Awakened Cosmos: the mind of classical chinese poetry
A deep and radically original exploration of Taoist and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist wisdom through the lens of the life and work of Tu Fu, widely considered China's greatest classical poet.
What is consciousness but the Cosmos awakened to itself? This perspective is fundamental to the Taoist and Ch'an Buddhist worldview that shapes classical Chinese poetry. Tu Fu's writing during the T'ang Dynasty traces his life from periods of relative normalcy to years spent as an impoverished refugee amid the devastation of civil war, revealing Daoist/Ch'an insight informed by a wide range of human experience. Awakened Cosmos is a unique biography, exploring key poems to guide the reader through Tu Fu's dramatic life at the fundamental levels of Daoist/Ch'an wisdom. Each chapter presents a poem in three stages- first, the original Chinese; then, an English translation in Hinton's masterful style; and finally, a lyrical essay that discusses the untranslatable philosophical dimensions of the poem. The result is nothing short of remarkable- a biography of the Cosmos awakened to itself in the form of a majesterial poet from China.
Thirty years ago, David Hinton published America's first full-length translation of Tu Fu's work. Awakened Cosmos is published simultaneously with a newly translated and substantially expanded version of that landmark translation- The Selected Poems of Tu Fu- Expanded and Newly Translated (New Directions).
DAVID HINTON's many translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary works that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. The author of countless books of essays and poetry, Hinton has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships from N.E.A. and N.E.H, the Landon Translation Award, the PEN American Translation Award, and a lifetime achievement award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.