Grand Canal, Great River: The Travel Diary of a Twelfth-century Chinese Poet

Front Cover
Frances Lincoln, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 255 pages
1 Review
Between July and December 1170, Lu You, a Chinese poet, politician and historian travelled from east to west China to take up an administrative post. His remarkable 1,800-mile journey took him from near modern Shanghai to Sichuan province along the mighty Grand Canal - begun in the sixth century and today the oldest and longest canal in the world - and the Yangzi River through the famous Yangzi Gorges.
Along the way he kept a daily record of his experiences, the people he met, the unfolding and ever-changing landscape and the famous historical sites - shrines, monasteries and pavilions. What emerges is a panorama of twelfth-century China: an exotic mixture of travelogue, politics and poetry.
This new modern translation by Philip Watson of the whole of the diary makes this rich work of literature accessible to the general reader for the first time, and his detailed commentary fills in all the essential background information. Contemporary paintings and other artworks, together with photographs of the places described, complete this book.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

This is an English translation of a 12th century Chinese travel diary of an imperial official sent to Szechuan as Assistant Prefect. The journey, first via the Grand Canal and then up the Yangzi River ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2007)

Philip Watson (U.K.) has worked in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan and in Beijing and Hong Kong. He translates Classical Chinese of the 11th and 12th centuries.

Bibliographic information