chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical

chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical

William H. Nienhauser

Language: English

Pages: 184

ISBN: 0253213657

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

André Lévy provides a "picture of Chinese literature of the past" that brilliantly illustrates the four great literary genres of China: the classics, prose, poetry, and the literature of entertainment. His discussion of approximately 120 vivid translations combines personal insights with innovative historical accounts in a genre-based approach that moves beyond the typical chronology of dynasties. Renowned scholar William H. Nienhauser, Jr., translated Lévy’s work from the French and returned to the original Chinese for the texts. This informative, engaging, and eminently readable introduction to the three millennia of traditional Chinese literature is highly recommended for students and general readers.















China's Oldest Narrative History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Chapter 2. Prose "If poetry is intended to express the sentiments and the will while communicating the emotions, the role of prose is to communicate ideas, nothing more." Such a literary doctrine could be extracted from the texts transmitted by or commented on by Confucius. This utilitarian conception of literature in the service of morality would be called into question in the third century A.D. when the imperial

toward a confederacy of chiefdoms and finally devoted to a supreme authority in the person of the Son of Heaven (or emperor). The prefectural system is superior to the feudal society that it eliminated. The crises of those governments that employed the prefectural system were caused not by the system, but by other factors. Confucius did not choose the feudal system, he merely survived it. Liu concludes: 42 Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical Now, the Way of the governing throughout the

committed official career. Thus it is no wonder that Arthur Waley's The Life and Times of Po 13aiJuyiJ, although written in the 1940s, remains one of the most successful Western studies of a Tang poet. Bai Juyi himself took great care to ensure the preservation of his works. They were the first literary texts in the world to be printed. Bai paid great attention to the aural effects of his verse, to the point that many of his works could almost be considered "oral poetry"-he enjoyed attempting to

tail, you were so happy you almost danced! Leaping about, chasing the servant boys, Your tongue hanging out, panting, raining sweat. Unwilling to tread the long bridge, You went straight across the clear, deep river; Paddling and floating like a duck or goose, Climbing on shore as rapidly as an angry tiger. Your stealing meat was also a small faultSo my bamboo whip had to indulge you; You bowed repeatedly to express your gratitude; Heaven has not given you the power of speech. When it is time for

history of literature. Hong Sheng's Vt.4 (1645-1704) Changsheng dian (The Palace of Eternal Youth), completed in 1688) dealt with the popular but tragic love story of Emperor Xuanzong (r. 712-755) of the Tang and his favorite, Yang Guifei. In a pattern that was repeated often at the beginning of the Manchu dynasty, Hong Sheng had his characters, who were ostensibly living in the Tang dynasty, comment on events that were clearly more related to the late Ming dynasty, and the play was therefore

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