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Chinese literature

For the 19512001 English-language magazine, see therefore became the center of the educational system.
Chinese Literature (magazine).
They have been grouped into two categories: the Five
Classics, allegedly commented and edited by Confucius,
Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the and the Four Books. The Five Classics are:
earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature
vernacular ction novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese. The introduction of widespread woodblock printing during the
Tang Dynasty (618907) and the invention of movable
type printing by Bi Sheng (9901051) during the Song
Dynasty (9601279) rapidly spread written knowledge
throughout China. In more modern times, the author Lu
Xun (18811936) is considered the founder of baihua literature in China.

1. the I Ching, or Book of Changes, a divination manual;* [note 1]

2. the Classic of Poetry, a collection of poems, folk
songs, festival and ceremonial songs, hymns and eulogies;
3. the Classic of Rites or Record of Rites;
4. the Classic of History, an early Chinese prose collection of documents and speeches allegedly written
by rulers and ocials of the early Zhou period and

Pre-classical period

5. the Spring and Autumn Annals, a historical record

of Confucius' native state, Lu, from 722 to 479 BC.

Formation of the earliest layer of Chinese literature

was inuenced by oral traditions of dierent social and The Four Books are:
professional provenance: cult and lay musical practices
(Shijing),* [1] divination (Yi jing), astronomy, exorcism.
1. the Analects of Confucius, a book of pithy sayings
An attempt at tracing the genealogy of Chinese literature
attributed to Confucius and recorded by his discito religious spells and incantations (the six zhu , as
presented in the Da zhuchapter of the Rites of Zhou)
2. the Mencius, a collection of political dialogues;
was made by Liu Shipei.* [2]
3. the Doctrine of the Mean, a book that teaches the
path to Confucian virtue; and

Classical texts

4. the Great Learning, a book about education, selfcultivation and the Dao.

Main articles: Chinese classics and List of Chinese

language poets
Other important philosophical works include the Mohist
Mozi, which taughtinclusive loveas both an ethical and
social principle, and Hanfeizi, one of the central Legalist
There is a wealth of early Chinese literature dating from
the Hundred Schools of Thought that occurred during the texts.
Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770256 BC). The most important of these include the Classics of Confucianism, of
Daoism, of Mohism, of Legalism, as well as works of military science and Chinese history. Note that, except for
the books of poems and songs, most of this literature is
philosophical and didactic; there is little in the way of ction. However, these texts maintained their signicance
through both their ideas and their prose style.

Important Daoist classics include the Dao De Jing, the

Zhuangzi, and the Classic of the Perfect Emptiness. Later
authors combined Daoism with Confucianism and Legalism, such as Liu An (2nd century BC), whose Huainanzi
(The Philosophers of Huai-nan) also added to the elds
of geography and topography.
Among the classics of military science, The Art of War by
Sun Tzu (6th century BC) was perhaps the rst to outline
guidelines for eective international diplomacy. It was
also the rst in a tradition of Chinese military treatises,
such as the Wujing Zongyao (Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques, 1044 AD) and the Huolongjing
(Fire Dragon Manual, 14th century AD).

The Confucian works in particular have been of key importance to Chinese culture and history, as a set of works
known as the Four Books and Five Classics were, in the
12th century AD, chosen as the basis for the Imperial examination for any government post. These nine books


Historical texts, dictionaries and


the historian Guo Pu (276324). Other early dictionaries

include the Fangyan by Yang Xiong (53 BC 18 AD) and
the Shuowen Jiezi by Xu Shen (58147 AD). One of the
largest was the Kangxi Dictionary compiled by 1716 unMain article: Chinese historiography
der the auspices of the Kangxi Emperor (r. 16611722);
Further information: Category:Chinese encyclopedias it provides denitions for over 47,000 characters.
and Chinese dictionary
The Chinese kept consistent and accurate court records Although court records and other independent records
existed beforehand, the denitive work in early Chinese
historical writing was the Shiji, or Records of the Grand
Historian written by Han Dynasty court historian Sima
Qian (145 BC-90 BC). This groundbreaking text laid the
foundation for Chinese historiography and the many ofcial Chinese historical texts compiled for each dynasty
thereafter. Sima Qian is often compared to the Greek
Herodotus in scope and method, because he covered Chinese history from the mythical Xia Dynasty until the contemporary reign of Emperor Wu of Han while retaining
an objective and non-biased standpoint. This was often
dicult for the ocial dynastic historians, who used historical works to justify the reign of the current dynasty.
He inuenced the written works of many Chinese historians, including the works of Ban Gu and Ban Zhao in
the 1st and 2nd centuries, and even Sima Guang's 11thcentury compilation of the Zizhi Tongjian, presented to
Emperor Shenzong of Song in 1084 AD. The overall
scope of the historiographical tradition in China is termed
the Twenty-Four Histories, created for each successive
Chinese dynasty up until the Ming Dynasty (13681644);
China's last dynasty, the Qing Dynasty (16441911), is
not included.

Sima Qian laid the ground for professional Chinese historiography more than 2,000 years ago.

after the year 841 BC, with the beginning of the Gonghe
Regency of the Western Zhou Dynasty. The earliest
known narrative history of China was the Zuo Zhuan,
which was compiled no later than 389 BC, and attributed
to the blind 5th century BC historian Zuo Qiuming. The
Book of Documents is thought to have been compiled as
far back as the 6th century BC, and was certainly compiled by the 4th century BC, the latest date for the writing of the Guodian Chu Slips unearthed in a Hubei tomb
in 1993. The Book of Documents included early information on geography in the Yu Gong chapter.* [3] The
Bamboo Annals found in 281 AD in the tomb of the King
of Wei, who was interred in 296 BC, provide another example; however, unlike the Zuo Zhuan, the authenticity
of the early date of the Bamboo Annals is in doubt. Another early text was the political strategy book of the Zhan
Guo Ce, compiled between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC,
with partial amounts of the text found amongst the 2nd
century BC tomb site at Mawangdui. The oldest extant
dictionary in China is the Erya, dated to the 3rd century
BC, anonymously written but with later commentary by

Large encyclopedias were also produced in China through

the ages. The Yiwen Leiju encyclopedia was completed
by Ouyang Xun in 624 during the Tang Dynasty, with
aid from scholars Linghu Defen and Chen Shuda. During the Song Dynasty, the compilation of the Four Great
Books of Song (10th century 11th century), begun by
Li Fang and completed by Cefu Yuangui, represented a
massive undertaking of written material covering a wide
range of dierent subjects. This included the Extensive
Records of the Taiping Era (978), the Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era (983), the Finest Blossoms in the
Garden of Literature (986), and the Prime Tortoise of
the Record Bureau (1013). Although these Song Dynasty Chinese encyclopedias featured millions of written Chinese characters each, their aggregate size paled
in comparison to the later Yongle Encyclopedia (1408)
of the Ming Dynasty, which contained a total of 50 million Chinese characters.* [4] Even this size was trumped
by later Qing Dynasty encyclopedias, such as the printed
Gujin Tushu Jicheng (1726), which featured over 100 million written Chinese characters in over 800,000 pages,
printed in 60 dierent copies using copper-metal Chinese
movable type printing. Other great encyclopedic writers include the polymath scientist Shen Kuo (10311095)
and his Dream Pool Essays, the agronomist and inventor
Wang Zhen (. 12901333) and his Nongshu, and the minor scholar-ocial Song Yingxing (15871666) and his

Tiangong Kaiwu.

