(, 283–343), courtesy name Zhichuan
(稚川), was a minor southern official during the Jìn Dynasty
(263-420) of China
, best known for his interest in Daoism
, and techniques of longevity. Yet religious and esoteric
writing represents only a portion of Ge's considerable literary output, which as a whole, spans a broad range of content and genres.
Although a prolific writer of many literary styles, most of Ge's early work, such as rhapsodies
), verse (shi
), historical commentary, and biographies
, are now lost. His surviving works consist of one volume of hagiographies
, entitled Shenxian zhuan
(Traditions of Divine Transcendents); and two volumes of essays and alchemical writing totaling seventy chapters, collectively entitled Baopuzi
(抱朴子) or "The Master Who Embraces Simplicity", Ge’s sobriquet.In the Neipian
(Inner Chapters) volume of the Baopuzi
, Ge vigorously defends the attainability of divine transcendence or "immortality" through alchemy; the Waipian
(Outer Chapters) volume is almost entirely given to social and literary criticism.
Most of Ge's surviving work demonstrates the influence of notable essayists and thinkers from the Han
period (206 BC- 220 AD) such as Sima Qian
(c. 145-90 BC), and Wang Chong
(c. 27-97), as well as poets
and literati from the post-Han era, such as Ji Kang
(223-262) and Zuo Si
(c. 253-309). Modern scholars have recognized his influence on later writers, such as the Tang dynasty
(618-906) poet Li......