Pacing the Void: T'ang Approaches to the Stars

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9781891640148: Pacing the Void: T'ang Approaches to the Stars
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In the author's own words, this work attempts to recreate, for the 20th-century reader, the sky and the apparitions that ornament it as they were conceived, imagined, and reacted to by the men of T'ang-dynasty China-that is, to suggest what the medieval Chinese . . . thought they saw in the night sky, and how they treated those magic lights in their active lives, their private commitments, and their literary fabrications. Inevitably, this enterprise meant the exploration of the borderlands where science, faith, tradition, invention, and fantasy overlap. Armed with the new awareness that this fascinating work provides, we can better understand the great legacy of art and literature of this greatest period of cultural flowering in Chinese history.

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From the Publisher:

With the reprinting of this title, Floating World Editions inaugurates the reissue of all the out-of-print works of this great Sinologist. When possible, the reprinted works will incorporate the corrigenda compiled by Profesor Schafer, and the series will include a complete bibliography of his published work.

About the Author:

Edward H. Schafer, until his untimely death in 1991, was Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of California, Berkeley. His scholarship was devoted to the T’ang dynasty, from the eighth to the tenth centuries, the period of greatest cultural flowering in Chinese history. Relying on the literature of that period written by the Chinese themselves, Professor Schafer tried to reconstruct how they thought, dreamed, and regarded the world around them. His books, especially the series beginning with The Golden Peaches of Samarkand in 1963 and continuing with The Vermilion Bird, Shore of Pearls, The Divine Woman, and Pacing the Void, brought the era to life for scholars, students, and general readers alike.

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