Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical

Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical

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Description

Andre Levy 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 Levy'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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 7.62mm | 249.47g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253213657
  • 9780253213655
  • 720,563

Review quote

As a general introduction for the lay reader . . . Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical works well, with the fast-pace and engaging short extracts providing excellent motivation. 11/23/2010 * dannyreviews.com * Eminent sinologist Levy attempts an almost impossible task: to provide a general picture of ancient Chinese literature . . . Levy's book is unique among the numerous published histories . . . because it is organized according to genres rather than according to the customary dynastic-political divisions.December 2000 * Choice * Eminent sinologist Levy (Levy) attempts an almost impossible task: to provide a general picture of ancient Chinese literature within the confines of a small book. First published in French (La litterature (litterature) chinoise ancienne et classique, Paris, 1991), Levy's (Levy's) book is unique among the numerous published histories (in Western languages) of traditional Chinese literature because it is organized according to genres (classics, prose, poetry, drama, narrative literature, and so on) rather than according to the customary dynastic-political divisions. By following this approach Levy (Levy) (Univ. of Bordeaux, France) is able to provide greater insight into how and why various types of literary forms developed in old China. At the same time, the author shows how and why literature was an essential part of ancient Chinese culture and civilization. Levy (Levy) includes more than 100 translations, each of which is accompanied by commentary. His observations deserve close attention because they reveal numerous insights. This superb English translation by Nienhauser (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison; ed. of the two-volume The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, CH, Jul'87, Apr'99), one of the US's most accomplished China scholars, will make an ideal core text for undergraduate courses on traditional Chinese literature and culture as well as an excellent addition to all undergraduate and graduate library collections.December 2000 -- J. M. Hargett * SUNY at Albany *show more

About Andre Levy

Andre Levy is Emeritus Professor at the University of Bordeaux. William H. Nienhauser, Jr., is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classical Chinese Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.show more

Table of contents

Preface Introduction Chapter 1: Antiquity I. Origins II. "Let one hundred flowers bloom, Let the hundred schools of thought contend!" 1. Mo zi and the Logicians : 2. Legalism 3. The Fathers of Taoism III. The Confucian Classics Chapter 2: Prose I. Narrative Art and Historical Records II. The Return of the "Ancient Style" III. The Golden Age of Trivial Literature : IV. Literary Criticism Chapter 3: Poetry I. The Two Sources of Ancient Poetry 1. The Songs of Chu 2. Poetry of the Han Court II. The Golden Age of Chinese Poetry 1. From Aesthetic Emotion to Metaphysical Flights 2. From Age of Maturity 3. The Late Tang III. The Triumph of Genres in Song Chapter 4: The Literature of Entertainment: The Novel and Theatre I. Narrative Literature Written in Classical Chinese II. The Theatre 1. The Opera-theatre of the North 2. The Opera-theatre of the South III. The Novel 1. Oral Literature 2. Stories and Novellas 3. The "Long Novel" or Saga Abbreviations Indexshow more

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