Powerpoint Presentation for Chinese Lit

August 1, 2017 | Author: Leodel Tolentino Barrio | Category: Chinese Literature, Tang Dynasty, Poetry, International Politics, China
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Chinese literature

Introduction 

China is the only country in the world with a literature written in one language for more than 3,000 consecutive years. This continuity results largely from the nature of the written language itself. It is the use of characters, not letters as in Western languages, that is most important in the Chinese language

The dominance of the written language has had significant effects on the development of the literature. In handwriting or in print, a piece of literature has visual appeal. This has given rise to the great respect that calligraphy enjoys in China, where it has been regarded for at least 16 centuries as a fine art comparable to painting.

The main disadvantage of written Chinese is the great number of characters it contains: Even basic reading and writing require a knowledge of more than 1,000 characters.

But even with this disadvantage, Chinese has been a potent factor in shaping and maintaining a cultural continuity for millions of people.

China has a very old and rich tradition in literature and the dramatic and visual arts. Early writings generally derived from philosophical or religious essays such as the works of Confucius (551479 BC) and Lao-tzu (probably 4th century BC).

After the fall of a dynasty, for example, a grand history of the late dynasty was commissioned and written by scholars in the next dynasty.

To many Westerners, Chinese literature remains a hidden seam in the rich strata of Chinese culture. As a matter of fact, it is a treasure of a very considerable number of brilliant and profound works as each dynasty, in the long history of China, has passed down its legacy of magnificent events and works.

For 3500 years, they have woven a variety of genres and forms encompassing poetry, essays, fiction and drama;

China also produced poetry, novels, and dramatic writings from an early date. Poetry, example became well established as a literary form during the T'ang Dynasty, from AD 618 to 907. Chinese literature has its own values and tastes, its own reigning cultural tradition and its own critical system of theory.

Drama is another old and important literary form. Chinese drama usually combines vernacular language with music and song and thus has been popular with the common people.

A variety of popular and standard themes are presented in Peking Opera, which is probably the best known of several operatic traditions that developed in China. Chinese opera is a favorite artistic and cultural medium

Early Chinese novels often stressed character development and usually centered on an adventure or supernatural happening;

"Dream of the Red Chamber', probably China's most famous novel.

China's literary tradition continues to the present, though much 20thcentury writing has concentrated on efforts to reform or modernize China.

To many Westerners, Chinese literature remains a hidden seam in the rich strata of Chinese culture.

For 3500 years, they have woven a variety of genres and forms encompassing poetry, essays, fiction and drama;

Four main periods: 

classical literature,

contemporary literature,

modern literature and

present day literature.

Classical literature 

refers to the earliest period and covers works from three thousands years ago to the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), and is a virtually unbroken strand enduring dynastic changes.

Written in an ancient form of language that is very different from present day Chinese, it needs to be carefully studied to be understood.

The most important poetic work produced during the classical period was the Shih Ching (Book of Poetry), an anthology of ancient poems written in four-word verses and composed mostly between the 10th and the 7th centuries bc.

The Shih Ching is classified as the third of the Five Classics; legend has it that Confucius himself selected and edited the 305 poems that constitute the work.

The other half of the Shih Ching 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 aristocratic, or court, style finds its best expression, however, in a group of poems known as the elegies of Ch'u.

A feudal state in south-central China, Ch'u was the home of Ch'ü Yüan (343–277 bc), the first great Chinese poet.

A noble by birth, Ch'ü Yüan wrote Li Sao (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.

Prose 

The seminal works of Chinese prose are those that, with the Shih Ching, constitute the Five Classics. These are the I Ching (Book of Changes), a divination text; the Shu Ching (Book of History), a miscellanea of ancient state documents; the Li Chi (Book of Rites), a collection of ritual and governmental codes; and the Ch'un Ch'iu (Spring and Autumn Annals), a history of the state of Lu from 722 to 481 bc.

From the 6th to the 3d century bc, the first great works of Chinese philosophy appeared.

Poetry 

In ancient China, people had profuse feelings to express when historical events took place, both joyful or of grief.

Classical literature possesses a profound culture, and is the epitome of the spirit, morals and wisdom of the Chinese people.

Classical poetry cares a great deal for rhythm. Poetry is one of the earliest artistic forms as well as the most fully developed in China.

dynasties 

Shang (bea)



Han 

Chu Ci, or The Songs of the South, is another important poem collection which appeared 300 years after The Classic of Odes.

