Week 1- ASIA 2003 Chinese literature: Introduction

Pu Songling

This ASIA2003 course of lectures will explore the extraordinarily rich tradition of Chinese literature from its beginnings to the end of the Tang dynasty (tenth century, CE). It will observe the spirit in which the Chinese have written and read, the ways in which they have commented on, creatively participated in and borrowed from, quoted, adapted, stolen, and copied their own literary heritage, and how they continue to do so. Above all it will discover how central literature is to the whole culture and society of China, perhaps more so than is the case with any other of the world’s cultures. Chinese literature remains as vital in the Chinese world today, for its creators, thinkers, writers, politicians and readers, as at any time in that country’s long history.

More information can be found on the ASIA2003 course page.

Week 1

The Chinese Language and script as a vehicle for literature; early Chinese concepts of literature, the Rhapsody on Literature.
A literary masterpiece is that which restores the secret relationship between things, and the breath that animates them as well. Through wen man may come to understand the mystery of nature, and hereby his own nature.

- Francois Cheng

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