When I was young, I read an interpretation of the term "elegance," which referred to "the figures of the Wei and Jin Dynasties and the poetry of the late Tang Dynasty." Since then, I have been unable to forget the poetry of the late Tang Dynasty. The dazzling and extraordinary charm dominated my aesthetic appreciation of words for many years thereafter, and became my muse the first time I picked up a pen to write a novel. In the series of works interpreting Tang poetry by the Sinologist Yuwen Suoan, the first two volumes are named "Early Tang Poetry" and "Flourishing Tang Poetry," but the book about the late Tang era is simply called "Late Tang," omitting the word for poetry. I think this is probably because that era after the great catastrophe has a unique temperament; poetry is the late Tang, and the late Tang is poetry.
This book includes 17 stories that I wrote between 2012 and 2020, involving several figures from the Tang Dynasty during and after the An Lushan Rebellion. There are poets caught in the whirlpool of the times, politicians who stir the whirlpool, fictional literary characters, and small figures who have long disappeared into the cracks of history. Of course, this is only my imagined late Tang, a glimpse of a world with all its fragrance and rain, sadly lost in the palm of my hand.
Years later, I learned that the phrase "the figures of the Wei and Jin Dynasties and the poetry of the late Tang Dynasty" came from the Japanese poet Onuma Makurayama. A thousand years later, empires have turned to dust, and the century has disappeared into the shadows, but the people and events, history and poetry of that era still transcend national boundaries, remaining in the collective memory of human civilization. Now, publishing this book on the other side of the ocean may be considered a small response to the things I loved in my youth.