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Xiaofei Tian

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528448

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528448.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Feeding the Phoenix

Feeding the Phoenix

Du Fu’s Qinzhou-Tonggu Series*

(p.93) 6 Feeding the Phoenix
Reading Du Fu

Xiaofei Tian

Hong Kong University Press

Buddhism was a pervasive multimedia presence in medieval Chinese society and intersected with literature in a variety of ways. This chapter argues that in studying poetry and religion we should not only look at texts written by religious practitioners and by secular authors visiting religious sites and interacting with religious practitioners, but also examine how a text may be informed and inflected by prevalent contemporary religious discourse. The chapter takes up a famous set of travel poems by Du Fu, the Qinzhou-Tonggu series, and reads them as a carefully organized sequence that constitutes a coherent Buddhist journey narrative of transformation and enlightenment. By doing so the chapter entertains a new reading of a famous poetic sequence, and reflect on the larger question of how literature and religion intersect in a dynamic way, just as they do in any living reality.

Keywords:   Du Fu and Buddhism, poetry and religion, travel poems, journey narrative, enlightenment, poetic series (zu shi)

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