Tang Hsien-Tsu

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

T’ang Hsien-Tsu


Born Sept. 24, 1550, in Linch’uan, in Chianghsi Province; died there July 29, 1616. Chinese playwright and poet.

The plays of T’ang Hsien-tsu extolled natural human feelings and censured neo-Confucian rationalism. The Purple Flute (1579) and its revised version, The Purple Hairpin (c. 1587), portrayed the unhappy love of an actress and an aristocratic youth. In the drama The Peony Pavilion (1598) the hero resurrects his beloved from the dead through the power of love. The plays The Ruler of Nank’o (1600) and Dream in Hantan (1601) express a sense of the precariousness of human life.

The poetry and rhythmic prose of T’ang Hsien-tsu have innovative features. T’ang Hsien-tsu and his followers, known as the Lin-ch’uan school, scorned poetic canons and asserted that emotions were the main stimulus of creativity.


Tang Hsien-tsu chi, vols. 1–4. Peking, 1962.


Riftin, B. L. “Teoriia kitaiskoi dramy.” In Problemy teorii literatury i estetiki v stranakh Vostoka. Moscow, 1964.
Manukhin, V. S. “Drama Tan Sian’tszu Kho Siaoiui, Hi Istoriiapur-pumoi shpil’ki.” In Voprosy kitaiskoi fililogii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1974.
Hsü Shuo-fang. Tang Hsien-tsu nien-p’u. Peking, 1958.
Hou Wai-lu. Lun Tang Hsien-tsu chü-tso ssu chung. Peking, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(8.) See Lai Ming, "Libretti of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties: The Life of Tang Hsien-tsu and His Works," in A History of Chinese Literature (London: Cassell, 1964), 245-51.