Classical poetry

Main article: Classical Chinese poetry

The rich tradition of Chinese poetry began with two in-

Bai Juyi (772846), a famous Tang Dynasty poet and statesman.

uential collections. In northern China, the Shijing or

Classic of Poetry (approx. 10th-7th century BC) comprises over 300 poems in a variety of styles ranging from
those with a strong suggestion of folk music to ceremonial
hymns.* [5] The word shi has the basic meaning of poem
or poetry, as well as its use in criticism to describe one
of China's lyrical poetic genres. Confucius is traditionally credited with editing the Shijing. Its stately verses are
usually composed of couplets with lines of four characters
each (or four syllables, as Chinese characters are monosyllabic), and a formal structure of end rhymes. Many
of these early poems establish the later tradition of starting with a description of nature that leads into emotionally expressive statements, known as bi, xing, or sometime
bixing.* [6] Associated with what was then considered to
be southern China, the Chuci is ascribed to Qu Yuan (c.
340-278 BC) and his follower Song Yu (. 3rd century
BC) and is distinguished by its more emotionally intense
aect, often full of despair and descriptions of the fantastic.* [7] In some of its sections, the Chu Ci uses a sixcharacter per line meter, dividing these lines into couplets
separated in the middle by a strong caesura, producing a
driving and dramatic rhythm. Both the Shijing and the
Chuci have remained inuential throughout Chinese history.
During the greater part of China's rst great period of unication, begun with the short-lived Qin Dynasty (221 BC
206 BC) and followed by the centuries-long Han Dynasty (206 BC 220 AD), the shi form of poetry underwent little innovation. But a distinctively descriptive and
erudite fu form (not the same fu character as that used
for the bureau of music) developed that has been called
rhyme-prose,a uniquely Han oshoot of Chinese poetry's tradition.* [8] Equally noteworthy is Music Bureau
poetry (yuefu), collected and presumably rened popular

lyrics from folk music. The end of the Han witnesses a

resurgence of the shi poetry, with the anonymous 19 Old
Poems. This collection reects the emergence of a distinctive ve-character line that later became shi poetry's
most common line length.* [9] From the Jian'an reign period (196 - 220 AD) onward, the ve-character line became a focus for innovations in style and theme.* [10] The
Cao family,* [11] rulers of the Wei Dynasty (220 - 265
AD) during the post-Han Three Kingdoms period, distinguished themselves as poets by writing poems lled
with sympathy for the day-to-day struggles of soldiery
and the common people. Taoist philosophy became a
dierent, common theme for other poets, and a genre
emphasizing true feeling emerged led by Ruan Ji (210263).* [12] The landscape genre of Chinese nature poetry emerged under the brush of Xie Lingyun (385-433),
as he innovated distinctively descriptive and complementary couplets composed of ve-character lines.* [13] A
farmland genre was born in obscurity by Tao Qian (365427) also known as Tao Yuanming as he labored in his
elds and then wrote extolling the inuence of wine.* [14]
Toward the close of this period in which many laterdeveloped themes were rst experimented with, the Xiao
family* [15] of the Southern Liang Dynasty (502-557) engaged in highly rened and often denigrated* [16] courtstyle poetry lushly describing sensual delights as well as
the description of objects.
Reunied China's Tang Dynasty (618907) high culture
set a high point for many things, including poetry. Various schools of Buddhism (a religion from India) ourished as represented by the Chan (or Zen) beliefs of
Wang Wei (701-761).* [17] His quatrains (jueju) describing natural scenes are world-famous examples of excellence, each couplet conventionally containing about two
distinct images or thoughts per line.* [18] Tang poetry's
big star is Li Bai (701-762) also pronounced and written
as Li Bo, who worked in all major styles, both the more
free old style verse (gutishi) as well as the tonally regulated new style verse (jintishi).* [19] Regardless of genre,
Tang poets notably strove to perfect a style in which poetic subjects are exposed and evident, often without directly referring to the emotional thrust at hand.* [20] The
poet Du Fu (712-770) excelled at regulated verse and
use of the seven-character line, writing denser poems
with more allusions as he aged, experiencing hardship
and writing about it.* [21] A parade of great Tang poets also includes Chen Zi'ang (661-702), Wang Zhihuan
(688-742), Meng Haoran (689-740), Bai Juyi (772-846),
Li He (790-816), Du Mu (803-852), Wen Tingyun (812870), (listed chronologically) and Li Shangyin (813-858),
whose poetry delights in allusions that often remain obscure,* [22] and whose emphasis on the seven-character
line also contributed to the emerging posthumous fame
of Du Fu,* [23] now ranked alongside Li Bai. The distinctively dierent ci poetry form began its development
during the Tang as Central Asian and other musical inuences owed through its cosmopolitan society.* [24]


China's Song Dynasty (9601279), another reunication

era after a brief period of disunity, initiated a fresh high
culture. Several of its greatest poets were capable government ocials as well including Ouyang Xiu (1007
1072), Su Shi (10371101), and Wang Anshi (1021
1086). The ci form ourished as a few hundred songs became standard templates for poems with distinctive and
variously set meters.* [25] The free and expressive style
of Song high culture has been contrasted with majestic
Tang poems by centuries of subsequent critics who engage in erce arguments over which dynasty had the best
poetry.* [26] Additional musical inuences contributed to
the Yuan Dynasty's (12791368) distinctive qu opera culture and spawned the sanqu form of individual poems
based on it.* [27]
Classical Chinese poetry composition became a conventional skill of the well-educated throughout the Ming
(13681644) and Qing (16441911) dynasties. Over a
million poems have been preserved, including those by
women and by many other diverse voices.* [28] Painterpoets, such as Shen Zhou (14271509), Tang Yin (1470
1524), Wen Zhengming (14701559), and Yun Shouping
(16331690), created worthy conspicuous poems as they
combined art, poetry and calligraphy with brush on paper.* [29] Poetry composition competitions were socially
common, as depicted in novels, for example over dessert
after a nice dinner.* [30] The Song versus Tang debate
continues through the centuries.* [31] While China's later
imperial period does not seem to have broken new ground
for innovative approaches to poetry, picking through its
vast body of preserved works remains a scholarly challenge, so new treasures may yet be restored from obscurity.* [32]

