Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction
Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.
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landscapes allusions and alcohol
history jottings and tales of the strange
gardens bandits and dreams
trauma movements and bus stops
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ancient Anthology of Chinese beautiful bird’s Buddhist Cao Xueqin century BCE Chapter characters China Chinese Literature Chinese poetry Classic of Poetry classical Chinese collection Columbia Anthology Columbia University Press commentaries Confucian Confucius corrupt courtesans critical cultivation Daoist debates depict desire developed drama Dream Du Fu early elite emotions emperor ethical feelings fiction fox spirit Gao’s genre Han dynasty heaven historian human John Minford language later Li Bai life’s literary culture literature’s lovers Lu Xun lyrical Mao’s Mencius Ming modern Chinese monk moral narrative narrator nature nature’s neoConfucian novel official one’s passions patterns Peony Pavilion philosophy poems poetic poets political protagonist Qing readers records rhapsodies ritual River rulers scholars sexual Sima social Song speaker’s Stephen Owen story story’s storytellers Taiwan tale Tang dynasty texts themes thinkers Traditional Chinese traditionalist trans translated vernacular Wang women writing written Yingying York young Yuan Zhang Zhuangzi