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Three Chinese Poets is a book of poetry by the titular poets Wang Wei, Li Bai and Du Fu translated into English by Vikram Seth. The Three Poets were contemporaries and are considered to be amongst the greatest Chinese poets by many later scholars. The three have been described as a Buddhist recluse, a Taoist immortal and a Confucian sage respectively. Though this trichotomy has been criticised as simplistic and artificial, it can act as a guiding approximation. They lived in the Tang Dynasty and the political strife at that time affected all of their lives very much and this impact is evident in the poetry of all three.
Wang Wei was a Chinese poet, musician, painter, and politician during the Tang dynasty. He was one of the most famous men of arts and letters of his time. Many of his poems are preserved, and twenty-nine were included in the highly influential 18th-century anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems.
Li Bai (701–762), also known as Li Bo, courtesy name Taibai, was a Chinese poet acclaimed from his own day to the present as a genius and a romantic figure who took traditional poetic forms to new heights. He and his friend Du Fu (712–770) were the two most prominent figures in the flourishing of Chinese poetry in the Tang dynasty, which is often called the "Golden Age of Chinese Poetry". The expression "Three Wonders" denote Li Bai's poetry, Pei Min's swordplay, and Zhang Xu's calligraphy.
Du Fu was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Along with Li Bai, he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest.
It is not clear whether Wang Wei and Li Bai ever met, but they had a mutual friend in Meng Haoran. Li Bai and Du Fu did meet and in fact Du Fu greatly admired Li Bai.
Meng Haoran was a major Tang dynasty poet, and a somewhat older contemporary of Wang Wei, Li Bai and Du Fu. Despite his brief pursuit of an official career, Meng Haoran mainly lived in and wrote about the area in which he was born and raised, in what is now Hubei province, China. Meng Haoran was a major influence on other contemporary and subsequent poets of the High Tang era because of his focus on nature as a main topic for poetry. Meng Haoran was also prominently featured in the Qing dynasty poetry anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems, having the fifth largest number of his poems included, for a total of fifteen, exceeded only by Du Fu, Li Bai, Wang Wei, and Li Shangyin. These poems of Meng Haoran were available in the English translations by Witter Bynner and Kiang Kanghu, by 1920, with the publication of The Jade Mountain. The Three Hundred Tang Poems also has two poems by Li Bai addressed to Meng Haoran, one in his praise and one written in farewell on the occasion of their parting company. Meng Haoran was also influential to Japanese poetry.
In the introduction of Three Chinese Poets, Seth talks about the influence of translations on his life and work; that while sometimes he has been so moved by a translation that he learnt another language to read the original, he doubts that he would ever be able to do this as much as he wished to. However, he says that Charles Johnston's translation of Aleksandr Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, Richard Wilbur's translation of Molière's Tartuffe and Robert Fitzgerald's translation of the Iliad have helped him enter worlds without which would have been out of his reach. He states that he avoided the style and philosophy of the famous translations by Ezra Pound which was to read and deeply understand a poem then to create an approximate translation inspired by the original - the judge of the merit being whether the new poem is a good poem in the new language. Instead he wanted to follow the example of the translators mentioned above to retain a greater fidelity and to try to preserve structure such as rhyme. He stresses that while he has tried not to lose meaning, he has often failed, explaining that because each word is much more important in poetry, the problem of losing associations of words is much greater than when translating prose. He also makes note that any satisfaction derived from the tonality of the poems is necessarily lost because of the non-tonality of English.
Sir Charles Hepburn Johnston was a senior British diplomat and translator of Russian poetry.
Eugene Onegin is a novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin. Onegin is considered a classic of Russian literature, and its eponymous protagonist has served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes. It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832. The first complete edition was published in 1833, and the currently accepted version is based on the 1837 publication.
Richard Purdy Wilbur was an American poet and literary translator. One of the foremost poets of his generation, Wilbur's work, composed primarily in traditional forms, was marked by its wit, charm, and gentlemanly elegance. In 1987 he was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, in 1957 and again in 1989.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a Chinese television series adapted from the classical novel of the same title by Luo Guanzhong. The series was produced by China Central Television (CCTV) and was first aired on the network in 1994. It spanned a total of 84 episodes, each approximately 45 minutes long. One of the most expensive television series produced at the time, the project was completed over four years and involved over 400,000 cast and crew members, including divisions of the People's Liberation Army from the Beijing, Nanjing and Chengdu military regions. Some of the dialogues spoken by characters were adapted directly from the novel. Extensive battle scenes, such as the battles of Guandu, Red Cliffs and Xiaoting, were also live-acted.
The Three Hundred Tang Poems is an anthology of poems from the Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907) first compiled around 1763 by Sun Zhu (1722–1778), the Qing Dynasty scholar, also known as Hengtang Tuishi. Various later editions also exist. All editions contain slightly more than 300 total poems: in this case, three hundred means not exactly 300 but refers to an estimative quantification; the ten, twenty, or more extra poems represent a sort of a good luck bonus, analogous to the "baker's dozen" in the West. Even more, the number 300 was a classic number for a poetry collection due to the influence of the Classic of Poetry, which was generally known as The Three Hundred Poems.