Classical prose

Early Chinese prose was deeply inuenced by the

great philosophical writings of the Hundred Schools
of Thought (770-221 BC). The works of Mo Zi (
), Mencius ( ) and Zhuang Zi ( ) contain
well-reasoned, carefully developed discourses that reveal
much stronger organization and style than their predecessors. Mo Zi's polemic prose was built on solid and eective methodological reasoning. Mencius contributed elegant diction and, like Zhuang Zi, relied on comparisons,
anecdotes, and allegories. By the 3rd century BC, these
writers had developed a simple, concise and economical
prose style that served as a model of literary form for over
2,000 years. They were written in Classical Chinese, the
language spoken during the Spring and Autumn Period.
During the Tang period, the ornate, articial style of
prose developed in previous periods was replaced by a
simple, direct, and forceful prose based on examples from
the Hundred Schools (see above) and from the Han period, the period in which the great historical works of
Sima Tan and Sima Qian were published. This neoclassi-

Wen Chang, a Chinese deity of literature.

cal style dominated prose writing for the next 800 years.
It was exemplied in the work of Han Yu (768
824), a master essayist and strong advocate of a return to
Confucian orthodoxy; Han Yu was later listed as one of
the Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song.
The Song Dynasty saw the rise in popularity of travel
record literature(youji wenxue). Travel literature combined both diary and narrative prose formats, it was practiced by such seasoned travelers as Fan Chengda (1126
1193) and Xu Xiake (15871641) and can be seen in the
example of Su Shi's Record of Stone Bell Mountain.
After the 14th century, vernacular ction became popular, at least outside of court circles. Vernacular ction
covered a broader range of subject matter and was longer
and more loosely structured than literary ction. One
of the masterpieces of Chinese vernacular ction is the
18th-century domestic novel Dream of the Red Chamber

5.1 Some notable contributors

Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song
Han Yu
Liu Zongyuan
Ouyang Xiu
Su Zhe
Su Shi
Su Xun ()


Classical ction and drama

Wang Anshi
Zeng Gong

Two great scientic authors from the Song period:

Shen Kuo (10311095)
Su Song (10201101)
Ming Dynasty
Song Lian (13101381)
Liu Bowen (13111375)
Jiao Yu
Gui Youguang (15061571)
Yuan Hongdao (15681610)
Xu Xiake (15861641)

With the rise of monetary economy and urbanization beginning in the Song Dynasty, there was a growing professionalization of entertainment fostered by the spread
of printing, the rise of literacy and education. In both
China and Western Europe, the novel gradually became
more autobiographical and serious in exploration of social, moral, and philosophical problems. Chinese ction
of the late Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty was varied, self-conscious, and experimental. In China, however, there was no counterpart to the 19th-century European explosion of revolution and romanticism.* [33] The
novels of the Ming and early Qing dynasties, represented
a pinnacle of classical Chinese ction.
The highlights include:
The Four Great Classical Novels:

Gao Qi

Dream of the Red Chamber, by Cao Xueqin

Zhang Dai

Water Margin (also translated as Outlaws of the

Marsh), by Shi Naian

Tu Long
Wen Zhenheng
Qing Dynasty
Li Yu (16101680)
Yao Nai (17311815)
Yuan Mei (17161798)
Gong Zizhen (17921841)
Wei Yuan (17941857)


Classical ction and drama

Chinese ction was rooted in the ocial histories and

such less formal works as A New Account of the Tales
of the World and Investigations of the Supernatural (4th
and 5th century); Finest Flowers from the World of Letters (a 10th-century compilation of works from earlier
centuries); Great Tang Record of the Western Regions
completed by the pilgrim to India, Xuanzang in 646;
Variety Dishes from Youyang, the best known collection
of Classical Chinese Chuanqi (Marvelous Tales) from the
Tang dynasty; and the Taiping Guangji, which preserved
the corpus of these Tang dynasty tales. There was a range
of less formal works either oral or using oral conventions,
such as the bianwen (Buddhist tale), pinghua (plain tale),
and huaben (novella), which formed background to the
novel as early as the Song Dynasty. The novel as an extended prose narrative which realistically creates a believable world of its own evolved in China and in Europe from
the 14th-18th centuries, though a little earlier in China.
Chinese audiences were more interested in history and
Chinese authors generally did not present their works as
ctional. Readers appreciated relative optimism, moral
humanism, relative emphasis on group behavior, and welfare of the society.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms, by Luo

Journey to the West, by Wu Cheng'en
Other classic long and short ction:
Cases of Judge Bao (Baogong An)
Illustrious Words to Instruct the World
(Yushi Mingyan), or Stories Old and New
(1620) by Feng Menglong
Stories to Caution the World ( Stories
to Caution the World) by Feng Menglong.
Slapping the Table in Amazement (
Chuke Paian Jingji) by Ling Mengchu
A Supplement to the Journey to the West (
; X Yu B) (c. 1640) by Dong Yue
Haoqiu zhuan (The pleasing history or The
Fortunate Union) (c. 1683)
Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (
), by Pu Songling
Jin Ping Mei (, The Plum in the Golden
Vase), by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (
Flowers in the Mirror (, Jing huayuan)
by Li Ruzhen
Fengshen Bang (, The Investiture of the
Xingshi Yinyuan Zhuan (
or The Story of a Marital Fate to
Awaken the World)
The Scholars ( Ru Lin Wai Shi), by
Wu Jingzi ()


Dijing Jingwulue ( or Survey of and Lin Shu ( ) (18521924). In this climate, a

Scenery and Monuments in the Imperial Capi- boom in the writing of ction occurred, especially aftal), by Liu Tong
ter the 1905 abolition of the civil service examination
Chronicles of the Eastern Zhou Kingdoms by when literati struggled to ll new social and cultural roles
Feng Menglong, edited by Cai Yuanfang ( for themselves. Stylistically, this ction shows signs of
both the Chinese novelistic tradition and Western narra)
tive modes. In subject matter, it is strikingly concerned
The Carnal Prayer Mat (Chinese: ; with the contemporary: social problems, historical uppinyin: ruptun) an erotic novel by Li Yu heaval, changing ethical values, etc. In this sense, late
() 1657.
Qing ction is modern. Important novelists of the period
Six Records of a Floating Life ( F include Wu Woyao () (18661910), Li Boyuan
Shng Li J) by Shen Fu. Early 19th century. () (18671906), Liu E () (18571909), and
Ern Yingxiong Zhuan (The Story of Hero Boys Zeng Pu () (18721935).
and Hero Girls) by Wen Kang rst published The late Qing also saw a revolution in poetry(
), which promoted experimentation with new forms
The Travels of Lao Can (Lao Can Youji and the incorporation of new registers of language. However, the poetry scene was still dominated by the adher) by Liu E 1903
ents to the Tongguang School (named after the Tongzhi
and Guangxu reigns of the Qing), whose leaders Chen
The Story of the Western Wing (, Xx- Yan (), Chen Sanli (), Zheng Xiaoxu (
), and Shen Zengzhi () promoted a Song style
ingj), by Wang Shifu ()
in the manner of Huang Tingjian. These poets would be The Injustice to Dou E (, Dou E Yuan), come the objects of scorn by New Culturalists like Hu
by Guan Hanqing
Shi, who saw their work as overly allusive, articial, and
The Jade Hairpin (Yuzanji ), by Gao divorced from contemporary reality.
Lian ()
In drama, the late Qing saw the emergence of the new
Hui Lan Ji (), by Li Xingdao ( civilized drama(), a hybrid of Chinese operatic
) became the basis for The Caucasian Chalk drama with Western-style spoken drama. Peking opera
and reformed Peking operawere also popular at the
The Peony Pavilion (Mudan Ting ), by time.
Tang Xianzu
The Peach Blossom Fan (Taohua Shan
) by Kong Shangren ()


