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All the works of the Chinese poet T'ao Yuan-ming (AD 365-427) generally considered genuine have been translated here with commentary and annotation. T'ao, in the author's opinion, is of all the major Chinese poets especially concerned with personal integrity and the meaning of man's life. His poetry for this reason may be able to transcend the barriers of cultural difference. For centuries of Chinese readers, however, the image of T'ao Yuan-ming as an eccentric wine-loving recluse who embraced purity and simplicity and rejected the corruption of political society has virtually been as important as his own writing. Studies of the poet, from the Sung dynasty on, have applied a political interpretation of his work. The author believes that this approach is generally mistaken and seeks to combat it in detail. The work has been arranged in two volumes. The first, containing the translations with explanatory commentary and notes, is aimed at a wider audience than the professional. The second contains a complete Chinese text.
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