Commemoration and Communication in Du Fu’s Kuizhou Poems
This chapter reads Du Fu’s commemorative poems on Yu the Great and Zhuge Liang in light of the specific communicative conditions of the Three Gorges, the vital yet perilous channel of transport and trade on the Tang empire’s remote southwest frontier. It argues that the poems for both figures are distinguished by imaginings of commemorative form—comprising both the materiality of local monuments and the means by which they extend their influence to the wider world. Picturing Yu’s creation of Qutang Gorge, Du Fu considers the founding act of “channeling and carving” as a transformation of elemental matter into ordered space that models a heroic vision of poetic composition. His poems on Zhuge Liang’s monuments dwell on the threat of material decay, while visualizing connections between Zhuge’s temples and those of his lord and patron, Liu Bei. Taken together, these poems suggest how the Three Gorges activated Du Fu’s desire for communication with history and prompted imaginative reflection on the channels that made it possible.
Hong Kong Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.