6.2 Republican Era (191249)

The Palace of Eternal Life (), by Hong The literary scene in the rst few years before the collapse
Sheng ()
of the Qing in 1911 was dominated by popular love sto The Orphan of Zhao ( ), a 13th- ries, some written in the classical language and some in
century play by Ji Junxiang (), was the the vernacular. This entertainment ction would later be
rst Chinese play to have been translated into labeledMandarin Ducks and Butteryction by New
Culturalists, who despised its lack of social engagement.
a European language.* [34]
Throughout much of the Republican era, Buttery ction
would reach many more readers than its progressive
Modern literature

Late Qing (18951911)

Scholars now tend to agree that modern Chinese literature did not erupt suddenly in the New Culture Movement (191723). Instead, they trace its origins back at
least to the late Qing period (18951911). The late Qing
was a period of intellectual ferment sparked by a sense
of national crisis. Intellectuals began to seek solutions
to China's problems outside of its own tradition. They
translated works of Western expository writing and literature, which enthralled readers with new ideas and opened
up windows onto new exotic cultures. Most outstanding were the translations of Yan Fu () (18641921)

In the course of the New Culture Movement (191723),

the vernacular language largely displaced the classical in
all areas of literature and writing. Literary reformers
Hu Shih (18911962) and Chen Duxiu (18801942) declared the classical language deadand promoted the
vibrant vernacular in its stead. Hu Shi once said,A dead
language can never produce a living literature.* [35] In
terms of literary practice, Lu Xun (18811936) is usually said to be the rst major stylist in the new vernacular
prose that Hu Shi and Chen Duxiu were promoting.
Though often said to be less successful than their counterparts in ction writing, poets also experimented with
the vernacular in new poetic forms, such as free verse and
the sonnet. Given that there was no tradition of writing


Maoist Era (194976)

poetry in the vernacular, these experiments were more

radical than those in ction writing and also less easily accepted by the reading public. Modern poetry ourished
especially in the 1930s, in the hands of poets like Zhu Xiang (), Dai Wangshu, Li Jinfa (), Wen Yiduo
, and Ge Xiao (). Other poets, even those among the
May Fourth radicals (e.g., Yu Dafu), continued to write
poetry in classical styles.

and with aesthetics than with politics or social problems.

Most important among these writers were Mu Shiying,
Liu Na'ou ( ), and Shi Zhecun. Other writers,
including Shen Congwen and Fei Ming (), balked
at the utilitarian role for literature by writing lyrical, almost nostalgic, depictions of the countryside. Lin Yutang, who had studied at Harvard and Leipzig, introduced
the concept of youmo (humor), which he used in trenchant criticism of China's political and cultural situation
May Fourth radicalism, combined with changes in the education system, made possible the emergence of a large before leaving for the United States.
group of women writers. While there had been women The Communist Party of China had established a base afwriters in the late imperial period and the late Qing, they ter the Long March in Yan'an. The literary ideals of the
had been few in number. These writers generally tack- League were being simplied and enforced on writers and
led domestic issues, such as relations between the sexes, cultural workers.In 1942, Mao Zedong gave a series of
family, and friendship, but they were revolutionary in giv- lectures called "Talks at the Yan'an Forum on Art and Liting direct expression to female subjectivity. Ding Ling's erature" that clearly made literature subservient to politics
story Miss Sophia's Diary exposes the thoughts and feel- via the Yan'an Rectication Movement. This document
ings of its female diarist in all their complexity.
would become the national guideline for culture after the
The 1920s and 1930s saw the emergence of spoken establishment of the People's Republic of China.
drama. Most outstanding among playwrights of the day
are Ouyang Yuqian, Hong Shen, Tian Han, and Cao 6.3 Maoist Era (194976)
Yu.* [36] More popular than this Western-style drama,
however, was Peking opera, raised to new artistic heights After coming to power in 1949, the Communists graduby the likes of Mei Lanfang.
ally nationalized the publishing industry, centralized the
In the late 1920s and 1930s, literary journals and societies book distribution system, and brought writers under instiespousing various artistic theories proliferated. Among tutional control through the Writers Union. A system of
the major writers of the period were Guo Moruo (1892 strict censorship was implemented, with Mao's Yan'an
1978), a poet, historian, essayist, and critic; Mao Dun Talksas the guiding force. Periodic literary campaigns
(18961981), the rst of the novelists to emerge from targeted gures such as Hu Shi and other gures from the
the League of Left-Wing Writers and one whose work re- New Culture period, especially Hu Feng, a protege of Lu
ected the revolutionary struggle and disillusionment of Xun who did not toe the Party line on literature. Socialthe late 1920s; satirist and novelist Lao She (18991966); ist realism became the uniform style, and many Soviet
and Ba Jin (19042005), a novelist whose work was inu- works were translated. The ability to satirize and expose
enced by Ivan Turgenev and other Russian writers. In the the evils in contemporary society that had made writers
1930s Ba Jin produced a trilogy that depicted the strug- useful to the Communist Party of China before its accesgle of modern youth against the ageold dominance of the sion to power was no longer welcomed. Party cultural
Confucian family system. Comparison often is made be- leaders such as Zhou Yang used Mao's call to have littween Jia (Family), one of the novels in the trilogy, and erature serve the peopleto mount attacks on "petty
Dream of the Red Chamber. Many of these writers be- bourgeois idealism" and humanitarianism.This concame important as administrators of artistic and literary ict came to a head in the Hundred Flowers Campaign
policy after 1949. Most of those authors who were still (195657). Mao Zedong initially encouraged writers to
alive during the Cultural Revolution (196676) were ei- speak out against problems in the new society. Having
learned the lessons of the anti-Hu Feng campaign, they
ther purged or forced to submit to public humiliation.
were reluctant, but then a urry of newspaper articles,
The League of Left-Wing Writers founded in 1930 inlms, and literary works drew attention to such problems
cluded Lu Xun among its leadership. By 1932 it had
as bureaucratism and authoritarianism within the ranks
adopted the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism; that is,
of the party. Shocked at the level of discontent, Mao's
the insistence that art must concentrate on contempoAnti-Rightist Movement put large numbers of intellecrary events in a realistic way, exposing the ills of nonsotuals through so-called thought reformor sent them
cialist society and promoting a glorious future under
labor camps. At the time of the Great Leap Forward
communism.* [37]
(195759), the government increased its insistence on the
Other styles of literature were at odds with the highly- use of socialist realism and combined with it so-called
political literature being promoted by the League. The revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism.
New Sensationists( ) a group of writDespite the literary control and strictures to limit subjects
ers based in Shanghai who were inuenced, to varying
to contemporary China and the glories of the revolution,
degrees, by Western and Japanese modernism wrote
writers produced widely read novels of energy and comction that was more concerned with the unconscious
mitment. Examples of this new socialist literature include

