Chinese Literature

3277 words, 14 pages

Intro Sample...

Two distinct traditions exist in Chinese literature: the literary and the vernacular, or colloquial. The latter can be traced back more than a thousand years before the Christian era and has existed almost continuously until modern times. Consisting originally of poetry and later of drama and fiction, it grew to include histories and popular stories and tales, as well. Folk, or vernacular, literature was long considered beneath the notice of members of the scholar-official class, who were the arbiters of literary taste. Their own polished and highly stylized writings set the standards for the orthodox literary tradition that began about 2000 years ago. Not until the 20th century did colloquial... View More »

Body Sample...

They make up about one-half of the book. The other half of the Shi Jing is made up of dynastic songs and court poems. These songs and poems give a colorful picture of the life and manners of the Chinese feudal nobility, just as the folk poems depict the simple and yet bountiful life of the peasantry. The court poems were originally sung to music and accompanied by dance; Chinese poetry and music were closely linked from earliest times.
The aristocratic, or court, style finds its best expression, however, in a group of poems known as the elegies of Chu (Ch'u). A feudal state in south-central China, Chu was the home of Qu Yuan (Ch' Yan), the first great Chinese poet. A noble by birth, Qu Yuan wrote Li Sao (On Encountering Sorrow), a long, autobiographical poem full of historical allusions, allegories, and similes, lyrically expressed and concerned with the intimate revelation of a poetic soul tormented because it has failed in its search for a beautiful ideal. Other poems by Qu Yuan are equally rich in’ images and sentiment, and they form a body of romantic poetry entirely different from the simple, realistic poetry of the Shi Jing.
AD220) the romantic and realistic modes developed into schools of poetry with many During the 400 years of the Han dynasty (206BC-followers. The verses of Qu, which were irregular in form, initiated a new literary genre, the fu, or prose poem. Chinese poetry was further enriched by the folk songs collected by the Music Bureau (Yuefu, or Yeh-fu), an institution founded about the 2nd century BC.
B Prose
The seminal works of Chinese prose are ...

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