Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reading Du FuNine Views$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Sources of Difficulty

Sources of Difficulty

Reading and Understanding Du Fu

Chapter:
(p.111) 7 Sources of Difficulty
Source:
Reading Du Fu
Author(s):

Christopher M. B. Nugent

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888528448.003.0008

This essay examines the common notion, beginning in the Song period, that Du Fu is a difficult poet to read and understand. By comparing the lexical range and allusions found in a representative set of Du Fu’s works with the vocabulary and literary-historical knowledge found in a range of medieval educational texts, I argue that if Du Fu’s poetry, in both shi and fu forms, would likely be understandable to any Tang period reader with a basic literary education. Moreover, on a basic linguistic and cultural level, Du Fu’s poetry appears to have been no more difficult than that of Wang Wei, a poet who does not have a similar reputation for difficulty. Du Fu’s poetic language does make demands of his readers, but those demands are not based on the difficulty of his vocabulary and allusions.

Keywords:   poetic difficulty, vocabulary benchmarks, allusions

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.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .