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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genre of Chinese literature that flourished from the second century B.C. to the second century A.D.; it was especially popular during the T’ang and Sung dynasties. The genre existed until the early 20th century.

The classical fu was a panegyrical work that was written in lines of poetry with an uneven number of feet and that had prose insertions. It praised the emperor or glorified the power of the empire. The language and style of the fu were flowery, and the genre was unique in terms of its elegance and the logical harmony of the thoughts it expressed.

Toward the late medieval period, the fu ceased to deal with the emperor and the court. Brief lyric fu were written that extolled simple men, everyday objects of use, and ordinary happenings. The fu later became a type of lyric meditation; panegyric was replaced by moralizing, and flowery language by rigid form.


Kitaiskaia klassicheskaia proza v perevodakh V. M. Alekseeva. Moscow, 1959.


Lisevich, I. S. “Khan’skie fu i tvorchestvo Syma Sian-zhu.” In the collection Literatura drevnego Kitaia. Moscow, 1969.
Golygina, K. I. “Zhanr fu i ego tolkovanie v traditsionnoi kitaiskoi teorii literatury.” In the collection Teoreticheskie problemy izucheniia literatur Dal’nego Vostoka. Moscow, 1970.
Margoulies, G. Le “Fou” dans le Wen siuan. Paris, 1926.
Hervouet, Y. Un Poète de cour sous les Han: Sseu-ma Siang-jou. Paris, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.