Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations
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Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations : From Antiquity to the Tang Dynasty

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The summation of more than two thousand years of one of the world's most august literary traditions, this volume also represents the achievements of four hundred years of Western scholarship on China. The selections include poetry, drama, fiction, songs, biographies, and works of early Chinese philosophy and history rendered in English by the most renowned translators of classical Chinese literature: Arthur Waley, Ezra Pound, David Hawkes, James Legge, Burton Watson, Stephen Owen, Cyril Birch, A. C. Graham, Witter Bynner, Kenneth Rexroth, and others. Arranged chronologically and by genre, each chapter is introduced by definitive quotes and brief introductions chosen from classic Western sinological treatises.
Beginning with discussions of the origins of the Chinese writing system and selections from the earliest "genre" of Chinese literature-the Oracle Bone inscriptions-the book then proceeds with selections from: * early myths and legends; * the earliest anthology of Chinese poetry, the Book of Songs; * early narrative and philosophy, including the I Ching, Tao-te Ching, and the Analects of Confucius; * rhapsodies, historical writings, magical biographies, ballads, poetry, and miscellaneous prose from the Han and Six Dynasties period; * the court poetry of the Southern Dynasties; * the finest gems of Tang poetry; and * lyrics, stories, and tales of the Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties eras. Special highlights include individual chapters covering each of the luminaries of Tang poetry: Wang Wei, Li Bo, Du Fu, and Bo Juyi; early literary criticism; women poets from the first to the tenth century C.E.; and the poetry of Zen and the Tao.
Bibliographies, explanatory notes, copious illustrations, a chronology of major dynasties, and two-way romanization tables coordinating the Wade-Giles and pinyin transliteration systems provide helpful tools to aid students, teachers, and general readers in exploring this rich tradition of world literature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 1248 pages
  • 163.1 x 237.7 x 67.8mm | 1,859.04g
  • Columbia University Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 105 illus
  • 0231096763
  • 9780231096768
  • 1,243,810

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The summation of more than two thousand years of one of the world's most august literary traditions, this volume also represents the achievements of four hundred years of Western scholarship on China. The selections include poetry, drama, fiction, songs, biographies, and works of early Chinese philosophy and history rendered in English by the most renowned translators of classical Chinese literature: Arthur Waley, Ezra Pound, David Hawkes, James Legge, Burton Watson, Stephen Owen, Cyril Birch, A. C. Graham, Witter Bynner, Kenneth Rexroth, and others.Arranged chronologically and by genre, each chapter is introduced by definitive quotes and brief introductions chosen from classic Western sinological treatises. Beginning with discussions of the origins of the Chinese writing system and selections from the earliest "genre" of Chinese literature -- the Oracle Bone inscriptions -- the book then proceeds with selections from: -- early myths and legends; -- the earliest anthology of Chinese poetry, the Book of Songs; -- early narrative and philosophy, including the I Ching, Tao-te Ching, and the Analects of Confucius; -- rhapsodies, historical writings, magical biographies, ballads, poetry, and miscellaneous prose from the Han and Six Dynasties period; -- the court poetry of the Southern Dynasties; -- the finest gems of Tang poetry; and-- lyrics, stories, and tales of the Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties eras.Special highlights include individual chapters covering each of the luminaries of Tang poetry: Wang Wei, Li Bo, Du Fu, and Bo Juyi; early literary criticism; women poets from the first to the tenth century C.E.; and the poetry of Zen and the Tao.Bibliograph explanatory notes, copious illustrations, a chronology of major dynasties, and two-way romanization tables coordinating the Wade-Giles and pinyin transliteration systems provide helpful tools to aid students, teachers, and general readers in exploring this rich tradition of world literature.
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Review quote

An invaluable treasure... by far the most complete, with an astounding number of selections... Highly recommended for students and scholars of Chinese literature at all levels. Choice This book is a scholar's dream and an historical and literary marvel. Book Digest (Council On National Literatures)
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Back cover copy

This landmark anthology of classical Chinese literature is the most comprehensive English-language collection available, presenting more than a thousand selections from two thousand years of Chinese literature in classic translations by the luminaries of the field -- Arthur Waley, Ezra Pound, David Hawkes, James Legge, Burton Watson, Stephen Owen, Cyril Birch, A. C. Graham, Witter Bynner, Kenneth Rexroth, and others.John Minford and Joseph S. M. Lau have selected writings ranging from the earliest examples of Chinese writing, the Oracle Bone inscriptions, to the poems and lyrics of the Tang and Five Dynasties periods. Chronologically arranged by genre, each section is introduced with quotes by preeminent observers of China across the ages -- from Francis Bacon to Bernhard Karlgren, from Liu Xie to Lu Xun.Encompassing poetry, drama, fiction, songs, biographies, and works of early Chinese philosophy and history, Classical Chinese Literature is a treasury of the finest gems from one of the richest traditions of world literature.
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About John Minford

John Minford is professor of Chinese at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Jospeph S. M. Lau is professor of translation and head of the department of Chinese at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
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Table of contents

Foreword, by Cyril Birch Editors' Introduction Part 1: Before the Han Dynasty (to 206 BC) 1. Pattern and Sign: The Chinese Language 2. Heavenly Questions: Early Myths and Legends 3. The Book of Songs: The Earliest Anthology of Chinese Poetry 4. The Source: Prose of the Ancients: Early Narrative and Philosophy 5. The Songs of the South: Shamanism and Poetry Part 2: The Han Dynasty and the Period of Disunion 6. Red and Purple Threads: Rhapsodies from the Han and Six Dynasties 7. Mortals and Immortals: Historical and Pseudo-Historical Writings from the Han and Six Dynasties 8. We Fought South of the City Wall: Ballands and Folksongs of the Han and Six Dynasties 9. Tigers Setting the Wind Astir: Poets of the Han, Wei and Jin Dynasties 10. Bamboo Grove, Golden Valley, Orchid Pavilion: Coteries of the Third and Fourth Centuries 11. Tao Yuanming (365-427): The Gentleman of the Five Willow Trees 12. The Murmuring Stream and the Weary Road: Xie Lingyun and Bao Zhao 13. New Songs from a Jade Terrace: Court Poetry of the Southern Dynasties 14. Green Bag and Yellow Covers: A Miscellany of Prose from the Han and Six Dynasties 15. The Carving of Dragons: Early Literary Criticism 16. Spirits and Humors: Strange Tales from the Six Dynasties Part 3: The Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties (589-960) 17. The Great River: Poets of the Early Tang 18. Wang Wei (701-761): Poet and Painter 19. Li Bo (701-762): The Banished Immortal 20. Du Fu (712-770): The Sage of Poetry 21. Spring, River, Flowers, Moon, Night: Poets of the High Tang 22. Stones Where the Haft Rotted: Poets of the Mid Tang 23. Bo Juyi (772-846): Madly Singing in the Mountains 24. The Patterned Lute: Poets of the Late Tang 25. Red Leaf: Women Poets from the First Century B.C. to the Tenth Century A.D. 26. Cold Mountain: Poetry of Zen and the Tao 27. Return to the Source: Essays of the Tang Dynasty 28. The World in a Pillow: Classical Tales of the Tang Dynasty 29. Turning the Scrolls: Ballads and Stories from Dunhuang 30. Among the Flowers: Lyrics of the Tang and Five Dynasties
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