The Builder (Chuangye Shi ) by Liu Qing ,

The Song of Youth (Qing Chun Zhi Ge ) by
Yang Mo, Tracks in the Snowy Forest (Lin Hai Xue Yuan
) by Qu Bo, Keep the Red Flag Flying (Hong Qi
Pu ) by Liang Bin , The Red Sun (Hong Ri
) by Wu Qiang , and Red Crag by Luo Guangbin
and Yang Yiyan ().


ary magazines specializing in translations of foreign short

stories became very popular, especially among the young.

Some leaders in the government, literary and art circles

feared change was happening too fast. The rst reaction
came in 1980 with calls to combat bourgeois liberalism,a campaign that was repeated in 1981. These two
dicult periods were followed by the Anti-Spiritual PolDuring the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), Mao's wife, lution Campaign in late 1983.
Jiang Qing led the campaign againstfeudalandbour- At the same time, writers remained freer to write in ungeoisculture. The only stage productions allowed were conventional styles and to treat sensitive subject matter.
her "Eight Model Operas,which combined traditional A spirit of literary experimentation ourished in the secand western forms, while great fanfare was given to po- ond half of the 1980s. Fiction writers such as Wang Meng
litically orthodox lms and heroic novels, such as those (), Zhang Xinxin (), and Zong Pu ()
by Hao Ran ().* [38] The period has long been re- and dramatists such as Gao Xingjian () expergarded as a cultural wasteland, but some now suggest that imented with modernist language and narrative modes.
the leading works have an energy which is still of inter- Another group of writerscollectively said to constitute
est.* [39]
the Roots () movementincluding Han Shaogong


Post-Mao (1976present)

The arrest of Jiang Qing and the other members of the

Gang of Four in 1976, and especially the reforms initiated at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Party
Congress Central Committee in December 1978, led
writers to take up their pens again. Much of the literature
in what would be called thenew era() discussed
the serious abuses of power that had taken place at both
the national and the local levels during the Cultural Revolution. The writers decried the waste of time and talent
during that decade and bemoaned abuses that had held
China back. This literature, often called "scar literature,
orthe literature of the wounded,discussed the experiences of sent-down youth with great though not complete
frankness and conveyed disquieting views of the party
and the political system. Intensely patriotic, these authors
wrote cynically of the political leadership that gave rise
to the extreme chaos and disorder of the Cultural Revolution. Many of these themes and attitudes were also
found in Fifth Generation lms of directors trained after
1978, many of which were based on published novels and
short stories. Some of this ction and cinema extended
the blame to the entire generation of leaders and to the political system itself. The political authorities were faced
with a serious problem: how could they encourage writers to criticize and discredit the abuses of the Cultural
Revolution without allowing that criticism to go beyond
what they considered tolerable limits?
During this period, the number of literary magazines rose
sharply, and many from before the Cultural Revolution
were revived. Poetry also changed in its form and content. Four "misty poets,Bei Dao, Gu Cheng, Duo Duo
and Yang Lian expressed themselves in deliberately obscure verse which reected subjective realism rather than
the realism of the sort promoted during the Cultural Revolution. There was a special interest in foreign works. Recent foreign literature was translated, often without carefully considering its interest for the Chinese reader. Liter-

(), Mo Yan, and A Cheng () sought to reconnect literature and culture to Chinese traditions, from
which a century of modernization and cultural and political iconoclasm had severed them. Other writers (e.g.,
Yu Hua (), Ge Fei (), Su Tong () experimented in a more avant-garde () mode of writing
that was daring in form and language and showed a complete loss of faith in ideals of any sort.
In the wake of the Tiananmen massacre of 1989 and with
the intensication of market reforms, literature and culture turned increasingly commercial and escapist. Wang
Shuo (), the so-called hooligan() writer, is
the most obvious manifestation of this commercial shift,
though his ction is not without serious intent. Some
writers, such as Yan Lianke , continue to take seriously the role of literature in exposing social problems;
his novel Dreams of Ding Village () deals with the
plight of HIV-AIDS victims.
As in the May Fourth Movement, women writers came
to the fore. Many of them, such as Chen Ran (),
Wei Hui (), Wang Anyi (), and Hong Ying
(), explore female subjectivity in a radically changing society. Neo-realism is another important current in
post-Tiananmen ction, for instance in the writings of Liu
Heng (), Chi Li (), Fang Fang (), He Dun
(), and Zhu Wen ()
China's state-run General Administration of Press and
Publication () screens all Chinese literature intended to be sold on the open market. The GAPP
has the legal authority to screen, censor, and ban any
print, electronic, or Internet publication in China. Because all publishers in China are required to be licensed
by the GAPP, that agency also has the power to deny
people the right to publish, and completely shut down
any publisher who fails to follow its dictates.* [40] As a
result, the ratio of ocial to unlicensed books is said
to be 2:3.* [41] According to a report in ZonaEuropa,
there are more than 4,000 underground publishing factories around China.* [40] The Chinese government con-


Nobel Laureates in Literature

tinues to hold public book burnings* [42] on unapproved

yet popular spiritual pollutionliterature, though critics claim this spotlight on individual titles only helps
fuel booksales.* [43] Many new-generation Chinese authors who were the recipients of such government attention have been re-published in English and success in the
western literary markets, namely Zhou Weihui's Shanghai
Baby, Anchee Min's controversial memoir Red Azalea,
Time Magazine banned-book covergirl Chun Sue's Beijing Doll, and Mian Mian's Candy. Online bestseller
Ghost Blows Out the Light had to be rewritten to remove
references to the supernatural before it could be released
in print.* [44]

128,800 new titles of books were published in 2005, according to the General Administration of Press and Publication. There are more than 600 literary journals across
the country. Living in France but continuing to write primarily in Chinese, Gao Xingjian became the rst Chinese
writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000.
In 2012, Mo Yan also received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

