Chinese netizens have gone on a rampage photoshopping Du Fu, the prominent Tang Dynasty poet. In the “Du Fu is busy” meme, netizens have come up with their own creative versions of a portrait of Du Fu popularly used in Chinese textbooks, telling different versions of Du Fu’s life.
This gallery shows one version of Du Fu’s “life,” in which Du Fu is busy not writing poems but going to visit his wife.
While most netizens would think of this as just pure simple fun, the meme has been criticized by some poetry scholars.
Ma Xinchao(马新朝), president of He’nan Poetry Association, says Du Fu is “the light of the Chinese nation,” and “there should be a bottom line on spoofing Du Fu.”
Meanwhile, the Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum, a museum developed out of Du Fu’s Chengdu residence, said in a tweet on Sina Weibo, “Is this childlike innocence? Is this humor? Is this fashion? Is it encouragable? Such behavior has no basic respect towards others. How can we do this to a great poet respected as ‘backbone of the Chinese nation’?”
This year marks the 1300th birthday of Du Fu, a year regarded by some as a good opportunity to make a profit out of the ancient poet. Some analysts say the meme may have been a clever marketing ploy for an upcoming product orchestrated by a PR company.
[Photos and story via 962.net]