In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree - SciHi BlogSciHi Blog
Kublai Khan's ascendancy in marked a definite change in Mongol name Yeke Mongghol Ulus (“Great Mongol Nation”) adopted by Genghis Khan about the companionship of nökör relations was not enough to amalgamate the. 4 days ago Kublai Khan was the fourth son of Tolui, the youngest of Genghis's four of Shangdu (the Xanadu of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous poem). "Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment" /ˌkʊblə ˈkɑːn/ is a poem written by Coleridge, when composing the poem, believed in a connection between nature and the divine but believed that the only dome that should serve as.
Confucianism Confucianism was perceived by the Mongols as a Chinese religion, and it had mixed fortunes under their rule. The teachings of the Neo-Confucian school of Zhu Xi from the Song period were introduced to the Mongol court at Zhongdu in the late s but were confined to limited circles there and in northern China. Confucian scholars enjoyed the benefits extended to the clergy of all religions, but they were dealt a strong blow when the literary examinations were discontinued following the Mongol conquest.
For many centuries the examinations, based on Confucian texts, had been the basis for the selection of officials and for their privileged position within the state and society.
Under their stewardship a certain Confucianization took place in government and education. Chinese rituals were performed for a while in the dynastic temple taimiaoerected in Zhongdu in State sacrifices were offered to Confuciusand the study of the Classics was encouraged. However, many of the rites observed at the court that were either Tibetan Buddhist or inherited from the Mongol nomadic past were continued. The emperor Buyantu reigned —20one of the most Sinicized Mongol rulers, reintroduced the examination system inbut it remains doubtful how well the examinations functioned.
They certainly did not guarantee an official career, as those under the Song and, to a certain extent, under the Jin had done. The system of the Yuan, as introduced inprovided different types of curricula for Mongols, other foreigners semurenand Chinese; also, the requirements were different: Chinese had to show their complete mastery of the curriculum, whereas Mongols and other foreigners had to give only a mediocre performance. This inequality was even formalized for the candidates who were to be admitted to the state academy guozijian.
The first examinations were held in the presence of the emperor inand, of the persons granted the title of doctor jinshi75 were Mongols, 75 were other foreigners, 75 were northern Chinese hanrenand 75 came from southern China; they all received official positions within the bureaucracy, Mongols the higher and Chinese the lower posts. The positions of power within the hierarchy remained in the hands of the Mongols and other foreigners.
Under Buyantu, for the first time the interpretation and commentaries of the Neo-Confucian school were made obligatory. This cemented Neo-Confucian ideology not only among the Chinese literati who wished to pass an examination but also for future generations. Chinese Confucian orthodoxy from the 14th to the 19th century therefore rested largely on the foundations it had received under the Yuan.
In spite of all this, Classical scholarship under the Yuan did not produce a single remarkable work but struggled under an adverse political and intellectual climate. Striving to preserve their sacred tradition, the Confucian scholars were content with expounding the doctrines laid down by the Song philosophers, seeking to harmonize the different philosophical issues and points of view rather than exploring new horizons.
Literature Chinese literature of the period also showed conservative tendencies. Poetry composition remained a favourite pastime of the educated class, including the Sinicized scholars of Mongol, Central Asian, and western Asian origins, but no great works or stylistic innovations were created.
During the last chaotic decades of the Yuan, some notable poets emerged, such as the versatile Yang Weizhen and the bold and unconventional Gao Qi. Many prose works dealing with contemporary events and persons were written under the Yuan, but these are notable for their content, not their literary merit. Surprisingly harsh criticism and satire against the Mongols and also undisguised Song loyalism found open expression, presumably because the Mongols were uninterested in what the Chinese wrote in Chinese and, moreover, were mostly unable to read it.
Some writers collected rare or interesting and piquant items and transmitted many aspects of Song culture to future generations. The lament for the refinement and grandeur of the Song is a constant theme in Yuan writings.
