- Jan 16 Mon 2012 21:43
- Dec 07 Wed 2011 16:26
Some students like to take distance-learning courses by computer. Other students prefer to study in traditional classroom with a teacher. Consider the advantages of both options, and make an argument for the way that students should organize their schedules.
Both distance-learning courses and traditional classes provide important but different experiences for college students. On the one hand, there are many advantages to distance-learning courses. One of the most important benefits is the opportunity to attend class at your convenience. This is very important for students hold full-time jobs since they can choose to take their classes on a schedule that allows them to continue working. Another advantage is the chance to complete assignments at your own pace. For students who can work more quickly than their classmates, it is possible to earn more credits during the semester. A huge advantage to international students is the option of listening to lectures more than once.
On the other hand, there are advantages to attending a traditional class. The structured environment is beneficial, especially for students who are not as highly motivated. In addition, it is more likely that you will develop a personal relationship with the teacher, an advantage not only for the course but also after the course when you need a recommendation. By seeing you and talking with you face-to-face, the teacher will remember you better. It is also easier to get an immediate response to questions because you only have to raise your hand instead of sending e-mail and waiting for an answer. Last, the opportunity for study groups and friendships is different and more personal when you sit in the same room.
Given all the advantages of both types of courses, I think that students would be wise to register for distance-learning courses and traditional classroom courses during their college experiences. By participating in distance-learning courses, they can work independently in classes that they may be more difficult for them, repeating the lectures on computer at convenient times. By attending traditional classes, they can get to know the teachers personally and will have good references when they need them. They will also make friends in the class. By sharing information with other students, they can organize their schedules for the following semester, choosing the best classes and including both distance-learning and traditional courses.
(coped from Barron’s, pp. 85)
- Apr 21 Thu 2011 15:31
認不認得這個英文單字：esquivalience？不認得？那你可以去查一下新版的《新牛津美語字典》（New Oxford American Dictionary），裡面會告訴你這個字的意思是：「故意逃避自己的官方責任。十九世紀開始出現，或許是源自於法文esquiver，『躲避，溜走』。」
同樣道理，百科全書裡也會有其實不存在的人或物或事。例如《新哥倫比亞百科全書》中有一個叫作Lilian Virginia Mountweazel的女士，她於1942年出生於美國俄亥俄州，三十一歲英年早逝。她原先是一位專業的噴泉設計家，後來改行當攝影師，最有名的作品是一系列拍攝美國鄉間路邊家戶信箱的照片。
- Mar 09 Wed 2011 09:15
-March 8, 2011 - (Soundbite of music)
-TERRY GROSS, host:
-This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.
When Robert De Niro needed to learn an Appalachian accent for his role in Martin Scorsese's 1991 film "Cape Fear," he was coached by Sam Chwat, a speech therapist who specialized in helping actors learn or lose regional accents for their roles. Chwat's clients included: Julia Roberts, Kathleen Turner, Willem Dafoe, Andie MacDowell, Danny Glover and Tony Danza. Chwat also worked with immigrants who wanted to lose their accents.
- Dec 19 Fri 2008 13:21
- Dec 17 Wed 2008 19:22
The following are some interesting examples of Tu Fu’s “impressionistic” little poems:
Short poems, it should be noted, were no innovation. In many of the short poems—actually folk songs of the third century—we find many similar records in which simple incidents and feelings were caught and registered. All the so-called “little songs” are attempts to seize fragments from nature of from human life and reveal their quintessence.
This mood and this technique made a special appeal to Tu Fu in his old age and in these little gems we see the dexterity of his mature hands in fashioning the short, crisp lines until they were artlessly natural and yet unexpectedly stunning.
He would accuse the spring wind of intruding into his garden without permission and of breaking the branches of his flowers. He would poke fun at his neighbor’s willow tree for having flirted with the spring wind and losing its longest branch by way of penalty.
He would recognize the cormorant on the sandy beach as an old acquaintance and urge the latter to visit him a hundred times each day. These little poems, which appear to be most casual and effortless, were really the crystallizations of a long-practiced artistry.
- Dec 17 Wed 2008 19:21
In the above poem we can see that Tu Fu, while lamenting the fate that had befallen the various impoverished scholars of the empire, could still see the humorous side or poverty. In this we see most clearly Tu Fu’s indebtedness to the humorous treatment of the tragic phases of life so common in folk songs—a type of literature which he had never despised.
