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Ancient literature is a precious cultural heritage of China's several thousand years of civilization. The Book of Songs, a collection of 305 folk ballads of the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn period, compiled in the sixth century B.C., is China's earliest anthology of poetry.

Qu Yuan of the Warring States Period, China's first great poet, write Li Sao (The Lament), and extended lyric poem. The Book of Songs and Li Sao are regarded as classics in Chinese literary history. Later, different literary styles developed in subsequent dynasties.

There were pre-Qin prose, magnificent Han fu (rhymed prose), and the yuefu folk songs of the end of the Han Dynasty. Records of the Historian, written by Sima Qian of the Han Dynasty, is respected as a model of biographical literature, and The Peacock Flies to the Southeast represents the magnificent yuefu folk songs. These are all well known among the Chinese people.

The Wei and Jin Dynasties (220-420) were a great period for the production of poetry. The poems written by Cao Cao, a statesman and man of letters of that time, and by his sons Cao Pi and Cai Zhi, are fervent and vigorous. They are outstanding forerunners of the progressive literature of later generations. The Tang Dynasty gave birth to a great number of men of letters. The Complete Tang Poems is an anthology of more than 50,000 poems.

Representative poets include Li Bai, Du Fu, and Bai Juyi, who are the pride of the Chinese people. The Song Dynasty is well known for its ci (lyric). Song lyricists may be divided into
two groups. The first, best represented by Liu Yong and Li Qingzhao, is known as the "gentle school"; the second, the "bold and unconstrained school," is best represented by Su Shi and Xin Qiji.

The most notable achievement of Yuan Dynasty literature was the zaju, poetic drama set of music. Snow in Midsummer by celebrated playwright Guan Hanqing and The Western Chamber written by another zaju master, Wang Shipu, are masterpieces of the ancient drama.

The Ming and Qing dynasties saw the development of the novel. The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Outlaws of the Mars by Shi Nai'an, Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en, and A Dream of Red Mansions by Cao Xueqin are the four masterpieces produced in this form during this period. They have been celebrated for centuries for their rich historical and cultural connotations and unique style.

The new cultural movement that emerged in the 1920s was an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement. Progressive writers, represented by Lu Xun, gave birth to modern Chinese literature. The most outstanding representative works of this era are the novels The Diary of a Madman and The True Story of Ah Q by Lu Xun, the poetry anthology The Goddesses by Guo Moruo, the novel Midnight by Mao Dun, the trilogy novels Family, Spring and Autumn by Ba Jin, the novel Camel Xiangzi by Lao She, and the plays Thunderstorm and Sunrise by Cao Yu.

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Fiction Synopsis
After long years of development, Chinese fiction began to take shapeduring the period of the Wei, Jin and Northern and Southern Dynasties. Fiction created during this period falls into two categories: "Supernatural fiction" and "anecdotal fiction."
Characteristics of Chinese Ancient Literature
China has one of the earliest civilizations in the world. The brilliance of Chinese literature, with its long history, and diversified genres and forms, rivals any great literature in the world.
Major Fiction Writers & Their Works
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms was written in the early Ming Dynasty It was based on folk legends, storytelling scripts and dramas ...
Major Poets & Their Works
The Book of Poetry is the first anthology of Chinese poems. It compiled 305 poems written over a period of 500 years spanning from the beginning of Western Zhou Dynasty to the mid-Spring and Autumn Period.
Major Prose Writers & Their Works