During the early Yuan period, the traditional Chinese official historiography was restored under the charge of the Hanlin Academywhich sponsored the compilation of the official dynastic histories of the Song, Liao, and Jin states conquered by the Mongols and undertook the compilation of the reign chronicles shilu and other governmental compendiums.
The major achievement of official historiography was the compilation —33 of the Jingshi dadian, a repository of juan chapters of official documents and laws; the text is now lost. Private historiography, especially works on the events of the Song, fared rather poorly under the Yuan because of the adverse political and intellectual climate.
In urban society a literature in the vernacular language began to flourish, untrammeled by rigid norms of formalistic or ideological orthodoxy. Novels and stories were written for the amusement of a wide-reading public, and dramatic literature reached such a peak in Yuan China that later literary criticism regarded the Yuan as the classical age for operatic arias, or qu a word that is also used for a full opera, with arias and chanted recitatives.The Mongol Empire "Kublai Khan" History Channel
This phenomenon may perhaps be considered as evidence that under the Yuan a certain urbanization took place and something like a bourgeoisie emerged, because dramatic literature and colloquial novels found their clientele chiefly among the merchant and artisan classes.
Foreigners, chiefly of Turkic or Persian origin, also contributed to Chinese literature under the Yuan. They wrote poetry and painted in the Chinese way in order to distinguish themselves in fields where they could gain prestige among the educated Chinese. All the foreigners who wrote in Chinese seem to have avoided any reference to their foreign origin or creed. Nothing, in fact, could be more Chinese than their productions.
Even foreigners who, like the Persians, came from a country with a considerable literary tradition of its own never attempted to introduce their native forms, subject matter, or religions. No literary symbiosis seemed possible, and, although China was exposed to more external influences under the Yuan than ever before, Chinese literature shows little effect from such contacts with the outside world.
It is perhaps symptomatic that under the Yuan no literary works from other civilizations were translated into Chinese and that practically no translations of Chinese Classical and historical works into Mongol have survived. There seemed to be only the alternatives of complete rejection of Chinese civilization, as practiced by most Mongols, or wholesale absorption by Chinese culture.
The arts Conservatism played a dominant role in the arts during the Mongol period. Song, Liao, and Jin ceramic types were continued, often altered only by increased bulk, while the great artistic achievement of the era, blue-and-white wareprobably derived from non-imperial sources.
Government-sponsored Buddhist sculpture often attained high artistic standards, preserving the realism and powerful expression of Tang and Song traditions, while in the finest sculpture of the time, such as the reliefs at Juyong Pass north of Dadu —45this was combined with a flamboyant surface decor and a striking dramatization better suited to foreign taste than to the increasingly restrained Chinese aesthetic.
Conservatism also tempered the private arts of calligraphy and painting: Conservatism, however, often took the form of a creative revival that combed the past for sources of inspiration and then artistically transformed them into a new idiom. In calligraphy, Zhao Mengfu gave new impetus to the 4th-century style of Wang Xizhiwhich then became a standard for Chinese writing and book printing for centuries.
In painting, Zhao and his contemporary Qian Xuan helped to complete the development of a distinctively amateur style that ushered in a new phase in the history of Chinese painting. Their work did not continue that of the previous generation but ranged widely over the available past tradition, and past styles rather than observed objects became the subject of artistic interpretation.
The naturalism of Song painting gave way to calligraphically inspired abstractions. Paintings became closely linked in style to the written inscriptions that appeared upon them with increasing frequency and prominence. Skillful professional techniques and overt visual attractiveness were avoided, replaced by deliberate awkwardness and an intellectualized flavour. Their works were done for private purposes, often displaying or concealing personal and political motives, to be understood only by fellow literati through the subtle allusions of their subject matter, stylistic references, or inscriptions.
Courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China Naturalistic painting styles also continued in popularity throughout the first two-thirds of the period, painted by such important artists as Li Kan and Ren Renfa. Perpetuating northern traditions of the Tang and Song periods, these styles were practiced chiefly by scholar-officials associated with the court at the capital.
