Wu Yun (d. 778) was prominent poet at the Tang court. His biography of the Daoist ritualist Lu Xiujing (406-77) can be read on several levels. It functions as a source of information on Lu's life and works, but a reading focused on this alone is insufficient. Conventions of Chinese biography dictate the text is read not just with an eye towards who Lu "really was," but also how he functions as a character fashioned by an author for certain purposes. With this in mind, the reader can learn not just about Lu, but about the audience of the text and the aims of its author. Lu functioned as a model for later Daoist masters and as an exhortation to proper conduct towards them on the part of rulers and elites. Finally, with reference to the work of Michel Foucault and scholars of collective memory, this work can be read as a window onto the world of discourse in early medieval China.