Week 2 (P1)- ASIA 2003 Chinese literature: The Earliest Poetry: The Book of Songs

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 2

The Earliest Poetry: The Book of Songs, beginning with twenty different versions and interpretations of the first Song ‘The Ospreys’, Guan Ju.
The Songs of the South. Qu Yuan, China’s first poet.
Throughout his work he bares his breastto us, examines his motives, admits his doubts, reveals his aspirations…

- David Hawkes

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