Several members of the Mongol royal family became major patrons or collectors of such conservative styles, although imperial patronage remained slight in comparison with earlier periods.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; purchase Nelson Trust In the latter third of the dynasty, with a sharp decline in the practice of painting by scholar-officials and northerners, Yuan painting was increasingly represented by the innovative approach of Zhao Mengfu as practiced by reclusive scholars from the Suzhou -Wuxing area.
Four of these—the landscape painters Huang GongwangWu ZhenNi Zanand Wang Meng —transformed and blended certain elements from the past into highly personal, easily recognizable styles and later came to be known as the Four Masters of the Yuan dynasty.
In the early Ming period the Hongwu emperor decimated the Suzhou literati and with it Suzhou painting; by the end of the 15th century, however, Suzhou artists once again dominated Chinese painting, and the styles of the Four Masters became the most influential of all painting models in later Chinese history. In China too they eliminated state trade controls that had existed under the Song and Jin, so that internal and external trade reached unprecedented proportions.
Silkthe Chinese export commodity par excellence, reached the Middle East and even Europe via the caravan routes across Asia; Chinese ceramics were also exported, chiefly into the Islamic countries. The Asian countries concentrated their European trade largely with the Italian republics e. To the Italians, trade with the East was so important that the Practica della mercatura, a handbook on foreign tradeincluded the description of trade routes to China.
Direct contacts between China and Europe were insignificant, however, even though China was part of an empire stretching from Dadu to southern Russia. Chinese historical and geographic literature had little to say about the European parts of the Mongol empire; in the official dynastic history of the Yuan, references to foreign countries are limited to countries such as Korea, JapanNam VietMyanmar Burmaand Champa, with which China had carried on trade or tributary relations for centuries, and there are some scattered data on Russia.
For some time a Russian guards regiment existed in Dadu, and some Russian soldiers were settled in military colonies in eastern Manchuria. During the reign of Kublai Khan, Arab-Persian astronomy and astronomical instruments were introduced into China, and the Chinese astronomer Guo Shoujing operated an observatory.
Nevertheless, the basic conceptions of astronomy remained Chinese, and no attempt was made to adopt the Middle Eastern mathematical and theoretical framework. Similarly, Middle Eastern physicians and surgeons practiced successfully in China, but Chinese medical theory remained uninfluenced by Western practices.
In geography a Chinese world map of the 14th century incorporates Arabic geographical knowledge into the Chinese worldview. It shows not only China and the adjacent countries but also the Middle East, Europe, and Africa; the African continent is already given in its actual triangular shape.
But this knowledge probably never spread beyond a limited circle of professional geographers, and it is certain that the Sino-centric world conception continued unchallenged under the Yuan dynasty; no curiosity of what lay beyond the Chinese borders was aroused. For the countries to be reached by sea such as Southeast Asian countries and IndiaChinese works of the Yuan offer only a poor extract from the Song work Zhufanzhi c. The situation was different regarding European knowledge of China.
The Mongol advance into eastern Europe had given Europeans an acute awareness that actual people lived in regions hitherto shrouded in vague folkloric legends and myths. The Islamic world had similarly become a reality to Europeans with the first Crusades.
It was, therefore, only natural that the Roman Catholic Church looked for potential converts among non-Muslim people of Asia. After Franciscan envoys brought back information on what was known as Cathay northern China in the midth century, Pope Nicholas IVa former Franciscan, dispatched a Franciscan mission to the court of the grand khan in Dadu known in Europe as Cambaluc.
The missionaries formed the nucleus of a Catholic hierarchy on Chinese soil: Cambaluc became the seat of an archbishopric, and in a bishopric was established in Quanzhou.
MARCO POLO AND KUBLAI KHAN | Facts and Details
A renowned Franciscan missionary was Odoric of Pordenonewho traveled in China in the s; his reports, together with letters written by other Catholic missionaries, brought firsthand information on China to medieval Europe and today throw some light on the earliest missionary work in China. The Franciscan mission, which had to compete with the Nestorian clergy, was carried on more by the foreigners in China than by the Chinese themselves.