6.5 Nobel Laureates in Literature

2000 Gao Xingjian

2012 Mo Yan
After the liberal 1980s, the 1990s saw a strong commercialization of literature due to an opening of the book
market. According to Martin Woesler trends were 'cult
literature' with Guo Jingming (), 6.6 Book market
Cry me a sad river, vagabond literature with Xu Zechen
(), Peking double quick, Liu
Zhenyun (), The pickpockets, underground literature Mian Mian (), Panda
Sex, 'longing for something' literature, divided in historicizing literature with Yu Dan , Confucius in your heart, Yi Zhongtian () and in Tibetan
literature with Alai, literature of the mega cities, women's
literature with Bi Shumin (), Womens
boxing, The female psychologist, master narratives by narrators like Mo Yan with Life
and Death are Wearing me out.* [45]
However Chinese literature at the beginning of the 21st
century shows signs of overcoming the commercialization
of literature of the 1980s and 1990s. An example is Han
Han's () novel His land (2009), which was
written in a social critical surrealistic style against the uncritical mainstream, but ranked 1st in 2009 Chinese bestseller list.* [46] Another example is Yan Ge's novel
Family of Joy (2013), which is written in Sichuanese
and won the Chinese Media Group New Talent Award in

Inside Chongwen Book City, a large bookstore in Wuhan.

China buys many foreign book rights; nearly 16 million

copies of the sixth book of the Harry Potter series were
sold in Chinese translation. As China Book Review reported, the rights to 9,328 foreign titles including many
children's books went to China in 2007. China was
nominated as a Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Bookfair
Translated literature has long played an important role in
in 2009.* [50]* [51]
modern China. Some writers, such as Lu Xun, Yu Dafu,
Ba Jin and others were literary translators themselves, and The book market in China traditionally orders books durmany present day writers in China, such as the Nobel lau- ing book fairs, because the country lacks a national book
reate Mo Yan and Wang Xiaobo, listed translated works ordering system. In 2006, 6.8 million titles were sold, not
including an unknown number of banned titles, bootleg
as sources of enlightenment and inspiration.
copies and underground publishing factories. Seven perIn the new millennium, online literature in China plays a
cent of all publishers are located in Shanghai. Because
much more important role than in the United States or in
the industry lacks a national distribution system, many tithe rest of the world.* [47] Almost any book is available
tles from publishers in the provinces can only be found
online, novels nding millions of readers, being available
at 2 Yuan on average, a tenth of the average price of a
printed book.* [48] Online literature stars are, amongst The central publishing houses belonging to ministries or
(other) government institutions have their main seat at
others, again Han Han and Guo Jingming.* [49]
Beijing (40 percent of all publishers). Most regional pubChinese language literature also ourishes in the diaslishing houses are situated in the capitals of the provinces.
porain South East Asia, the United States, and Europe.
Universities also have associated presses. Private pubChina is the largest publisher of books, magazines and
lishing is tolerated. 220,000 books were published in
newspapers in the world. In book publishing alone, some
2005. Among 579 publishers almost ve times more



than thirty years ago 225 are supervised by ministries,

commissions or the army; 348 are controlled by agencies;
and six are even more independent. On the other hand,
100,000 private bookstores bring in the half of the income of the book industry.* [52]
In 2005, the Chinese government started a sponsoring
program for translations of government-approved Chinese works, which has already resulted in more than 200
books being translated from Chinese into another language.

highly inuenced by this social movement. Women writers of the time authored works reecting the feminist
sentiment and the issues that came with revolution.* [55]
Zhang Ailing, Lu Yin, Shi Pingmei and Ding Ling, were
four of the most inuential feminist writers of the time.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Freudian psychoanalysis gained
favor with Chinese feminists looking to study gender relationships, thus becoming a topic of many feminist writers
throughout the early and mid portions of the 20th century.* [55]

Shanda Literature Ltd. is an online publishing company When Mao came to power in 1949, he addressed the
that claims to publish 8,000 Chinese literary works daily. issue of women's rights and tried to establish women's
equality through the iron girlsof national development ideal.* [55] Through this philosophy, long-standing
practices such as foot binding, prostitution and track7 Women and Chinese literature
ing of women were abolished. Women were given the opportunity to own land, divorce, and join the military and
other employment elds.* [56] The establishment of this
7.1 Early female writers
ideology, however, did not liberate women; instead, it undermined the feminine voice by forcing women to take a
Cai, or literary talent, is an attribute describing profound
male-oriented stance on public and domestic policy.* [55]
lyricism, deep intellectuality and analytic skill.* [53] AlLiterature authored during this time reects the restrictive
though it was acknowledged that both women and men
and masculine perspective of women writers during this
possessed cai, the phrase nuren wucai bian shi de
period.* [55] This "Mulanian" style of writing submerged
(for women, lack of literary talent is a
true feminine identity, rendering the female perspective
virtue)* [53] summarizes the dominant sentiment that the
neglected and hidden in the male dominated political and
literary eld was traditionally a domain for men. Deaesthetic arenas.* [57] There were some exceptions to this
spite this belief, works authored by women play an inrule, such as Yuan Qiongqiong, who wrote about women
tegral part throughout Chinese history. There were a
s issues and how much women could accomplish without
number of women writers prior to the 20th century who
were respected by the intelligentsia of their era, even if
much of their work was considered less important than
men's work in general.* [54] Female writers helped to
bring forth themes such as romance, marriage, gender 8 Selected modern Chinese writers
roles and the politics surrounding women.
Wang Tao () (18281897)
The rst women recorded in biography and bibliography were poets.* [54] The aesthetic nature of poetry was
highly regarded, while ction was viewed as an avenue
taken because of a failed career or commercial venture.* [54] A marked increase in female literacy took
place during the Late Imperial Era. One of the more notable poets of this time was Mao Xiuhui, a 16th-century
poet that used the plight of her husband's failed attempt
at gaining a position as civil servant to write a poem that
draws parallels between the male and female as they suffer hardships in the political and domestic arenas respectively. Other notable female poets in Chinese history
were Gao Zhixian, Xue Tao, and Li Qingzhao.