Chu Ci, as the book's name indicates, is derived from the songs of the southern state Chu during the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC).

Qu Yuan, who furthered the development of the new poem style, is famed as a great patriotic poet and politician in the Chu state.

This poetry book changed the simple and brief style of The Classic of Odes, and completely distinctive.

The ancient poetry really enlightened the poets that came after with its romanticism.

Yuefu in Han Dynasty (206 BC 220) is a creation of the lower class working people.

The most prominent works are Mo Shang Sang, Zhan Cheng Nan (War in the South of Town), Orphan's Song, and A Pair of Peacocks Southeast Fly.

The Han Dynasty Ode is another popular style originated in the first unprecedented powerful empire Han. It is an artistic reflection of the optimism and self-reliance of that time.

The Han Dynasty (206 BC to AD 220) actively promoted the restoration and teaching of the Classics.

In 124 BC a national university was opened for the purpose of teaching Confucianism.

It was also during the Han period that the Classics became established as the basis of Chinese education.

Literature flowered again during the Han Dynasty.

Traditional poetry and prose forms, especially the fu prose poems, flourished. But the most notable achievement came with the reactivation of the Yueh Fu, or Music Bureau, in 125 BC.

The most outstanding folk ballad of the period, about AD 200, was `Southeast the Peacock Flies'.

The major prose authors of the Han Dynasty were Liu An, Ssu-ma Ch'ien, and Pan Ku.

Liu An was a prince of Huai-nan in the 2nd century BC.

The work attributed to him, but probably done under his patronage, is `The Master of Huai-nan'.

The masterpiece of the period was the `Shih-chi', meaning "Historical Records," of Ssu-ma Ch'ien.

It was completed in about 85 BC and took 18 years to produce. It contains a record of events and personalities for the previous 2,000 years.

It was the first attempt at a national history in China, and it set the pattern for the histories of dynasties in the following centuries.

In the next century Ssu-ma Ch'ien was followed as historian by Pan Ku, who was born about AD 32 and died about AD 92.

He was also a poet, soldier, and the author of `Han shu', meaning "History of the Former Han Dynasty."

Six Dynasties and the Sui Dynasty (AD 221 to 618). 

Xin Dynasty Eastern HanThree Kingdoms 220– 280 Wei, Shu & WuJin Dynasty 265–420 Western Jin16 Kingdoms 304– 439 Eastern JinSouthern & Northern Dynasties

Sui dynasty

Six Dynasties and the Sui Dynasty (AD 221 to 618). 

The major poet of this era was T'ao Ch'ien (365-427).

He was a master of the fiveword line and has been called the first of China's great nature poets because most of his writings deal with rural activities.

The 3rd and 4th centuries were, for prose writers, a time of individuality and partial rejection of slavish imitation of past models.

Lu Chi (261-303) was a renowned poet and literary critic who emphasized originality in creative writing. -ex. Wen Fu

The revolt against imitative writing was also expressed in a 5th-century style called "pure conversation," an intellectual discussion on lofty matters.

In the 6th century the first book of literary criticism, `Carving of the Literary Dragon', was published by Liu Hsieh (465-522).

Two other 6th-century prose masters were Yang Hsien-chih, author of `Record of Buddhist Temples in Lo-yang', and Li Tao-yuan, author of `Commentary on the Water Classic'.

Tang Dynasty 

Poetry in the Tang Dynasty (618 907) is an unparalleled system and reaches the pinnacle in the development of the poem.

is considered China's golden age of poetry.

Its dazzling value consists of an ideal combination of thoughts and art.

  

In later study of literature, it is spoken of as being representative of the whole classical literature along with two other styles of poetry – Tang Shi, Song Ci, Yuan Qu (Poetry in the Tang Dynasty, Ci in the Song Dynasty, and Qu in the Yuan Dynasty).

As for quantity, a total of over 50,000 poems have been collected and no one has any idea how many more have been lost.

Depending upon the period of its development poetry dating from the Tang Dynasty, can be classified into four groups, namely early Tang Dynasty, Flourishing Tang, Mid-Tang and late Tang Dynasty.

Early Tang 

In the early Tang Dynasty, most of the poets followed the style of their forebears and created a blend of the characteristics of the north and south.

Eventually the field of literature was refreshed and became more vigorous as a result of those who are known as The Four Talents - Wang Bo, Yang Jiong, Luo Binwang, and Lu Zhaolin,.