In many of the titles to his poems he indicated clearly his intention of writing humorous verse. Even when he was writing long historical poems of a serious nature like “Pei Chêng,” “Northward Travels,” there are injections of lines and phrases that revealed the poet’s fondness of the humorous and jocular.
This lighthearted side of Tu Fu’s poetic temperament did not preclude his frequent manifestations of seriousness in life and his deep-seated concern with and sorrow for his age. As a poet, however, he did not put on any air of dressed-up solemnity or venture to be purely didactic.
Just as he could laugh heartily, his occasional efforts to swallow his own sorrows were all the more touching. The sadness he felt in the evening of his life is most clearly revealed in the poems in which he reminisced about incidents and feelings of his younger days.
Although he never succeeded in detaching himself completely from the many basic difficulties threatening the reigning dynasty and the T’ang Empire as a whole, he was, after all, living the life of a retired scholar, spending his leisure on a farm.
His daily schedule consisted in planting vegetables and picking mushrooms. While on one hand he lamented that he would fail to sleep at night on account of his inability to stop wars and to rectify the universe, he could in the daytime find much that was poetic in the chores of daily living.
These little discoveries of what was meaningful and pleasant he recorded in his many “little poems.” These poems, recording small episodes of farm life, small reactions and impressions, were patterned into a verse form that was known as the chüeh chü, consisting of four lines composed of seven of five syllables.
This verse form was not subjected to the limitations of tonal sequence or elaborate rhetoric. Externally it had a good deal in common with the quatrains of the yüeh fu type which Li Po had written with the greatest dexterity and which were originally intended to be sung to music.
In spirit it was an entirely different vehicle completely detached from musical accompaniment and, therefore, peculiarly adapted to language of the common people. Tu Fu was able to breathe so much new life into this convenient verse form that many major poets of the following Sung Dynasty continued to cherish this chüeh chü form.
- Dec 17 Wed 2008 19:19
In 759 Tu Fu was dismissed from office. Wandering all the way to far away Szechuan in his forty-eighth year, Tu Fu began to realize what official life was like and where he, as an individual, stood in a withering society. In his twenty poems written during his sojourn at Chinchow, he seemed to feel a keen disappointment in current politics. Thus he wrote:
Again, his disappointment was expressed in another poem entitled “His Ping Ma,” or “Purging of the Woes of War.”
In this he referred to those who climb on the bandwagon of the national heroes; of how everybody had become princes and dukes; of how according to dynastic flatterers all tiny kingdoms outside of China were submitting tributes, thus reiterating his disappointment with the young emperor whom the poet estimated to be a mediocre ruler.
Thenceforth, he made up his mind that there was not much he could do and that he should not entertain any further hope of “elevating the emperor above Yao and Shun.” From that time on—especially after his arrival in Szechuan—he finally resolved to live the life of a poet for the rest of his life.
In the third period of his literary production, his life was a little more composed although as yet not entirely free from extreme poverty.
Nonetheless, he had a little more rest and a little more leisure compared with his constant flight in the previous period. The heart of the T’ang Empire was still exposed to a whole series of emergencies.
The An Lu-shan rebellion was prolonged by a new rebellion led by another insubordinate semi-Chinese general, Shih Ssŭ-ming; the Turfans, dissatisfied with their share of the war booty, pressed their invasion to the wall of the capital; and the central government was dropping daily in prestige and real power, making it possible for the different war lords stationed in the frontier regions to become so many petty kings.
China was destined to experience another period of political disintegration and division. Realizing what history had decreed for the future, Tu Fu confirmed his belief that what was open to him was nothing more than the life of a poor but dedicated poet. As before, he had no liking for reclusion and so he did not seek to leave the world, seeking only contentment and regularity in life as he found it. Hence, his poems written in this third period were ones descriptive of the simple life.
The echoes of war and devastation were still audible and political dependency was still attended with hardships but he was never deprived of his ability to elicit smiles and poetry from adverse circumstances. With the ripening of his age, his verse forms became absolutely mature.
His short poems of this age were the natural overflow of his personality recorded at random without adornment and without conscious artistry but all palpitating with poetic flavor. They were continuations of the tradition of T’ao Yüan-ming and vanguards of the poetry of the Sung Dynasty.
What he was experiencing during this stage was real rustic life and not the life of self-styled farm hermits of the earlier part of the T’ang Dynasty. As a result, his poetry was real poetry dedicate to the appreciation of nature.