Poetry Synopsis
Chinese poetry sprang up long before written Language was devised, and its poetics were formed and developed through people's everyday labor, their songs and their dances.
Prose Synopsis
Prose recording historical events emerged along with the development of language during the Yin and Shang dynasties. In the Zhou Dynasty, official historians recorded many historical facts about various kingdoms in simple and concise language, for example in Spring and Autumn Annals.
Jin Ping Mei (The Golden Lotus)
Jin Ping Mei is the first novel composed entirely by a scholar It isthought to have been completed during Wan Li's reign of the MingDynasty. The author's name was given as Lanling-xiao-xiao-sheng (alaughing scholar from Lanling). Lanling is today's Feng County inShandong Province. The novel adopted a great deal of colloquial termsof Shangdong, therefore the author should be a native of that province,but his real name remains unknown.
Cao Xueqin And A Dream of Red Mansions
A Dream of Red Mansions was written in the latter half of the 18thcentury. It is not only a great Chinese novel but also a gem of world literature. The author is Cao Xueqin (1715-1763), also known as CaoZhan. He was born into a noble and powerful family, which was reduced from extreme prosperity to poverty.
Luo Guanzhong And The Romance of the Three Kingdoms
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms was written in the early Ming Dynasty It was based on folk legends, story telling scripts and dramas.
Pu Songling And Strange Tales of LiaoZhai
Strange Tales of Liaozhai includes 431 short stories written inclassical Chinese.
Shi Nai'an And Outlaws 0f The Marsh
Outlaws of the Marsh was written in the early Ming Dynasty. LikeThe Romance of the Three Kingdoms' it was also based on folk legends,storytelling scripts and dramas. Shi Nai'an lived in the time just before Luo Guanzhong. Outlaws of the Marsh is the first novel dealing with the subject matterof peasant revolt in China.
Wu Cheng'en And Journey To The West
Journey to the West, the most brilliant Chinese mythological novel, came out in the middle of the Ming Dynasty. It is written by Wu Cheng'en(c. 1500-c. 1582).
Wu Jingzi And The Scholars
Wu JingZi (1701 -1754), author of The Scholars and The Complete Collection of Wenmu was a native of Quanjiao County in Anhui Province. He was born into a distinguished family and grew up under the tutelageof Confucian thought.
Xin Qiji
Xin Qiji (1140-1207) wrote more than 600 lyrics, which werecollected in jiaxuan's Lyrics . Strong patriotism and fighting spirit are the basic essence of Xin Qiji's lyrics. In Partridge Sky and Dance of theCavalry, he reiterates his yearning for the North and his memories of the war against the Kin in North China.
Wang Wei And Meg Haoran's Landscape Poetry
Wang Wei and Meng Haoran were both skilled at depicting natural scenery in five-character lines. The extant works of Wang Wei (AD 701 -761) include more than 400 poems. His landscape and pastoral poemsmainly describe his reclusive life and the beautiful scenery in Zhongnanand Wangchuan.
Tao Yuanming
Tao Yuanming (AD 365-427), also known as Tao Qian, is a famous landscape poet. He had been a minor official for several years during his youth. Weary of the corruption in government, he resigned his post and lived a recluse's life ever after.
Bai Juyi
Bai Juyi (AD 772-846) was another outstanding realist poet after DuFu. He was the most prolific poet among Tang Dynasty poets. His poemswere divided by himself into four categories: satire, leisure, sentimentand miscellany His most important legacy to Tang poetry were theattributes of his satirical poems.
Liu Yong
Liu Yong (c. 987-1053) was the first poet to devote himself totally to the writing of lyrics in the Northern Song Dynasty. He made great contributions in broadening the use of language, developing long lyrics(slow tune) and enriching the expressive techniques of lyric poetry.
Li Qingzhao
A remarkable woman poet of the Song Dynasty, Li Qingzhao (1084-1155) made great achievements in prose as well as poetry, but most of all in the field of lyrics.
GAO Shi And Cen Shen
Gao Shi and Cen Shen, both veterans of military service, excelled at writing seven-character line verse. Their poems reflect a common desireto devote their lives to their country-but the artistic techniques adopted in their poems are widely different.
Su Shi
The poems and lyrics of Su Shi (1037-1101) were of a virile timbre and an unrestrained spirit.
Qu Yuan (34O-278 BC) is generally recognized as the first great Chinese patriotic poet in the history of Chinese literature.
Li Shangyin
The poems of Li Shangyin (AD 813-858) further build on the artistictraditions of Chinese classical poetry.
Li Bai
Li Bai (AD 7O1 -762), the most outstanding poet at the height of the Tang Dynasty, is one of the great romantic poets after Qu Yuan. He was later called the "poetic genius." Li Bai's life was full of frustration and his thoughts were complex.
Lu You
The extant works of Lu You (1125-1210) include more than 9,300 poems, covering almost all aspects of social life in the early Southern Song Dynasty.
Du Fu
The poems of Du Fu (AD 712-77o), the exemplary realist poet inthe history of Chinese literature, mirror the social outlook of the onceprosperous Tang Dynasty in decline. Du's poems are rich in socialcontent, and have a distinct epochal character and a definitive politicalinclination. Du Fu's poetry fervently appeals to the nation in the upliftingspirit of self-sacrifice. Du Fu was, therefore, called the "The Sage ofPoetry" and his poems are praised as "epic poetry."
Ouyang Xiu's Prose
The prose of Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072) has three characteristics: (1)Varied styles and inclusion of many expressive methods includingargument, narration and lyric; (2) the formation of a new style based onthe best qualities of classical writing and Pian wen; (3) Harmonious rhymes.
Han Yu's Prose
The prose of Han Yu (AD 768-824) is rich in content and varied in form. His concise, novel and vivid language made a fine model for the Revival of Classical Prose. The style of Han Yu's prose can be summarized as powerful, unrestrained and flexible.
Liu Zongyuan's Prose
The prose of Liu Zongyuan (AD 773-819) is natural and fluent. He was a prolific writer and created many excellent biographies, fables and travel notes.
Ban Gu And Chronicles of The Han Dynasty
Ban Gu (AD 32-92) of the Eastern Han Dynasty wrote the first dynastic history, Chronicles of the Han Dynasty. Chronicles of the Han Dynasty has 100 articles, recounting a history of 229 years from Emperor Gaozu to Wang Mang of the Han Dynasty.
Sima Qian And Records of The Historian
Records of the Historian, written by Sima Qian (145-c.87 BC) of the Western Han Dynasty, plays an important role in linking the past and the future in the development of Chinese prose.
Su Shi's Prose
Su Shi is a prominent writer in the history of Chinese literature, who was highly accomplished in poetry, song lyrics and prose creation. His works, with their heroic spirit, rich ideological content and unique artisticstyle, are regarded as the height of literary achievement of the Northern Song Dynasty.
Wang Anshi's Prose
The prose of Wang Anshi (1021-1086) focuses on the problems of society, politics and life, becoming also a weapon in his political struggles.
Lessons From The States - Shi Jing-01

