its Historical Significance

in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

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