Confucian Prophet: Political Thought In Du Fu’s Poetry (752–757)

by David K. Schneider


"An engaging piece of scholarship," which "raises thought-provoking questions while demonstrating solid command of relevant texts." [Regarding the objective to] "establish that Du was troubled by a political system that allowed powerful families to live luxuriously at court while the people suffered amid deteriorating conditions in the mid-750s, and that he produced powerful art to register his objections," "Schneider has accomplished this and much more by reviving the question of how exactly Du Fu’s artistry relates to the grand political and social issues of his day." – Journal of Asian Studies

“This is the best study of a single Chinese poet I have seen in decades. And the best study of Du Fu known to me. David Schneider goes beyond previous works in revealing what might be called the source of Du Fu’s gravitas. What is especially refreshing is that the author, while making use of well-selected modern authorities to cast light on Du Fu’s poetry, is equally careful never to embrace their “theories” fully, with the ancillary danger of anachronism which taints so much contemporary “humanities” scholarship. The combination of empathy and critical thinking here is exemplary. The author writes eloquently and clearly, and is a very fine translator indeed, and gives us some of the very finest translations of Du Fu we now possess.” – Jonathan Chaves, George Washington University


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