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A Little Primer of Tu Fu Paperback – November, 1988

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-9627255024 ISBN-10: 9627255025 Edition: Revised

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Paperback, November, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Tu Fu is...the greatest non-epic, non-dramatic poet who has survived in any language.”—Kenneth Rexroth --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tu Fu (712–770) lived during a time when the Tang dynasty was wracked by war, mass dislocation, and starvation. A minor bureaucrat, a refugee, and a political exile, he wavered between the Confucian ideal of serving his country and the Taoist dream of a hermitage in nature. He lived both.
 
David Hawkes (1923–2009) was for many years a professor of Chinese and later a research fellow at Oxford University. His translations included the second-century anthology The Songs of the South and a magisterial multivolume version of Cao Xueqin’s eighteenth-century novel, The Story of the Stone (The Dream of the Red Chamber), considered by many to be the greatest translation into English of Chinese prose. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Renditions Paperbacks; Revised edition (November 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9627255025
  • ISBN-13: 978-9627255024
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,898,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By DocCaligari on May 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is out of print and almost impossible to find used. A copy recently sold for $170 on ebay. But it is a testament to its high quality that people are willing to spend that much to own it.

Tu Fu (AD 712-770) and his contemporary Li Po are the two great masters of Tang Dynasty poetry. To greatly simplify, Li Po is the Taoist free spirit, while Tu Fu is the Confucian, concerned for the welfare of China, from the peasant on up to the emperor. While Li Po's touching and often whimsical accounts of wine and song under moonlight are perennial favorites with audiences around the world, Tu Fu is often considered harder to translate, and hence less accessible to those who do not read Chinese. However, poet and critic Kenneth Rexroth expressed the view that Tu Fu was THE greatest non-epic poet that the world has ever produced, in any language.

David Hawkes was for many years a professor of Chinese at Oxford. He has also published what is perhaps the definitive translation of the great Chinese novel _Story of the Stone_ (also known as _Dream of the Red Chamber_). In _A Little Primer of Tu Fu_, Hawkes has taken thirty-five of Tu Fu's most highly regarded poems, and provided for each

1. the original Chinese text

2. the pronunciation of the text (in Pinyin romanization with tones)

3. a note on the "Title and Subject" of the poem, including a discussion of the poem's context in Chinese history and Tu Fu's life

4. a discussion of the "Form" of the poem ("regulated verse," "old style" etc.), including meter and rhyme

5. a line-by-line "Exegesis" of the poem, which translates each line word-by-word and comments, typically after each couplet, on the word choice, imagery, etc.

6.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Louise Tremblay Cole on April 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book serves as a good general introduction to Chinese poetry. It explains some of the conventions of historical verse forms, and the way they are used by this poet. For the poems of Tu Fu, it provides both a bare-bones, line-by-line translation of the displayed Chinese text, and a good English version of each poem. There is also interesting commentary on the poems, and details of the poet's life.

This is a memorable book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edmund W. Peaslee Jr. on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Containsall DuFu's [pems from the Chinese anthology, 300 Tang Poems. Translations. Chinese text and pinyin romanization. First rate .
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By doctordoctor on August 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Comprehensive.
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