Wei Zhuang, style name Duanyi (端已), was a Chinese poet and late Tang Dynasty and early Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period historical figure best known for his poetry in shi and ci styles.
Tang poetry refers to poetry written in or around the time of or in the characteristic style of China's Tang dynasty, and/or follows a certain style, often considered as the Golden Age of Chinese poetry. The Quantangshi includes over 48,900 poems written by over 2,200 authors. During the Tang dynasty, poetry continued to be an important part of social life at all levels of society. Scholars were required to master poetry for the civil service exams, but the art was theoretically available to everyone. This led to a large record of poetry and poets, a partial record of which survives today. Two of the most famous poets of the period were Li Bai and Du Fu. Tang poetry has had an ongoing influence on world literature and modern and quasi-modern poetry.
Three Kingdoms is a 2010 Chinese television series based on the events in the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The plot is adapted from the 14th century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms and other stories about the Three Kingdoms period. Directed by Gao Xixi, the series had a budget of over 160 million RMB and took five years of pre-production work. Shooting of the series commenced in October 2008, and it was released in China in May 2010.
The Water Margin is a 1998 Chinese television series adapted from Shi Nai'an's classical novel of the same title. It was produced by CCTV with Zhang Jizhong as producer. It was first broadcast in China in January 1998. The series also featured action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping.
All Men Are Brothers is a Chinese television series adapted from Shi Nai'an's Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. The series is directed by Kuk Kwok-leung and features cast members from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The series was first broadcast on 8TV in March 2011 in Malaysia.
Outlaws of the Marsh is a Chinese television series adapted from Shi Nai'an's classical novel Water Margin. It was first broadcast on Shandong TV in China in 1983, and was not completed until 1986. The series was one of the earliest television dramas with an ancient China setting to be produced in mainland China. It was divided into different parts, each focusing on the story line of a certain character. Widely regarded as a classic in mainland China, the series won a Golden Eagle Award.
Sun Zhu (1711–1778) was a Qing scholar. He was also known as Hengtang Tuishi and was the original compiler and editor of the anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems, a popular compilation of Tang poetry, partly designed as a study aid for students. An enduring classic, Sun Zhu's version has often been reprinted, often in revised or re-edited editions.
Justice Bao is a Chinese TV series starring producer Jin Chao-chun as the Song dynasty official Bao Zheng. The series ran for 3 seasons from 2010 to 2012. In addition to Jin, Kenny Ho, Fan Hung-hsuan and Lung Lung again reprise their iconic roles from the 1993 Taiwanese hit Justice Pao and the 2008 Chinese series Justice Bao.
Zhuge Liang is a Chinese television series based on the life of Zhuge Liang, a chancellor of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period. The plot is based on stories about Zhuge Liang in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The series starred Li Fazeng as the title character and was first aired on Hubei TV in mainland China in 1985.
Heroes in Sui and Tang Dynasties is a Chinese television series based on Chu Renhuo's historical novel Sui Tang Yanyi, which romanticises the historical events leading to the fall of the Sui dynasty and the rise of the Tang dynasty. The series was first broadcast in mainland China on various television networks on 14 January 2013. It is not to be confused with Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasties 1 & 2, a similar television series also based on the novel, but was released earlier in December 2012. Filming for the series started on 5 November 2011 at the Hengdian World Studios and wrapped up in May 2012.
Simians of various sorts are an important motif in Chinese poetry. Examples of simian imagery have an important place in Chinese poetry ranging from the Chu Ci poets through poets such as Li Bai, Wang Wei, Du Fu, and more. Various poetic concepts could be communicated by the inclusion of simian imagery in a poem, and the use of simian allusions can help provide key insights into the poems.
Kui Prefecture, Kuizhou Circuit, or Kuizhou was initially established in 619 CE, as a renaming of the existing Xin Prefecture. Kuizhou was an important area from the beginning and through the end of the Tang Dynasty of China, when it was alternatively part of several of the Circuits which made up typical large scale political structural organizations of the Tang era. Kuizhou continued as a political entity through the end of the Song Dynasty, during which it was of Provincial level, a typical large scale political organization of Song era. Kui Prefecture was located in what is now eastern Chongqing. During the Song Dynasty, Kuizhou's capital was located in what is now Fengjie County, Chongqing, and the extent of the province was to what today includes Chongqing, eastern Sichuan, and Guizhou. Part of the importance of Kuizhou was related to its prominent location along the Yangzi River. Kui was also known for its spectacular scenerary, and being a location in which exiled poets wrote their laments.
The Great Emperor in Song Dynasty is a 2015 Chinese historical TV series directed by Gao Xixi, starring Chen Jianbin as Emperor Taizu of Song who founded the Song dynasty and reunified most of China proper.