The friars preached in Tatar i. Significantly, no Chinese source mentions the activities of these missionaries; the Chinese probably regarded the Franciscans as one of the many strange, foreign sects, perhaps an outlandish variety of Buddhism.
Archaeological evidence of the presence of Europeans and of Roman Catholicism has been discovered only in modern times; one example is from Yangzhou in present-day Jiangsuwhere the Latin inscription on a tombstone dated is a record of the death of an Italian lady whose name suggests some relation to a Venetian family engaged in trade with Asia. Only the last direct contact between the papal see and Yuan China can be corroborated by both Western and Chinese sources.
The mission reached the summer capital, Shangdu, in Chinese sources recorded the date of its audience as Aug. The country the envoys came from is given by the Chinese source as Fulang, a Chinese version of the name Farang Frankswhich was used in the Middle East as a general term for Europeans.
The arrival of envoys from what must have seemed the end of the world so impressed the court that an artist was commissioned to paint a portrait of the battle horse that Marignola had brought as a present; this portrait was still extant in the 18th century but is now lost. It is possible that the poem was recited to his friends during this time and was kept for private use instead of publication.
However, the exact date of the poem is uncertain because Coleridge normally dated his poems but did not date Kubla Khan. May and October These were both times he was in the area, and, byColeridge was able to read Robert Southey 's Thalaba the Destroyer, a work which also drew on Purchas's work. It is possible that he merely edited the poem during those time periods, and there is little evidence to suggest that Coleridge lied about the opium-induced experience at Ash Farm.
Leigh Huntthe poet and essayist, witnessed the event and wrote, "He recited his 'Kubla Khan' one morning to Lord Byron, in his Lordship's house in Piccadilly, when I happened to be in another room.
I remember the other's coming away from him, highly struck with his poem, and saying how wonderfully he talked. This was the impression of everyone who heard him. A contract was drawn up on 12 April for 80 pounds. However, not everyone was happy with the idea of the poem's being published, as Coleridge's wife, who was not with him, wrote to Thomas Poole"Oh! In some later anthologies of Coleridge's poetry, the Preface is dropped along with the subtitle denoting its fragmentary and dream nature.
Sometimes, the Preface is included in modern editions but lacks both the first and final paragraphs. While incomplete and subtitled a "fragment", its language is highly stylised with a strong emphasis on sound devices that change between the poem's original two stanzas. The first stanza of the poem describes Khan's pleasure dome built alongside a sacred river fed by a powerful fountain.
The second stanza of the poem is the narrator's response to the power and effects of an Abyssinian maid's song, which enraptures him but leaves him unable to act on her inspiration unless he could hear her once again.
Together, they form a comparison of creative power that does not work with nature and creative power that is harmonious with nature.
Kublai Khan: China's favourite barbarian
The poem according to Coleridge's account, is a fragment of what it should have been, amounting to what he was able to jot down from memory: The second stanza is not necessarily part of the original dream and refers to the dream in the past tense. The poem relies on many sound-based techniques, including cognate variation and chiasmus. Its rhyme scheme found in the first seven lines is repeated in the first seven lines of the second stanza.
There is a heavy use of assonancethe reuse of vowel sounds, and a reliance on alliteration, repetition of the first sound of a word, within the poem including the first line: The stressed sounds, "Xan", "du", "Ku", "Khan", contain assonance in their use of the sounds a-u-u-a, have two rhyming syllables with "Xan" and "Khan", and employ alliteration with the name "Kubla Khan" and the reuse of "d" sounds in "Xanadu" and "did".
To pull the line together, the "i" sound of "In" is repeated in "did". Later lines do not contain the same amount of symmetry but do rely on assonance and rhymes throughout. The only word that has no true connection to another word is "dome" except in its use of a "d" sound. Though the lines are interconnected, the rhyme scheme and line lengths are irregular. The lines of the second stanza incorporate lighter stresses to increase the speed of the meter to separate them from the hammer-like rhythm of the previous lines.
