|Primary Format: Paper|
|Size:||6 x 9 in.|
Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei
Wang WeiPaper: $19.95
Wang Wei ranks with Li Po and Tu Fu and Po Chu-i—among the very greatest poets of T’ang dynasty China. He is the master of ‘impersonality,’ often completely disappearing into his poems of nature. His poetry is a record of a long struggle to be free of desire, free even of the desire to be free. This translation captures the sense of uncluttered aloneness—completeness—found in the original, the deceptive apparent ease of Wang’s poems as a whole. Laughing Lost in the Mountains is refreshing, the best Wang Wei available in English.
Nothing close to this work has been done on Wang Wei. It is more than just a fine translation of the works of a major figure in world literature. It makes its own context.
—J. P. Seaton
The Barnstone translations read like poems in English, important poems, and consistently so. Through their illuminating study-the best examination of Wang Wei in English-and their translations, the Barnstones have established for our generation a new model of rendering a major Chinese poet in English. We have a world poet who at last has a consummate form in English.
Fulfilling the promise of its title, a fi ne mix of collaborative brains and sensitive imaginations quickly raises this book out of the ordinary. Through Wang Wei’s impersonated voice the triumphs of animism mount up over itself. ‘In the windy hiss of autumn rain / shallow water fumbles over stones. / Waves dance and fall on each other: / a white egret startles, then drops.’ In this necessary book for poets and lovers of poetry, Wang Wei arrives in simple modern dress between a long, meaty introduction and a lean set of telling afternotes.
WILLIS BARNSTONE is Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. Author of numerous books, including literary criticism and his own poetry, he has translated poetry from ancient Greek, Spanish, and Chinese. His books From This White Island (1960) and China Poems (1976) were each nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
TONY BARNSTONE is a graduate student in English literature at the University of California, Berkeley. His translations from Chinese and Spanish have appeared in such publications as American Poetry Review and Nimrod.
XU HAIXIN is a prolific translator in both Chinese and English.