On behalf of the T'ang Studies Society, it is with sadness that we wish to notify subscribers of the passing of Elling Eide. Professors Michael Drompp, Paul Kroll, and Victor Mair composed the following tribute to him to share with the scholarly community.
It is with great sadness that we report the loss of a Life Member of the Society, Elling O. Eide, born August 22, 1935, who passed away during the night of January 2, 2012, after a long illness.
With Elling Eide’s death we have in reality lost many persons, for Elling’s life and work do not fit easily into a single category. He was first and foremost a fine scholar. The best example of his mature work is certainly the seminal article, “On Li Po,” published in 1973 in the symposium volume, Perspectives on the T’ang. His lovely book of translations, Poems by Li Po, printed elegantly to his exact specifications in a limited edition by the Anvil Press of Lexington, Kentucky in 1984, is at once a sumptuous example of printers’ art and a testament to his meticulous translation practice. His contributions to the T’ang Studies journal, including his genial excursuses on “The Great Heavenly Treasure Scandal” (TS 1 and 3) and his incomparable translation of Han Yu’s “Mao Ying zhuan” (TS 8-9), will forever display his unique gifts.
Elling was an indefatigable supporter of the T’ang Studies Society. In the early years it was his abiding generosity that assured the continued existence and fostered the growth of the Society. His beneficence allowed the Society, most importantly, to publish and distribute the journal, and it also supported the annual reception. Although he himself was often unable to attend, he wanted to make sure that members and guests experienced a memorable gathering that would, he hoped, serve as homage to the Great Tang.
He was an inquisitive and voracious researcher who enjoyed discussing all manner of topics with his friends. He was a philanthropist whose love of the study of languages and linguistics led him to endow a chair in Southeast U.S. Native American languages at the University of Florida. He was a fancier of fine plants (especially citruses) and noble canines (especially foundlings). He was an engaging conversationalist and a good friend. Elling Eide was an extraordinary and unforgettable person, a true original. For those of us lucky enough to have known him, we feel the loss of an immensely generous and intellectually engaged friend. For all of us in the T’ang Studies Society, we mourn his passing but also celebrate a life characterized by the love of learning and of the finer things to be found in both the present and the past.
Michael R. Drompp
Paul W. Kroll
Anna M. Shields, Assoc. Prof. of Chinese
President, T'ang Studies Society
Associate Editor for East Asia, JAOS
Dept. of MLLI, ACIV 146
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD 21250 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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