After reading from Purchas's book,  "The Author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he had the most vivid confidence, that he could not have composed less than from two or three hundred lines On Awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved.
Instead, the effects of the opium, as described, are intended to suggest that he was not used to its effects. It was a rare book, unlikely to be at a "lonely farmhouse", nor would an individual carry it on a journey; the folio was heavy and almost pages in size. As a symbol within the preface, the person represents the obligations of the real world crashing down upon the creative world or other factors that kept Coleridge from finishing his poetry.
The claim to produce poetry after dreaming of it became popular after "Kubla Khan" was published. Rauber claimed that the man was "necessary to create the illusion of the cut short rather than the stopped". When the Preface is dropped, the poem seems to compare the act of poetry with the might of Kubla Khan instead of the loss of inspiration causing the work to have a more complex depiction of the poetic power.
Taken together, the Preface could connect with the first half of the poem to suggest that the poem is from the view of a dreaming narrator,  or it could connect with the second half of the poem to show how a reader is to interpret the lines by connecting himself with the persona in a negative manner.
The poet of the Preface is a dreamer who must write and the poet of the poem is a vocal individual, but both are poets who lose inspiration. Only the poet of the poem feels that he can recover the vision, and the Preface, like a Coleridge poem that is quoted in it, The Picture, states that visions are unrecoverable. Although the land is one of man-made "pleasure", there is a natural, "sacred" river that runs past it.
The lines describing the river have a markedly different rhythm from the rest of the passage: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. The finite properties of the constructed walls of Xanadu are contrasted with the infinite properties of the natural caves through which the river runs. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
The version published in reads: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, While the holograph copy handwritten by Coleridge himself the Crewe manuscript, shown at the right says: And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,  The poem expands on the gothic hints of the first stanza as the narrator explores the dark chasm in the midst of Xanadu's gardens, and describes the surrounding area as both "savage" and "holy".
Yarlott interprets this chasm as symbolic of the poet struggling with decadence that ignores nature. Fountains are often symbolic of the inception of life, and in this case may represent forceful creativity. And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reached the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: Yarlott argues that the war represents the penalty for seeking pleasure, or simply the confrontation of the present by the past: The vision of the sites, including the dome, the cavern, and the fountain, are similar to an apocalyptic vision.
Together, the natural and man-made structures form a miracle of nature as they represent the mixing of opposites together, the essence of creativity: It was a miracle of rare device, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice! Harold Bloom suggests that this passage reveals the narrator's desire to rival Khan's ability to create with his own.
A damsel with a dulcimer In a vision once I saw: Could I revive within me Her symphony and song, To such a deep delight 'twould win me, That with music loud and long, I would build that dome in air, That sunny dome! Harold Bloom suggests that the power of the poetic imagination, stronger than nature or art, fills the narrator and grants him the ability to share this vision with others through his poetry.
The narrator would thereby be elevated to an awesome, almost mythical status, as one who has experienced an Edenic paradise available only to those who have similarly mastered these creative powers: His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise. The poem celebrates creativity and how the poet is able to experience a connection to the universe through inspiration.
As a poet, Coleridge places himself in an uncertain position as either master over his creative powers or a slave to it. The poet is separated from the rest of humanity after he is exposed to the power to create and is able to witness visions of truth.
This separation causes a combative relationship between the poet and the audience as the poet seeks to control his listener through a mesmerising technique. The Preface then allows for Coleridge to leave the poem as a fragment, which represents the inability for the imagination to provide complete images or truly reflect reality.
The poem would not be about the act of creation but a fragmentary view revealing how the act works: The poet, in Coleridge's system, is able to move from the world of understanding, where men normally are, and enter into the world of the imagination through poetry. When the narrator describes the "ancestral voices prophesying war", the idea is part of the world of understanding, or the real world. As a whole, the poem is connected to Coleridge's belief in a secondary Imagination that can lead a poet into a world of imagination, and the poem is both a description of that world and a description of how the poet enters the world.
