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Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations, Vol. 1 written by John Minford

 

Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations, Vol. 1 written by John Minford

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

A Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

Synopsis:

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 anthology includes over a thousand selections from the most renowned translators — including Ezra Pound, Cyril Birch, and Burton Watson.

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.

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Title: Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations, Vol. 1

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