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Two of the world's leading sinologists, Victor H. Mair and Mark Bender, capture the breadth of China's oral-based literary heritage. This collection presents works drawn from the large body of oral literature of many of China's recognized ethnic groups-including the Han, Yi, Miao, Tu, Daur, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Kazak-and the selections include a variety of genres. Chapters cover folk stories, songs, rituals, and drama, as well as epic traditions and professional storytelling, and feature both familiar and little-known texts, from the story of the woman warrior Hua Mulan to the love stories of urban storytellers in the Yangtze delta, the shaman rituals of the Manchu, and a trickster tale of the Daur people from the forests of the northeast. The Cannibal Grandmother of the Yi and other strange creatures and characters unsettle accepted notions of Chinese fable and literary form. Readers are introduced to antiphonal songs of the Zhuang and the Dong, who live among the fantastic limestone hills of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; work and matchmaking songs of the mountain-dwelling She of Fujian province; and saltwater songs of the Cantonese-speaking boat people of Hong Kong. The editors feature the Mongolian epic poems of Geser Khan and Jangar; the sad tale of the Qeo family girl, from the Tu people of Gansu and Qinghai provinces; and local plays known as "rice sprouts" from Hebei province. These fascinating juxtapositions invite comparisons among cultures, styles, and genres, and expert translations preserve the individual character of each thrillingly imaginative work.
The Columbia History of Chinese Literatureis a comprehensive yet portable guide to China's vast literary traditions. Stretching from earliest times to the present, the text features original contributions by leading specialists working in all genres and periods. Chapters cover poetry, prose, fiction, and drama, and consider such contextual subjects as popular culture, the impact of religion, the role of women, and China's relationship with non-Sinitic languages and peoples. Opening with a major section on the linguistic and intellectual foundations of Chinese literature, the anthology traces the development of forms and movements over time, along with critical trends, and pays particular attention to the premodern canon.
With its fresh translations by newer voices in the field, its broad scope, and its flowing style, this anthology places the immense riches of Chinese literature within easy reach. Ranging from the beginnings to 1919, this abridged version of The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature retains all the characteristics of the original. In putting together these selections Victor H. Mair interprets "literature" very broadly to include not just literary fiction, poetry, and drama, but folk and popular literature, lyrics and arias, elegies and rhapsodies, biographies, authobiographies adn memoirs, letters, criticism and theory, and travelogues and jokes.
A landmark translation of one of the most popular works of world literture, this edition of the Tao Te Ching is based on the Ma-wang-tui manuscripts. From the Trade Paperback edition.