The water imagery is also related to the divine and nature, and the poet is able to tap into nature in a way Kubla Khan cannot to harness its power. In his Biographia Literariahe explained, "I sought for a subject, that should give equal room and freedom for description, incident, and impassioned reflections on men, nature, and society, yet supply in itself a natural connection to the parts and unity to the whole.
Such a subject I conceived myself to have found in a stream, traced from its source in the hills among the yellow-red moss and conical glass-shaped tufts of bent, to the first break or fall, where its drops become audible, and it begins to form a channel". Additionally, many of the images are connected to a broad use of Ash Farm and the Quantocks in Coleridge's poetry, and the mystical settings of both Osorio and "Kubla Khan" are based on his idealised version of the region.
However, the styles are very different as one is heavily structured and rhymed while the other tries to mimic conversational speech.
What they do have in common is that they use scenery based on the same location, including repeated uses of dells, rocks, ferns, and a waterfall found in the Somerset region.
When considering all of The Picture and not just the excerpt, Coleridge describes how inspiration is similar to a stream and that if an object is thrown into it the vision is interrupted. They were seen as worshippers of the sun, but uncivilised and connected to either the Cain or Ham line of outcasts. However, Coleridge describes Khan in a peaceful light and as a man of genius. He seeks to show his might but does so by building his own version of paradise.
The description and the tradition provide a contrast between the daemonic and genius within the poem, and Khan is a ruler who is unable to recreate Eden.
Though the imagery can be dark, there is little moral concern as the ideas are mixed with creative energies. Nature, in the poem is not a force of redemption but one of destruction, and the paradise references reinforce what Khan cannot attain.
The place was described in negative terms and seen as an inferior representation of paradise, and Coleridge's ethical system did not connect pleasure with joy or the divine. The river, Alph, replaces the one from Eden that granted immortality[ citation needed ] and it disappears into a sunless sea that lacks life.
In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree
The image is further connected to the Biblical, post-Edenic stories in that a mythological story attributes the violent children of Ham becoming the Tatars, and that Tartarus, derived from the location, became a synonym for hell. Coleridge believed that the Tatars were violent, and that their culture was opposite to the civilised Chinese. In the manuscript copy, the location was named both Amora and Amara, and the location of both is the same. In post-Milton accounts, the kingdom is linked with the worship of the sun, and his name is seen to be one that reveals the Khan as a priest.
This is reinforced by the connection of the river Alph with the Alpheus, a river that in Greece was connected to the worship of the sun. As followers of the sun, the Tatar are connected to a tradition that describes Cain as founding a city of sun worshippers and that people in Asia would build gardens in remembrance of the lost Eden. Kubla Khan is of the line of Cain and fallen, but he wants to overcome that state and rediscover paradise by creating an enclosed garden.
The dome, in Thomas Maurice's description, in The History of Hindostan of the tradition, was related to nature worship as it reflects the shape of the universe. Coleridge, when composing the poem, believed in a connection between nature and the divine but believed that the only dome that should serve as the top of a temple was the sky. He thought that a dome was an attempt to hide from the ideal and escape into a private creation, and Kubla Khan's dome is a flaw that keeps him from truly connecting to nature.
Maurice's History of Hindostan also describes aspects of Kashmir that were copied by Coleridge in preparation for hymns he intended to write. The work, and others based on it, describe a temple with a dome. The use of dome instead of house or palace could represent the most artificial of constructs and reinforce the idea that the builder was separated from nature. However, Coleridge did believe that a dome could be positive if it was connected to religion, but the Khan's dome was one of immoral pleasure and a purposeless life dominated by sensuality and pleasure.
She is a figure of imaginary power within the poem who can inspire within the narrator his own ability to craft poetry. The connection between Lewti and the Abyssinian maid makes it possible that the maid was intended as a disguised version of Mary Evanswho appears as a love interest since Coleridge's poem The Sigh. Evans, in the poems, appears as an object of sexual desire and a source of inspiration.