Li Yu, 1610-1680, was a brilliant comic writer and entertainer, a
thoroughgoing professional whose life was in his work-plays,
stories, a novel, criticism, essays, and poems. Hanan places him in
the society of his day, where even his precarious livelihood, his
constant search for patronage, did not dampen his versatility, his
irreverent wit, or his jocund spirit. Li was an exceptional figure
in Chinese culture for two reasons: his disregard of the authority
of tradition, and his dedication to the cause of comedy.
Harvard University Press
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