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II. Poétique du rêveur lettré

The Dream of the “Talented Man”: Dream Allusions in Qing Poet Li E’s (1692-1752) Youxian Poetry

Le rêve de l’« Homme de talent » : les allusions oniriques dans les poèmes Youxian de Li E (1692-1752)
“才子”之夢: 清代詩人厲鶚遊仙詩中的夢幻典故
Yanning Wang
p. 129-152

Abstracts

In the Chinese poetic genre of youxian (roaming as a transcendent) which excels at fantasizing the other world, writers strive to demonstrate their erudition by refashioning the existing materials from the treasure-trove of Chinese literary and religious texts. By focusing on the case of Li E (1692–1752), a leading Qing poet who wrote as many as three hundred youxian poems, this article explores how dream allusions help personalize the poet’s self-expression in such a conventional genre. It argues that despite the intricate and often obscure content of his youxian poems, studying Li’s use of dream allusions can sharpen our understanding of his poems, especially his literary constructions of an extraordinarily talented man.

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Excerpt

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Outline

Dreaming of Literary Immortality: Prefaces and Inscriptions
Weaving Dream Allusions into One Man’s Dream
Conclusion

First lines

In Chinese literary history, where dream played a significant role, the Ming-Qing period (1368-1911) was considered especially important for dream studies, since both dream theories and the use of dream in literature became more developed compared to previous periods. As an indispensable part of the 2000-year history of Chinese youxian shi (poetry of roaming as a transcendent), the Ming-Qing period also witnessed the rise of the prolific poets in this genre, such as Feng Ban (1604-1671) and Li E (1692-1752), who composed fifty and three hundred youxian poems respectively. However, most previous studies of youxian poetry focused on Tang (618-907) and pre-Tang periods, and the studies on the post-Tang eras had been largely ignored. In addition to the conventional assumption that youxian poetry was only prosperous during the Tang and pre-Tang, the dearth of post-Tang research also reflects the difficulty of interpreting youxian poetry due to its often obscure content. This article aims...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Yanning Wang, “The Dream of the “Talented Man”: Dream Allusions in Qing Poet Li E’s (1692-1752) Youxian Poetry”Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident, 42 | 2018, 129-152.

Electronic reference

Yanning Wang, “The Dream of the “Talented Man”: Dream Allusions in Qing Poet Li E’s (1692-1752) Youxian Poetry”Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident [Online], 42 | 2018, Online since 01 December 2020, connection on 16 May 2021. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/942; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/extremeorient.942

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About the author

Yanning Wang

(fr) Professeure assistante à l’université d’État de Floride (Florida State University). Ses travaux portent sur la littérature et la culture chinoise pré-modernes, l’écriture féminine aux époques Ming et Qing, ou encore sur la littérature chinoise et la religion. Outre plusieurs articles scientifiques, elle a publié une monographie, Reverie and Reality: Poetry on Travel by Late Imperial Chinese Women (Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 2014).
(en) Associate Professor of Chinese at Florida State University, USA. Her research interests include pre-modern Chinese literature and culture, late imperial (Ming-Qing) women’s writing, and Chinese literature and religion. In addition to her scholarly articles, she is the author of the book Reverie and Reality: Poetry on Travel by Late Imperial Chinese Women (Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 2014).

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