Yan Fu () (18531924)
Liu E () (18571909)
Liang Qichao () (18731929)
Wang Guowei () (18771927)
Hu Shi () (18911962)
Su Manshu () (18941918)
Lu Xun () (18811936)
Liang Shiqiu () (19031987)


20th-century writers and feminism

The beginning of the century marked a period of growing

unrest for women as the feminist movement took hold.
Women of this period were faced with the dilemma of
protesting oppressive ideals stemming from Confucian
ideology or remaining true to their family and maintaining peace and order. Literary discourse at the time was

Xu Dishan () (18931941)
Ye Shengtao () (18941988)
Lin Yutang () (18951976)
Mao Dun () (18961981)
Xu Zhimo () (18961936)

Yu Dafu () (18961945)
Guo Moruo () (18921978)

9 Others
Chinese writers writing in English:

Lao She () (18971966)

Zhu Ziqing () (18981948)

Ha Jin () (1956)

Tian Han () (18981968)

Chiang Yee (19031977)

Feng Zikai () (18981975)

Amy Tan() (1952)

Wen Yiduo () (18991946)

Chinese writers writing in French:

Bing Xin () (19001999)

Ba Jin () (19042005)

Chen Jitong () (18521907)

Shen Congwen () (19021988)

Franois Cheng () (1929)

Cao Yu () (19051996)

Dai Sijie () (1954)

Qian Zhongshu () (19101988)

Shan Sa () (1972)

He Qifang () (19121977)
Lin Haiyin () (19182001)
Eileen Chang () (19201995)

Chinese writer writing in Indonesian:

Kho Ping Hoo (19261994)

Qiu Miaojin () (1969-1995)

Qu Bo (novelist) () (19222002)
Sanmao (author) () (1943-1991)
Wang Xiaobo () (19521997)
Wang Zengqi () (19201997)
Bei Dao () (1949)
Cong Weixi () (1933)
Jin Yong () (1924- ) (Pen name of Louis Cha
Mo Yan () (1955)
Su Tong () (1963)
Ma Jian () (1953)
Tie Ning () (1957)
Gao Xingjian () (1940-)
Yang Mu () (1940)
Zhang Xianliang () (19362014)
Chiung Yao () (1938)

10 See also
Classical Chinese poetry
Censorship in the People's Republic of China
Chinese dictionary
Chinese encyclopedias
Chinese classic texts
List of Chinese authors
List of Hong Kong poets
Chinese language
Chinese mythology
Chinese culture
List of poems in Chinese or by Chinese poets
Literature of Hong Kong

Chen Zhongshi () (1942)

Tea Classics

Can Xue (Deng Xiaohua) (1953-)

Dream Pool Essays

Zhang Zao () (1962-2010)

Society and culture of the Han Dynasty

Shi Tiesheng () (1951-2010)

Chen prophecy





[1] Attributed to the mythical emperor Fu Xi and based on

eight trigrams, the I Ching is still used by adherents of
Chinese folk religion.


[23] Lin and Owen 1986, p. 375

[24] Watson 1984, p. 353 on Dunhuang Caves discovery; Cai
2008, pp. 248249
[25] Cai 2008, p. 245 et seq., Chapters 12-14

[1] Chen Zhi, The Shaping of the Book of Songs, 2007.

[26] Chaves 1986, p. 7 on Ming advocates of Tang superiority;

Cai 2008, p. 308,it has long been fashionable, ever since
the Song itself, for poets and critics to think of the poetry
of the Song as stylistically distinct from that of the Tang,
and to debate its merits relative to the earlier work.


[27] Cai 2008, p. 329 et seq., Chapter 16

[3] Needham, Volume 3, 500501.

[4] Ebrey (2006), 272.

[28] Cai 2008, p. 354 et seq., Chapter 17; Cai 2008, p. 376
fn. 2 notes eort to compile complete collection of Ming
poetry began in 1990

[5] Cai 2008, p. 13 et seq., Chapter 1

[29] Chaves 1986, pp. 89

[6] Lin and Owen 1986, pp. 342343 regarding xing; Cai
2008, p. 8, 43 on bixing, and p. 113 on the development
and expansion of bixing after its Shijing beginnings

[30] The novel Dream of the Red Chamber has many examples of competitive poetic composition but most apt is the
drinking game after dinner at Feng Ziying's in Chapter 28,
which includes each guest composing a line apiece about
a girl's sorrow, worry, joy, and delight; transposing the
real to the fantastic, Chapter 64 of Journey to the West includes an otherworldly competition between the pilgrim
monk and four immortal tree spirits



[7] Cai 2008, p. 36 et seq., Chapter 2

[8] Cai 2008, p. 59 et seq., Chapter 3
[9] Cai 2008, p. 103 et seq., Chapter 5
[10] Lin and Owen 1986, pp. 346347
[11] Lin and Owen 1986, p. 136
[12] Watson 1971, pp. 6970
[13] Lin and Owen 1986, p. 125
[14] Cai 2008, pp. 121129
[15] Lin and Owen 1986, p. 158

[31] Attesting to the debate's survival a previous version of this

page contained the assertion (to which a Wikipedia editor
asked by whom?"): Subsequent writers of classical
poetry lived under the shadow of their Tang predecessors,
and although there were many poets in subsequent dynasties, none reached the level of this period.
[32] Chaves 1986, p. 6, The sheer quantity of Ming poetry,
the quality of so much of it, and its stylistic richness and
diversity all cry out for serious attention.

[16] Contemporary criticism by Watson 1971,stilted,ef- [33] Paul Ropp, The Distinctive Art of Chinese Fiction,in
fete,tryingat p. 105, weakness,banality,
Paul S. Ropp, ed., The Heritage of China: Contemporary
badness of style,triviality,repetitiousness,bePerspectives on Chinese Civilization. (Berkeley; Oxford::
yond recoveryat p. 107, ridiculousat p. 108; Tang
University of California Press, 1990). pp. 309-334.
Dynasty criticism by Li Bai at Lin and Owen 1986, p. 164
[34] Liu, Wu-Chi (1953). The Original Orphan of China.
[17] Watson 1971, pp. 169172
Comparative Literature 5 (3): 193. JSTOR 1768912.
[18] Cheng 1982, p. 37, and pp. 5657 on the non-linear dynamic this creates
[19] Watson 1971, pp. 141153 generally; Cheng 1982, p. 65
and Cai 2008, p. 226 regarding gutishi and jintishi
[20] Lin and Owen 1986, pp. 316317, p. 325 regarding jueju;
Watson 1971, pp. 172173 on plainness in Wang Wei;
more generally, taking from the above reference to bi and
xing, the objectivity of depicting nature has a conventional
carryover to depicting emotion, for example by explicitly
depicting the poet's own shed tears as if from a detached
point of view
[21] Watson 1971, pp. 153169 generally; Lin and Owen
1986, p. 375 et seq., particularly regarding use of the
seven-character line
[22] Liu 1962, pp. 137141

[35] deBary (2000), p. 362.

[36] Chen 2014, p. 5.
[37] Leo Oufan Lee, Literary Trends: The Road to Revolution 1927-1949,Ch 9 in Fairbank, John King; Feuerwerker, Albert; Twitchett, Denis Crispin (1986). The Cambridge history of China. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-24338-4. link to excerpt
[38] Paul Clark.
The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A
History. (Cambridge University Press, 2008; ISBN
[39] Barbara Mittler. A Continuous Revolution: Making Sense
of Cultural Revolution Culture. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Asia Center, Harvard East Asian Monographs,


[40] General Administration of Press and Publication.

CECC. Retrieved 2008-09-05.

13 References and further reading

[41] The Underground Publishing Industry in China.

ZoneEuropa. Retrieved 2008-09-05.

For works on a specic topic, please see the particular


[42] Sheng, John.Afterthoughts on the Banning ofShanghai Baby"". Archived from the original on 2008-04-20.
Retrieved 2008-09-05.

