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Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (1 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253213657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253213655
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,267,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"A concise and elegant account of pre-modern Chinese literature... The translations ... are fresh, uncluttered, and vivid." Journal of the American Oriental Society "Provides an insightful overview of traditional Chinese literature, and is especially recommended for general readers and beginning students." China Quarterly "As a general introduction for the lay reader ... Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical works well, with the fast-pace and engaging short extracts providing excellent motivation." odannyreviews.com, 11/23/2010

About the Author

Andre Levy is Emeritus Professor at the University of Bordeaux. William H. Nienhauser, Jr., is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classical Chinese Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison."

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First Sentence
Ancient literature, recorded by the scribes of a rapidly evolving warlike and aristocratic society, has been carefully preserved since earliest times and has become the basis of Chinese lettered culture. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all, be warned, this is a pretty short book. In my naivite I though that the price would translate into quantity.

Instead, I got quality. This is a very useful and informative account, spanning what could be considered 'ancient' Chinese literature. It is seperated into sections on "the Classics", "Prose", "Poetry" and "Drama/Novels". Although perhaps aimed at students already knowledgable about the fundamental texts in Chinese literature, I approached it as a complete notice. As such it was a good introduction, giving a flavour of an essentially inaccesable literature, and certainly little known. I may have missed out on some of the sophistication that the comments on the back imply Andre Levy brought to organisation.

What I can say is that the quotations were neither too long nor irrelevant, but apt at bringing out the quality Levy wanted to express. Indeed, the book could be considered a 'tour' of many Chinese writers, with myriad themes being skillfully connected.

Once having read the book, you will be able to more informitavely decide where else in Ancient/Classical Chinese literature you want to explore, or be pleased in attempting to get a flavour of a very foreign literary tradition.
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