Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations

Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations

by John Minford
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

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.

Book Digest (Council On National Literatures)

This book is a scholar's dream and an historical and literary marvel.

(Council On National Literatures) - Book Digest
This book is a scholar's dream and an historical and literary marvel.
C.D. Smith
Minford and Lau have provided the student of Chinese literature an invaluable treasure. Although several anthologies of Chinese literature in translation have already been published, this new collection—once joined by the second volume—will be by far the most complete, with an astounding number of selections, arranged mostly in chronological order. Like Victor Mair (ed. ofThe Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature, CH, Apr'96, the editors selected from the best translations available for each piece, including even an 1834 Latin translation fromThe Book of Changes; and like Stephen Owen (ed. ofAn Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911, CH, Nov'96, they have included all the classic pieces one would hope and expect to find in such a work....The addition of illustrations and graphics throughout and 'Further Reading' and 'Editors' Notes' at the ends of chapters are very useful. Highly recommended for students and scholars of Chinese literature at all levels.
Library Journal
Compiled by two eminent professors of Chinese in Hong Kong, this wonderful book covers the vast time span from c.2000 B.C.E. to 960 C.E. Early chapters have excerpts from oracle bones and bronze inscriptions, followed by chapters progressing to myths, philosophy, poetry, tales, histories, and legends and other forms of written work. Some works are presented as originally translated into French or Latin but are also given an English translation. Translators include the well-known Arthur Waley, James Legge, and Ezra Pound from the 19th century or early 20th century and, more recently, noted scholars such as Burton Watson and David Keightley, among many others. Each of the 30 chapters has a short introduction and an extensive list of further readings. This superb compilation serves both as literature to enjoy and as a reference for further study. Recommended for all libraries.--Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Nearly a thousand selections from the best translators of Chinese literature covers antiquity to the Tang Dynasty in this first volume, an essential anthology of Chinese literature important for any scholarly or collegelevel collection strong in Chinese works. This gathers the most important writings of poetry, fiction, songs, biographies, and early Chinese philosophy, with a chronological and genre arrangement which makes study easy. Chapters are introduced by quotes and introductions in this weighty presentation which includes individual chapters on early literary criticism and works.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231096775
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
03/20/2002
Pages:
1248
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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