Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Mr Simon Suen and Mrs Mary Suen Sino-Humanitas Institute

Title

Li Bai's "Rhapsody on the Hall of Light": A singular vision of cosmic order

Language

English

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2015. Li Bai's "Rhapsody on the Hall of Light" offers a grand tour and exuberant depiction of the Mingtang, an edifice central to traditional theories of government and ritual. The poem has often been dismissed as belonging to the poet's juvenilia, but more likely reflects the ambition and self-confidence of his youthful prime. It has also been viewed with suspicion because of the Mingtang's associations with the interregnum of Empress Wu, but this only increases its interest for the modern reader. Comparison with its primary models, the epideictic fu of the Han dynasty, shows Li Bai's ability to transform his sources. He inserts his own flourishes within the cosmic order that the Mingtang represents, while recasting the edifice as a symbol of his own creative prowess. The article concludes with the first complete English translation of the "Rhapsody on the Hall of Light.".

Keywords

fu poetry, Hall of Light, High Tang, Li Bai, Mingtang, rhapsody

Publication Date

2015

Source Publication Title

通報 / T'oung Pao

Volume

101

Issue

3-1

Start Page

35

End Page

97

Publisher

Brill Academic Publishers

DOI

10.1163/15685322-10113P02

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15685322-10113P02

ISSN (print)

00825433

ISSN (electronic)

15685322

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