Yuan Zhen (Yüan Chen) 779-831

Tang-dynasty poet and statesman. After passing the bacui [highly selective] palace examination in 803, Yuan Zhen was appointed Reminder of the Left. Presentation of a ten-point plan for reform to the Emperor resulted in his banishment for the capital. Exposure of corruption in eastern Sichuan led to further banishment. He was, however, sought out when Emperor Muzong came to the throne and appointed to high office. In literature, Yuan Zhen was one of the leaders of the new yuefu movement which advocated structural freedom, seriousness of intent and simplicity of language. Yuan edited his own complete works in 823, and later did the same for his friend, Bai Juyi. Yuan Zhen was also the author of the story "Yingying zhuan" [The story of Yingying] which later evolved into the Yuan-dynasty drama Xixiang ji [The West Chamber story].