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- Qin Shi #43
琴史 #43 2
Qu Yuan at the river's edge (selection) 3
Melodies associated with Qu Yuan include the following (see also Chu Ci):
Of course, there is no historical justification for claims that Qu Yuan himself created any of these melodies - rather they were inspired by stories of him.
The original Qin Shi essay begins as follows.9
Translation not completed.
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
References for Qu Yuan (Chü Yuan)
屈原 7845.70 戰國楚人，名平別號靈均. Qu Yuan, from Chu during the Warring States period, had the original name Ping and another nickname Lingjun....
The earliest major source of information on Qu Yuan is his biography in the Annals of History (世紀 Shi Ji) by 司馬遷 Sima Qian
(Annal 84, translated in both Watson and Nienhauser).
Qin Shi #43: 9 lines
Qu Yuan image
The above is from Image 1 illustrating the melody Zepan Yin.
Miluo River 汨羅 (sometimes written Milo;
17563.3 Miluo has Luo with the water radical (character not in my computer), saying it is a variant of 汨羅 Miluo formerly used for the river of that name that flows westward into the Xiang River between Changsha and Yueyang. The entry 17563.1 汨羅 mentions only a Milo River in Jiangxi, but the one above Changsha is the one now commonly associated with Qu Yuan. The biography in Qin Shi says Qu Yuan "自投汨淵以死 threw himself into the 汨淵 depths of the Mi river in order to die."
Criticism of Qu Yuan's suicide
The following is from "Wang Yi and the Woman Who Commissioned the Chu Ci zhangju", in Gopal Sukhu, The Shaman and the Heresiarch: a new interpretation of the Li Sao (Albany: SUNY Press, 2012), p. 59):
Such criticism continued, but was largely drowned out by his general acclamation as a hero and (in modern terms) as a patriot.
Dragon Boat Festival (龍舟節 Longzhou Jie)
The more general name for the festival is 端午節 Duanwu Jie - Festival of the 5th Day of the 5th Lunar Month, a date somewhat corresponding to the summer solstice. In some places celebrations on this date actually precede the commemoration of Qu Yuan, in other places they began later. This, as well as the criticism of the suicide mentioned above, perhaps helps explain why there are some alternate stories for its origin.
For example, in some places the person commemorated has been 伍子胥 Wu Zi Xu (d. 484 BCE), forced to commit suicide by the king he advised; it is said that after his forced suicide his body was thrown into the river (perhaps near Suzhou).
In other places Dragon Festival has commemorated a young girl named 曹蛾 Cao E (Cao Er). According to this story, dating from the Eastern Han (25-220 AD), Cao E lost her mother when she was a baby. She then lived happily with her father until he drowned when she was 14. Grief-stricken, she searched up and down the river for days then finally, on the 5th day of the 5th month, jumped into the river and drowned. Fisherman searching for her finally found her body underwater, embracing her father's corpse. (She is mentioned in the song
曹蛾蜀側調 Cao E Shu Cediao).
Song of Drowning Oneself (自沈曲 Zi Chen Qu)
30767.xxx; I cannot recall where this was listed.
Lament of Drowning in the Xiang (沉湘怨
Chen Xiang Yuan)
Qin Shi biography of Qu Yuan
The original Chinese text is as follows:
Complete translation not yet available.
Return to QSCB, or to the Guqin ToC.