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  • Du Fu Studies, 2000–2019
  • Liu Ning and Jue Chen

Chinese-Language Studies

In the twenty-first century, Du Fu studies in mainland China have achieved fruitful accomplishments. Progress has been made in various aspects, including bibliographical studies, biographical studies (including Du Fu's social networks and his travels and deeds), research of poetic genres, Du Fu's poetic art, his thought, interpretation, and criticism of his poetry, and studies of his influence and reception.

Editing and Study of Du Fu's Collections

The twenty-first century has witnessed great achievements in editing Du Fu's collections. New collated and annotated editions of Du Fu's complete works have been published, reflecting comprehensive achievements in contemporary Du Fu studies. Primary materials of Du Fu's collection from the past have also been further studied. Innovation has been achieved in exploration of editing formats, synthesis of primary sources, and evidential studies of primary sources.

New Editions of Du Fu's Complete Collection

Two new collated and annotated editions of Du Fu's complete work, Du Fu quanji jiaozhu 杜甫全集校注 (The Complete Collection of Du Fu: Collation and Annotation), edited by Xiao Difei 蕭滌非, and Xie Siwei's 謝思煒 Du Fu ji jiaozhu 杜甫集校注 (The Collection of Du Fu: Collation and Annotation), demonstrate significant innovation. [End Page 411]

Xiao's annotations were finalized by Zhang Zhonggang 張忠綱. On the editorial board are Liao Zhong'an 廖仲安, Zhang Zhonggang, Zheng Qingdu 鄭慶篤, Jiao Yuyin 焦裕銀, and Li Hua 李華. With 6.8 million characters in twelve volumes, the collection conducts jiaokan 校勘 (collation), biannian 編年 (chronological compilation), zhushi 注釋 (annotation), huiping 滙評 (comment collection), and beikao 備考 (remarks on evidential studies) for all surviving poems and essays by Du Fu. The working edition is Song ben Du Gongbu ji 宋本杜工部集 (Song Edition of the Collection of Vice Director Du of the Work Ministry), a facsimile reprinted by the Commercial Press as the fortyseventh item in Xu guyi congshu 續古逸叢書 (Sequel Series of Ancient and Lost Books); collated materials include thirteen printed editions from the Song and the Yuan, one manuscript from the Ming, and quotations from the best facsimile reprinted editions of Taiping yulan 太平御覽 (Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era), Wenyuan yinghua 文苑英華 (Finest Blossoms in the Garden of Literature), Yuefu shiji 樂府詩集 (Collection of Music Bureau Poetry), and Yongle dadian 永樂大典 (Great Canon of the Yongle Era). In terms of format of compilation, biannian, which can best demonstrate the character of Du Fu's poetry as "history in the form of poetry," is adopted. Although the book uses the earliest surviving edition, the Song edition in Xu guyi congshu, as the working edition, the sequence of poems is based on evidential studies conducted by scholars since the Song and is adjusted according to newly discovered materials as well as on-site fieldwork. The zhushi part is based on Du Fu da cidian 杜甫大辭典 (Great Dictionary of Du Fu), edited by Zhang Zhonggang, and also adopts exemplary commentaries from past and present. The book includes almost a thousand entries of beikao that enumerate arguments and evidence pertaining to disputes on Du Fu's poetry; these are mainly among premodern commentators, while opinions of some modern scholars are selectively included. An addendum at the end of the book, titled "Zhongyao Du ji pingzhuben jianjie" 重要杜集評注本簡介 (Brief Introduction to Significant Commentated and Annotated Collections of Du Fu), provides a concise but fine and objective introduction to 134 editions of Du Fu's collection that have been frequently quoted in the book. It took thirty-six years for Xiao's annotation to be completed, which "crystallizes the efforts of three generations of scholars; with its rich materials, refined collation, detailed annotation, reliable evidential study, it indeed can represent the highest level of editing and annotating individual collections in the contemporary time; as a synthetic work of Du Fu studies of more than a millennium, it is a milestone in the history of Du Fu studies."1

Xie Siwei's Du Fu ji jiaozhu is an edition of Du Fu's complete work collated and annotated by a single scholar. It contains 1,455 poems and 32 essays, totaling to 2.1 million characters. The edition does not aim at a comprehensive collation. [End Page 412] The working edition is still the Song ben Du Gongbu ji in...


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