The most inovative study of Chinese poetry ever written, François Cheng's Chinese Poetic Writing--now in its first expanded, English-language edition--is an essential read for fans and scholars of Chinese literature and the art of poetry in general.
Since its first publication in French in 1977, Chinese Poetic Writing has been considered by many to be the most innovative study of Chinese poetry ever written, as well as a profound and remarkable meditation on the nature of poetry itself. As the American poet Gustaf Sobin wrote, two years after the book's appearance, "In France it is already considered a model of interdisciplinary research, a source book, and a 'star' in the very space it initially explored, traced, and elaborated."
Cheng illustrates his text with an annotated anthology of 135 poems he has selected from the Tang dynasty, presented bilingually, and with lively translations by Jerome P. Seaton. It serves as a book within the book, and an excellent introduction to the golden age of Tu Fu, Li Po, Wang Wei, and company.
The 1982 translation, long out of print, was based on the first French edition. Since then, Cheng has greatly expanded the book. This is the first English-language edition of the expanded version, with the original translators returning to accommodate the many new additions and revise their earlier work.