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Tang Cai Zi Zhuan 唐才子传 – Top 100 Books in China

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Commentaries on the poets of Tang and The Five Dynasties


Chinese Name: 唐才子传

English Name: Tang Cai Zi Zhuan

Author: Xin Wenfang 辛文房

Originally Published: AD 1271-1368 (Yuan Dynasty 元朝)

Genre: Commentaries

Brief Introduction of Tang Cai Zi Zhuan

The Tang Cai Zi Zhuan 唐才子传 is a collection of commentaries compiled by Xin Wenfang 辛文房 in the Yuan Dynasty 元朝, which records the brief commentaries of poets in the Tang and Five Dynasties 唐和五代. China is a country of poetry. The Tang Dynasty was the peak of poetry.

The Tang Cai Zi Zhuan consists of ten volumes. This book records the deeds of the poets in the middle and late Tang Dynasty 晚唐 in detail, including some poems of the Five Dynasties. In the book, a large amount of life information of Tang poets is preserved, and the description of their imperial examination experience is more detailed.

Tang Cai Zi Zhuan 唐才子传(卷里内容)
Part of the legend of Tang Cai Zi Zhuan 唐才子传里的部分内容

The Tang Cai Zi Zhuan is listed as a compulsory reading of the introduction to Sinology 国学. It is the crystallization of years of collaborative research by more than 20 Scholars of Tang Dynasty literature and history, and represents the highest achievement in the study of Tang Dynasty poets in the century.

Xin wenfang has drawn from a wide range of sources for this book, most of which can be trusted. It is xin Wenfang’s book that has saved a lot of information about the poets of the Tang Dynasty. This book not only etched the remarkable features of nearly 400 poets from the early Sui and Tang dynasties to the end of the Five Dynasties, but also preserved a large number of poetic criticism materials.

Tang Cai Zi Zhuan 唐才子传(唐著名诗人李白饮酒作诗)
Li Bai, a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty 唐朝著名诗人李白

Author of Tang Cai Zi Zhuan

Xin Wenfang was a native of the Western regions in the early Yuan Dynasty. He once served as a provincial official. He is a poet, with Wang Zhiqian 王执谦, Yang Zai 杨载. He was a genius who loved Tang poetry and admired the temperament of Tang poets.

However, due to the lack of historical materials in the details of his experience had been difficult to make clear, posterity did not know much about his life.


Xin Wenfang 辛文房
Xin Wenfang 辛文房

The style and content of his poems were rich and varied, and he was extremely serious and assiduous in his poetry creation. His main achievement was the compilation of the Tang Cai Zi Zhuan. From this book, we can appreciate Xin Wenfang’s extraordinary ability to read the literature and control the historical materials, and we can see that he knows the origin and evolution of Chinese poetry.

He has profound research on the unprecedented prosperity and brilliant achievements of Tang poetry. It can be seen that he is not only a famous contemporary poet, but also an excellent literary critic.

Excerpts From Tang Cai Zi Zhuan



Repeatedly ostracized for his honesty, Bai juyi indulged himself between poetry and wine. After being reappointed, he met young monarchs again, and his love for an official suddenly became cold and quiet.


Meng Jiao was not good at planning livelihood, very poor, rough clothes, but he never bent low eyebrows shown the appearance of pity.


Liu Yuxi was very talented but exiled, the heart can not be peaceful, aloof and proud character, and people do not get along, so use the article to amuse.

Evaluation of Tang Cai Zi Zhuan

The Tang Cai Zi Zhuan has preserved a lot of valuable historical materials and should be included in the literature reading list.


Lu Xun 鲁迅

Xin Wenfang single-handedly shaped the flourishing poetry of the Tang Dynasty for us.

Ma Yuhui 马玉炜

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