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The Columbia History of Chinese Literatureby Victor H Mair
Synopses & Reviews
The Columbia History of Chinese Literature is 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.
Book News Annotation:
The arrangement is both chronological and topical, but Mair (Chinese languages and literature, U. of Pennsylvania) warns that the chronology is by no means tied to dynasties, though they are not utterly ignored; and the topics do not correspond to traditional genres, though they are referred to. The 55 essays he has solicited cover the entire history of Chinese literature from inception to the present, but devote most attention to the premodern period both because it is so vast and because post- imperial literature has become increasingly international in themes and form.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Comprehensive yet portable, this account of the development of Chinese literature from the very beginning up to the present brings the riches of this august literary tradition into focus for the general reader. Organized chronologically with thematic chapters interspersed, the fifty-five original chapters by leading specialists cover all genres and periods of poetry, prose, fiction, and drama, with a special focus on such subjects as popular culture, the impact of religion upon literature, the role of women, and relationships with non-Sinitic languages and peoples.
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