Poems of the period known as the flourishing Tang Dynasty enjoyed a golden environment owing to the wise reign, prosperous economy, and the prevailing strength of diplomacy. The era endowed poets with broad horizons, positive and unrestrained emotion, and innovative inspiration.

There are many representatives we can enumerate: 

Li Bai enjoys the title of the 'Supernatural Being of Poem' .

Even now his 'Jing Ye Si' (Thoughts on the Silent Night) is quite popular and nearly everyone knows it even children as young as two years of age.

Du Fu, known as the 'Saint of Poem', was strict in his use of metrical verses.

His Deng Gao (Climbing Up) achieved the perfection of sheer professionalism.

Wang Wei, the poet of landscape, has written lots of elegant and exquisite verses, such as 'bright moon lighting on the pine forests, clear water found running on the stones'.

Cui Hao created the best of the seven-worded regulated poems The Yellow Crane Tower with the verse 'yellow crane flies and never back, white cloud floats away for thousand years'.

Cen Shen was skillful in his descriptions of colorful scenes in the then northwest China and his famous sentence conveying the delight with snow 'just like the sudden spring wind overnight blows, thousands of pear trees come to bloom' .

Mid-Tang 

In the Mid-Tang Dynasty, numerous poets came to prominence.

The poets also subsequently diverted the attention from state affairs to the trivialities of daily life, and from the glorification of landscapes to the anchorage of spirits and hopes.

Poets like Liu Zongyuan and Wei Yiwu expressed themselves through the plain depiction of sights around them.

Another renowned literary figure is Bai Juyi. His The Old Charcoal Seller fully satirized the dark social reality.

And the Chang Hen Ge (Song of Eternal Lament)

Late Tang dynasty 

In late Tang Dynasty, with the deterioration of government, the poems reflected more and more the hopeless and helpless feelings of the people in a heavy way.

The most talented poets were Li Shang Yin and Du Mu.

Other Information about Tang Dynasty 

Two of the greatest poets in all Chinese literature lived during the T'ang Dynasty: Li Po (701-762) and Tu Fu (712-770).

Li Po was a romantic who celebrated such things as drinking, friendship, and nature as well as solitude and the passage of time.

Tu Fu also celebrated the beauties of nature and bemoaned the passage of time, but he was also a satirist and critic.

Tu Fu's great reputation in literature comes in part from his expert use of all types of poetic style.

Chinese prose also underwent a stylistic reform during the T'ang period. The major change was brought about by Han Yu (768-824).

He promoted classic Confucian doctrines at a time when they had begun to fall into neglect because of the rising popularity of Buddhism and Taoism.

At his death he was honored with the title "Prince of Letters."

Sung Dynasty 

Ci in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) indicates another type of poetry at that time. It came into being in the Tang Dynasty and reached its summit in the Song literature.

This type of poem is akin to lyrics created for musical accompaniment as the meter varies in the way that the words had to match the rhythm of the music.

Ci, depending upon its length, can be divided into Xiao Ling (smallsized, less than 58 characters), Zhong Diao (middle-sized, 59 - 90 characters), and Chang Diao (longsized, more than 91 characters).

Each Ci has a title as well as a Cipai which is the name of the tonal pattern and decides the rhythm and form of a verse.

Poets in the Song Dynasty developed Ci that was deeper in content and broader in form.

Those who made a great contribution were Liu Yong, Su Shi, Yan Shu, Li Qingzhao, Xin Qiji, etc.

Generally speaking, Ci has two main genres - Wanyue (graceful and mild) and Haofang (bold and unconstrained).

Ci of Wanyue genre endows delicate things with exquisite feeling and elegance.

The most famous verses are 'How helpless I see the flowers falling, the swallows seem to know winter is coming again' by Yan Shu.

Ci of Haofang genre began to be popular since the creation by Su Shi who changed Ci into a lyrical art.

Other information about Sung Dynasty 

During the Sung Dynasty, especially in the 11th century, the tz'u form of poetry and song was brought to its greatest heights, particularly through the efforts of China's best woman poet, Li Ch'ing-chao (1081-1141).

Her early poems dealt with the joys of love and were intensely personal.

The prose reform continued under followers of Han Yu, and poetry of the conventional type continued to be written by members of rival literary schools. The only real innovation came with the use of everyday speech in local dialects in storytelling.

This style opened new vistas in prose fiction in later periods, though its use was at first despised by professional writers

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