The Life of Tu Fu

Eliot Weinberger


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New Directions Publishing Corporation
30 April 2024
ISBN: 9780811238052
64 pages

From the publisher

A book-length poem by “our best living literary essayist” (Forrest Gander)

For over fifty years Eliot Weinberger has been celebrated for his innovative literary and political essays—translated into over thirty languages—as well as his trailblazing translations from the Spanish. In his exquisite new book The Life of Tu Fu, Weinberger has composed a montage of fifty-eight poems that capture the life and times of the great Tang Dynasty poet Tu Fu (712–770 AD). As he writes in a note to the edition, “This is not a translation of individual poems, but a fictional autobiography of Tu Fu derived and adapted from the thoughts, images, and allusions in the poetry.” Through lines as penetrating as a classical tanka and as fluid as a mountain stream, themes of endless war and ongoing pandemic surround the wandering life of the ancient Chinese master.