Cai, Zong-qi, ed. (2008). How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology. New York: Columbia
University Press. ISBN 0-231-13941-1

[43] Naughty CHINA. Amazon.Com. Retrieved 2008-0905.

[44] The Chinese Novel Finds New Life Online, Aventurina
King, Wired, August 17, 2007

Chaves, Jonathan, ed. (1986). The Columbia Book

of Later Chinese Poetry: Yan, Ming, and Ch'ing Dynasties (12791911). New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-06149-8

[45] Martin Woesler, Chinese contemporary literature - authors, works, trends A snap-shot 2007/2008, Munich
2008, 267 pp.

Chen, Xiaomei (2014). The Columbia Anthology

of Modern Chinese Drama. Columbia University
Press. ISBN 978-0-231-16502-0.

[46] Martin Woesler, Chinese cultic literature 2008/2009 - authors, works, trends, Munich 2009, 127 pp.

Cheng, Franois (1982). Chinese Poetic Writing.

Trans. Donald A. Riggs and Jerome P. Seaton.
Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press. ISBN 0-25320284-1

[48] Isabel Xiang, Chinese Popular Author Eyes Prots Online, in: APPREB (December 2008); Peng
Wenbo, Zhao Xiaofang,
Blogs and Book Publication in New
Media Era,Publishing Journal, 2007
15 04 , ISSN 1009-5853(2007)04-0068-04,
2007, issue 4, page 68-70, 84; 2007-04
[49] Michel Hockx, in: Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, 2010; Martin Woesler, in: European Journal of
Sinology (2010) 88-97
[52] Zeitung zur Buchmesse,FAZ 19.10.2008, S. 22 (PDF;
12,15 MB)
[53] Larson, W. (1998). Women and Writing in Modern
China. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
[54] Chang. K.S. & Saussy. H. (Eds.). (1999). Women writers of traditional China: An anthology of poetry and criticism. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. pp.
[55] Schaeer, Kay & Xianlin, Song. (2007). Unruly Spaces:
Gender, Women'Writing and Indigenous Feminism in
China. Journal of Gender Studies, 16 (1), 1730
[56] Laurence, S. (2008.) Maos ghost. The Boston Phoenix.
Retrieved from the web December 8, 2009. http://
[57] Jinhua, Z. (2009). Women's Culture and Writing in
the 1990s: Illusions and Breakout. (Y. Qinfa & J.
Shan, Trans.). http://chineseculture.about.
com/library/weekly/aa101000a.htm. Retrieved November 5, 2009

Cui, Jie and Zong-qi Cai (2012). How to Read Chinese Poetry Workbook. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-15658-8
DeBary, Wm. Theodore (2000). Sources of Chinese
Tradition: From 1600 through the Twentieth Century
Vol II. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN
Idema Wilt L., and Lloyd Haft, eds (1997). A
Guide to Chinese Literature. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan,
Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies. ISBN
0892640995. Bibliographical and background essays.
Knight, Sabina (2012). Chinese Literature : A Very
Short Introduction. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, Very Short Introductions Series. ISBN
Lvy, Andr (2000). Chinese Literature, Ancient
and Classical. Bloomington: Indiana University
Press. Translated by William H. Nienhauser. xi,
168p. ISBN 0253336562.
Lin, Shuen-fu and Stephen Owen (1986). The Vitality of the Lyric Voice. Princeton: Princeton Univ.
Press. ISBN 0-691-03134-7
Liu, James J.Y. (1962). The Art of Chinese Poetry.
Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-22648687-7
Mair, Victor H. (2001). The Columbia History of
Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia University
Press. ISBN 0231109849.

Mair, Victor H.(1994).The Columbia Anthology
of Traditional Chinese Literature. New York:
Columbia University Press, Translation from the
Asian Classics, 1994. ISBN 023107428X.
Mair, Victor H., Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt and
Paul Rakita Goldin, eds. Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture. (Honolulu: University of
Hawai'i Press, 2005). ISBN 0824827856.
Nienhauser, William H., Jr. (1986 and 1998). The
Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature. 2v. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
ISBN 0-253-32983-3, 0-253-33456-X.
Nienhauser, William H., ed. (1986). The Indiana
Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature. Indiana University Press.
Kang-i Sun Chang, Stephen Owen, eds. (2010),
The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, 2 vol.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN



Advancement of the Art; and a List of Translations

from the Chinese Into Various European Languages.
American Presbyterian mission Press.
Great Britain. India Oce. Library (1872).
Descriptive catalogue of the Chinese, Japanese, and
Manchu books. Compiled by James Summers.
Printed by order of the Secretary of state for India
in council.

14 External links
Paper Republic - Chinese Literature in Translation
useful site, and produces annual list of translations
into English (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms EBook in Color!
Free Download
MCLC Resource Center Literature bibliography of scholarly studies and translations of modern
Chinese literature

Watson, Burton (1971). Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry from the Second to the Twelfth Century. New
York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-23103464-4

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture scholarly


Wang, Yuanfei, Genre and Empire: Historical

Romance and Sixteenth-Century Chinese Cultural
Fantasies (2013). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations . Paper 938.

Chinese Text Project Early classical texts with English and modern Chinese translations

Watson, Burton, ed. (1984). The Columbia Book of

Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth
Century. New York: Columbia University Press.
ISBN 0-231-05683-4
Lists and Catalogues
Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford, James Ludovic; Edmond, John Philip (1895). Bibliotheca Lindesiana:
Catalogue of Chinese Books and Manuscripts. Priv.
print. [Aberdeen University Press].
Von Mllendor, P. G. (1890). Contributor Royal
Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. China
Branch.Essay On Manchu Literature. Journal of
the China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society for the
Year ..., Volumes 24-25 (The Branch): 145. horizontal tab character in |others= at position 12 (help)
Wade, Thomas Francis; Cambridge University Library (1898). A catalog of the Wade collection of
Chinese and Manchu books in the library of the University of Cambridge. Compiled by Herbert Allen
Giles. University Press.
Wylie, Alexander (1867). Notes on Chinese Literature: With Introductory Remarks on the Progressive

Chinese Text Sampler Annotated collection of

classical and modern Chinese literary texts
manhua retellings of old Chinese legends

WuxiaWorld English translations of Wuxia genre

Renditions English translations of modern and
classical Chinese literature
China the Beautiful Chinese Art and Literature
Early classical texts
Chinese Text Sampler: Readings in Chinese Literature, History, and Popular Culture Annotated Collection of Digitized Chinese Texts for Students of
Chinese Language and Culture
China Banned Books Essential Reading List on
The Columbia University Press web page accompanying Cai 2008 has PDF and MP3 les for more
than 75 poems and CUP's web page accompanying Cui 2012 includes MP3 les of modern Chinese
translations for dozens of these,best books on china



Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


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