Born 1250(?), in Tatu, present-day Peking; died 1324(?). Chinese playwright and poet during the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty (1280-1368).
Seven of Ma Chin-yiian’s 15 plays have been preserved. They are imbued with grief over the glorious past and are filled with a veiled hostility towards Mongol domination. The majority of the plays are based on legends about the heroic exploits of Taoist saints; the plays glorify steadfastness of spirit and rejection of earthly fame (Mad Jen and The Tower of Yueh-yang). The height of Ma Chih-yiian’s work was the humanistic and lyrical tragedy Autumn In the Han Palace (Russian translation, Sleep Is Driven Away by the Cry of a Lone Goose in Autumn-time at the Han Palace, 1966). The drama concerns the love of the emperor Yiian-ti (48-33 B.C.) for the concubine Wang Chao-chiin. The dramatist exposed the corrupt royal courtiers, who were responsible for the country’s weakness, and glorified purity and fidelity. Ma Chin-yuan was also an important master of the song-poem genre of san ch ‘ii.
WORKSYuan ch’u hsiian, vols. 1-4. Peking, 1961.
REFERENCESSerebriakov, E. A. “O p’ese iuan’skogo dramaturga Ma Chzhi-iuania Osen’ v Khan ’skom dvortse.” In Filologiia stran Vostoka. Leningrad, 1963.
T’an Chen-pi. Yuan ch’u liu ta chia lueh chuan. Peking, 1957.