- May 25 Sun 2008 02:07
There are already synopses to ten data of phonetic correspondence system between Liuqiu language and Chinese during more than three hundred years in Ming and Qing dynasties. About one thousand entries are listed. At the beginning of the investigation, ten kinds of language materials were compared with each other to see how Chinese vocabularies are like. We can find some kinds of “Records of Mission to Liuqiu, Yee Yu” have their predecessors. On contrast, the four related writings in Qing dynasty have specific edit styles, especially the last one of Liuqiu Translation (A.D. 1800) which is almost not only the personal-created Ryu-Han corresponding phrases book, but also the one representing a generalization of good views or ideas.
- May 04 Sun 2008 19:06
- Mar 16 Sun 2008 21:32
- Jan 23 Wed 2008 00:41
This passage is outstanding because it illustrates how concrete the poet was in presenting his imagery and how under circumstances of absolute distress, Tu Fu, the man, could well afford to joke with tiny boys and girls. This sense of humor, which was intimately a part of his personality, and a philosophy of living which he had cherished ever since his boyhood days, was also visible in his other poems written during this time. While his long poem, “Northward Travels,” especially in its humorous elements, reminds us of the poetry of Tso Ssŭ; Tu Fu’s shorter poems of this period, especially the three poems entitled, “Chiang Ts’un,” or “Chiang Village,” resemble the poems of T’ao Yüan-ming. Both T’ao and Tu were amply fortified by their appreciation of the humorous in adverse circumstances. Thus fortified, even hunger and penury would not lead to loss of mind, on one hand, and hunger and penury would not lead to loss of mind, on one hand, and degeneracy, on the other.
His trip to Loyang and his observations of the ruins and destitution there inspired him to write numerous narrative poems in which were recorded the different facets of the scars of warfare. Among these masterly poems on social problems, which have been collectively labeled New Lyrical Ballads, probably the most admired was “The Sheriff of Shih-hao Village.” It was a short narrative poem describing how a sheriff was recruiting able-bodied men in a small community. He came to one family where an old man had made his escape by climbing over the yard wall and the aged woman left behind to plead her case with the sheriff.
The literary technique of this poem was unique and surprising. When a draft officer resorting to compulsion decided to kidnap an aging grandmother, the other aspects of social and political injustice may well be imagined.
- Jan 23 Wed 2008 00:39
Tu Fu’s most unreserved criticism of contemporary political and social corruption was expressed in an even greater poem, the poem in which he described his travels from the capital to Fênghsien County. This poem, formerly subjected to misdating and misinterpretation, was really not written before the eruption of the An Lu-shan rebellion. Although, when this poem was written, the T’ang emperor, Hsüan-tsung, and his imperial consort, Yang Kuei-fei, were wintering in comfort and luxury in the Hua Ch’ing Palace, a mountain resort in Li Shan away from the capital, the T’ang empire was far from being the utopian society that some of the court circles thought it was. Tu Fu, on arriving home, had heard of the tragic news of his youngest son’s starvation. His sense of deep personal bereavement immediately reminded him of the many injustice to which he had been subjected and the social iniquities which he had seen with his own eyes. It had also reminded him of the excessive luxury and unjustifiable extravagance he had witnessed at the winter capital through which hi had traveled on his trip home. Further restraint being now beyond him, he gave full expression to his feelings in this unprecedented indictment in the form of a long narrative entitled, “On My Way to Fênghsien County.”
The war drums were soon sounded in Yüyang, the center of the An Lu-shan rebellion, and Tu Fu was to enter his second period of literary production which ended with his relocation in Szechuan in 765. In this period of great confusion and reversal of the scales of value, Tu Fu’s powers of observation became keener, his art more realistic, his views more profound, and the vistas opened up in his poetry more comprehensive and humane. In this regard he was a forerunner of the poet with a social conscience.
