Education About Asia: Online Archives

The Confucian Tradition in Literature: Part Three, Poetry of the Tang and Later Dynasties

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An enthusiastic and erudite group of specialists in Chinese literature are brought together in this video to discuss the achievement of Chinese poetry as it reaches its pinnacle in the works of Wang Wei (699–761), Li Bo (701–762), and Du Fu (721–770) in the Tang dynasty (618–907). Dr. Robert Oxnam, President Emeritus of the Asia Society, Dr. Stephen Owen from Harvard University, and Drs. David D. W. Wang, Marsha Wagner, and Paul Rouzer from Columbia University present their views in separate interviews which are then linked together. If limited to these discussions, the video would be informative, but perhaps somewhat dull. There are special features that add spice to the video. When poems are chanted, beginning in Mandarin Chinese and then fading into English, Chinese paintings fill the screen and serve as backdrop. Traditional Chinese music also brings the poems to life.