Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This article takes an interdisciplinary approach to a comprehensive examination of the life, poetry, and subjectivity of the Daoist priestess-poet Yu Xuanji of Tang China. It begins with a philological study and textual analysis that reconstructs Yu’s life and psychological experience. Through close readings of her poems, interpretations of their images and symbols, and analyses of their syntax and structure, the article then undertakes a nuanced interpretation of Yu’s works that reveals her strong subjectivity and acknowledges her poetic achievements. By situating her work within its cultural-religious contexts and applying a feminist and gender critical lens to her writings, the article also foregrounds Yu’s gender awareness and agency as a Daoist priestess and dispels the false label of “courtesan” placed on her by discourses of later ages.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1645
Print ISSN
0732-7730
Pages
pp. 25-57
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-25
Open Access
No
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