When he was marooned in Ch’angan he was the different facets of the tragedy and plight of the imperial capital. These impressions were organized and recorded in two of his most famous poems. One was the “Lament of the River Bank” (“Ai Chiang-t’ou”) and the other was “Lamenting of the Imperial Heir” (“Ai Wâng-sun”). The first was a poem of twenty lines in which the poet described the Ch’üchiang, or the Winding River which skirted the city of Ch’angan. The second presented the sole remnant of the imperial family as an imaginary literary vehicle for the presentation in dialogue form of all the destruction and cruelty brought upon the imperial clan. By elaboration one episode in the life of an individual, the poet succeeded in recreation the general atmosphere surrounding the tragic fate of an imperial clan facing extinction. This technique of using a narrow canvas in suggesting the contents of a whole panorama was a technique begun by the writers of the ancient ballads but not brought to perfection until it was touched by the genius of Tu Fu. His concentration on one episode and, through that episode, his ability to create a well-rounded but unique impression, furnished the most effective means to arouse an intense emotional response on the part of his readers. This technique was not only consistently utilized by Tu Fu himself in his later narrative poems but also adopted by such leading poets of later generations as Po Chü-i (also Po Chü-yi) and Chang Chin in similar compositions. Thus was formed the common technique for the so-called New Lyrical Ballads or hsin yüeh-fu. Upon Tu Fu’s arrival at the emergency capital of Fênghsiang in 756, he had the written permission of the new emperor to go on a trip to Fuchou (in present-day Szechuan Province) to visit with his family. The experiences of this trip were woven into a long poem entitled “Pei Chêng” or “Northward Travels.” This poem was apparently an artistic effort beloved by the poet. The artistic attainment of this poem, however, was not as great as the labors that the poet had put into it. On the other hand, in the midst of many stretches which are prosaic descriptions in verse, the poem sparkles with a rare sense of humor and insight into human nature with contrast sharply with and palliate the innate feeling of tragedy.
- Jan 23 Wed 2008 00:37
In those days of apparent peace and prosperity, the pride of the world was the powerful Yang family. The main pillar of the Yang house was the beautiful Yang Yühuan, the imperial consort elevated to the position of kuei-fei, or noble consort. Her cousin, Yang Kuo-chung, had been made prime minister and her two sisters had been ennobled the Princess of Kuo and the Princess of Ch’in. It was the sparkling brilliance of these girls of the Yang family which supplied Tu Fu with the theme of his “Li-jên Hsing” or “The Ballad of the Beauties.”
In satirizing the excessive power of the imperial relatives, the poet clearly maintained large measures of artistic restraint. He could have but did not say more. In spite of the semblance of peace and prosperity latent troubles all along the frontier were already obvious. Disturbances of a political as well as a military nature were being created by the Khitan, His, and Turkic tribes in the north and by the Turfans in the west, each ravaging and plundering frontier towns, periodically necessitating many a punitive expedition. For the year 751 a major military defeat of the Chinese imperial forces was registered in their attempt to quell a rebellion of barbarian tribes in Yünnan. The fatalities involved had mounted to sixty thousand. When imperial rescripts were issued to the citizens of the two metropolitan districts and to Honan and Hopei for volunteers for rebuilding the expeditionary force, popular reaction was completely negative. Consequently the prime minister, Yang Ku-chung, instructed the agencies of the imperial censorate to resort to pressure and violence in obtaining recruits, and injustices and corruption became widespread. The resentment of the common people which Tu Fu had witnessed was well expressed in his “Ballad of the war Chariot.” When we compare this poem with Li Po’s “Fighting Sough of the City” we see clearly that Li Po’s was an imitation of ancient ballads and Tu Fu’s poem was an indictment of current politics. Indictments as bold and unadorned as this were something new since the age of the Book of Song. In this light we might say that Tu Fu was a founder of a new tradition. Even some of the folk songs and literary ballads descriptive of the destructiveness of war do not measure up to the directness and clarity that Tu Fu had exhibited in accusing the government and even the emperor of misrule:
This mention of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty to dull the edges of criticism against the reigning T’ang emperor did not carry boldness to the extreme. In “The Ballad of the Beauties” the Princesses of Kuo and Ch’in were forthrightly mentioned by name.
- Jan 23 Wed 2008 00:36
Even when he was describing his own impoverishment he never failed to see the humorous side of poverty. In the group of three poems entitled “Sighs During an Autumn Rain,” hi wrote:
During this first period of his literary activity he was in the prime of manhood and extremely eager to make his contributions to society. In moments of complete frustration he would express feelings of impatience with the lack of justice and would consider giving up everything to become a hermit.
The allusion to the jade diet was to Li Yu of the Later Wei Dynasty, who was said to have pulverized seventy pieces of jade for his daily diet to ensure physical immortality. The best jade was said to have come from the Blue Field Mountains. That was why Tu Fu was eager to go there for his experiment. Although he had no cooked rice, he would think of living on jade. This was a typical example of how Tu Fu would suggest disapproval of hermitage and at the same time distill from it any possible fun. It is this spirit of positivism that distinguished him from his eminent friend, Li Po.
