Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yuan Zhen

Yuan Zhen , courtesy name Weizhi , was an important Chinese writer and poet in the middle Tang Dynasty known for his work ''Yingying's Biography''.

A native of Luoyang, Yuan was a descendant of Northern Wei's ruling elites. He lost his father at the age of eight and moved to Fengxiang, near today's with his mother Lady Zheng . Yuan began his writings at the age of fifteen, he was a member of Bai Juyi's literary circle and a key figure in the ancient literature revival. He was a friend of Bai Juyi and also of Xue Tao, a courtesan and famous poet who might have been his lover.

Yuan was the author of ''Yingying's Biography'' which was adapted for operas and songs. In 813, he wrote a grave inscription for Du Fu, which contains some of the earliest known praise for his predecessor's works.

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