- Jan 23 Wed 2008 00:34
Tu Fu’s poetry shows three stages of development and progress in chronological order: (1) poems written before the great rebellion, (2) poems written during the rebellion and its aftermath, and (3) poems written toward the end of his life after his relocation in Chengtu.
Tu Fu’s life in the first period was that of “donkeyback riding for thirty years.” Even after his elevation to an official post following his submission of the three fu compositions, his poverty seemed to have persisted. But in spite of his poverty ge always retained his bountiful humor, the kind of humor which was ingrained in him and was never consciously or artificially cultivated. Frequently, while the themes of his poetry were serious in the extreme, a few lines would precariously border on the pattern of limericks.
While he was facing poverty while holding a lowly position in Ch’angan, his most intimate friend was Chêng Ch’ien, a doctor in the Kuang-wên Kuan, or the Hall of Liberal Arts. Between the two of them there were frequent exchanges of verses written in mutual friendly ridicule, of which the following is an exmple:
- Jan 23 Wed 2008 00:33
At the end of the reign of T’ien Pao (755) he traveled to a distant county, Fênghsien, to see his wife and family:
It was in sorrowful circumstances like this that he sharpened his powers of observation and widened his care of the family into a grave concern for the state. Pouring out his mind without reservation he wrote a long poem of a hundred lines entitled, “On My Way from the Capital to Fênghsien County”—a poem in which he frankly unfolded the gloomy picture of the hard facts of life below the veneer of the so-called K’ai Yüan and T’ien Pao prosperity. Even before the ink of this poem had dried, general disorder accompanying the great rebellion had reached the state of absolute despair. Toward the end of the year Loyang had fallen, By the following summer in 756 the strategic pass of T’ungkuan was captured by the rebels. The emperor had no sooner left Ch’angan in great haste than the capital itself capitulated. A month later, a crown prince ascended the throne in Lingwu County to be known to posterity as Emperor Su Tsung. After resettling his family in a more secure place, the poet hurried to the emergency capital but was kidnapped on his way so that he kek not arrive at Fêng-hsien until the following year. Thenceforth, he busied himself partly by following the court in flight until it was back at Ch’angan, and partly by filling appointments away from the capital. He visited Loyang in ruins in 758 where he stayed for a while and wrote numerous poems—some strongly emotional—recording historic facts of the age.
After relocating himself in county after county as a result of rapid official transfers, he seemed to have been suspended by his superiors, which fact aggravated his problems of poverty even more. In 760 he traveled southward from Shensi Province in the north to present-day Szechuan Province where he lived in Chengtu from 760 to 765. It was during this short period of comparative rest that his talents were appreciated by the military commissioner, Yen Wu, who recommended Tu Fu’s appointment as his staff adviser with the accompanying rank of counselor of the department of works, a position which gave rise to a popular appellation by which the poet is frequently indentified--Tu Kungpu or Tu of the Ministry of Public Works. From 765 to 770 he again found himself busy with constant relocation in different parts of Szechuan Province and along the Yangtze River eastward to the present-day Honan Province, where he died in Hêngchow at the age of 58.
- Jan 11 Fri 2008 01:03
The pioneer, and the greatest representative of this new age was Tu Fu, with many new allies and followers to extend and magnify the new literary movement in the latter half of the eighth and the first half of the ninth centuries. Thus a most brilliant period in the history of Chinese literature was created.
We might be justified in saying that Chinese literature of the seventh century was the literature of childhood in which poetry consisted of games and play of a high order. At the imperial court and in the mansions of the aristocrats occasional poetry played even a positively inferior role. The literature of the K’ai Yüan and T’ien Pao reigns was only a literature of adolescence. In spite of the stylistic liberation, the contents of literature were still on the whole shallow and superficial, consisting largely only of the singing of heavy drinkers and self-appointed hermits. These decades might be justifiably labeled as shêng T’ang of the high tide of T’ang with reference to peace and prosperity in the political and social scene. From the vantage point of literature, however, the period of greatest glory came later and it was not until after the rebellion that full maturity in literature was attained. From the middle years of Tu Fu to the death of Po Chü-yi in 846, both prose and poetry embarked upon the highway of realism, returning from the romantic celestial realms to the world of man.
Tu Fu (712-770), also known by the courtesy name, Tzǔ-mei, was a native of the county of Hsiangyang in present-day Honan Province. His grandfather, Tu Shên-yen, was a famous writer in the latter part of the seventh century. In his youth, Tu Fu had to face greatly reduced family resource and was compelled to undertake extensive travels along the China coast, which travels widened his intellectual horizons and made a lasting impression on his plastic young mind as he recalled later in a poem addressed to Wei Tsi:
At thirty-eight he submitted three fu compositions on the three imperial ceremonies after the reception of which he was offered an official post which he declined in preference for another minor position. Despite his humble circumstances, he befriended other poor poets like Chêng Ch’ien who were all concerned with the degeneration political and social situation. It was during these years that he wrote his poems of satire such as “The Ballad of the Beauties” and “The Ballad of the Was Chariots.” That he long remained in obscurity was probably a great blessing in disguise, for in his humble circumstances of riding donkeyback for thirty years he not only watched at close range but also actually participated in the deprivations of the masses. Hence, he was able to discover the latent dangers with which the T’ang Empire was faced before the actual volcanic eruptions, although in conformity with the taste of the time, he also was a member of the fraternity of the drinking poets. Even then, however, in his drinking songs, people heard his voice of sorrow:
- Jan 11 Fri 2008 01:01
The sudden arrival of the catastrophe had awakened only a relatively small group from their dreams of a perfect and orderly society. Many others strained their literary efforts in praise of the reigning dynasty. For those who had stopped dreaming, however, the universe had acquired an appearance of seriousness and their own philosophies of life had become profoundly realistic. This difference in response was naturally traceable to differences in personal temperament. Even a casual look at new literary trends after the rebellion, however, would convince us that they were, by and large, the products of a completely changed age. In Tu Fu’s own words:
Changes in literature thus reflect the transition to a new age. Literature of the latter half of the eighth century was cast in an entirely different mold from that of its predecessor. This is most clearly seen in the seriousness of attitude and the profundity of vision of the writers. Literature was no longer a pastime or a ladder to the imperial official hierarchy. Moreover, it was no longer a form of entertainment supplying the court musicians with lyrics for the amusement of the aristocracy. Nor did it consist in ventures into the unreal by imagining the toilsome life of military service, or by projecting pictures of an earthly paradise of the immortals. Leaders in literature now began to face life seriously—not imaginary life but real life—the suffering of the masses, problems of social change, challenges of state and government, and the realistic aspirations and fears of actual living.
Traditional historians of T’ang literature have failed to stress this sudden change on the Chinese scene and the incongruities of the reigns of K’ai Yüan and T’ien Pao when they refer to the middle decades of the eighth century as an indivisible unit. Actually the line of division made by the rebellion of 755 cut deep into the century. What had preceded it was a literature singing praises to peace and prosperity with romantic contents creating man-made scenes, whereas what followed it was a literature saturated with pain and suffering reflecting a disintegrating society—a literature deeply characterized by an all-pervasive realism. This new age was no longer the age of lighthearted songs sung to the accompaniment of music. What had been known as yüeh fu, songs written in imitation of the ones sung by the Music Bureau, had done its work as an effective training program in inducing the writers to attempt liberation in technique and in spirit. Instead of subjecting themselves to further discipline, the new poets were now eager to create, hence, we have what was publicly heralded as “the new yüeh fu”—a kind of new poetry to demonstrate the new life under a new age.
- Jan 11 Fri 2008 01:00
We have seen how Li Po was intent on being himself—a hermit poet satisfying himself by creative activities and paying no attention to versification as a short cut to official honors. Completely dedicated to personal freedom and glorifying the liberating influence of the beauties of nature, he was unprepared to meet the challenges of political confusion and social injustice. As a consequence, the rebellion of 755 and its upsetting effects deepened his decadence into pessimism.
To Tu Fu, the shock of the rebellion was equally acute. Thus he sang:
When the tumultuous mutiny led by An Lu-shan in 755 broke out and spread into a huge conflagration, mid-eighth-century China, which had been rhapsodizing in the plenty and peace of an age of prosperity, was caught completely unprepared. The northern half of the empire was soonest aflame, both the capital at Ch’angan and the co-capital Loyang fell, and the dynastic superstructure was on the verge of complete disintegration. It was not until the inadequacy of the dynasty to cope with the situation had been clearly demonstrated and the assistance of alien tribes had been secured that the rebellion was subdued after years of strenuous effort. Even then, the prestige and power of the central government could not be restored and the peace and prosperity of the earlier reigns could not be revived.