Odes of The Kingdom - Shi Jing-02-1

Odes of The Kingdom - Shi Jing-02-2

Odes of The Temple And The Altar - Shi Jing-03

Dao De Jing
The Way that can be experienced is not true; The world that can be constructed is not true. The Way manifests all that happens and may happen; The world represents all that exists and may exist.
The Art of War
The Art of War actually discusses how to win, which is not limited to military operations. Its significance has been enlarged to many fields, such as commercial affairs, management, athletic competitions, etc. Everyone who reads it carefully may acquire the key to victory.
The Art of War - The Oldest Military Treatise In The Worlds
Sun Tzu's The Art of War is the most famous work on military operations in ancient China. Being the oldest military treatise in the world, it is one of the greatest cultural legacies of the Chinese nation. Only the Prussian Clausewitz's On War may compare with it. But On War (Von Kriege) was written more than 2,000 years later. Therefore, Sun Tzu's The Art of War is a classic on military operations and the most influential in the world today.
Volume One - The Art of War
Sun Tzu said: What is war? It may be described as one of the most important affairs to the state. It is the ground* of death or life of both soldiers and people, and the way* that governs the survival or the ruin of the state. So we must deliberately examine and study it.
Volume Two - The Art of War
Sun Tzu said: Managing a big army is in principle the same as managing a small one: it is a matter of organization. Directing a large army is the same as directing a small troop: it is a matter of strict and impartial command. What makes the whole army under attack not suffer defeat is a matter of adopting normal and special tactics. Troops thrown against the enemy like a grindstone against eggs is a matter of staying clear of the enemy's main forces and striking at his weak points.
Volume three - The Art of War
Sun Tzu said: There are different kinds of terrain in nature. Some terrain is easily accessible, some is entrapping, some temporizing, some constricted, some precipitous and some distant.
The Analects - Chapter 01
The Master "Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?"
The Analects - Chapter 02
The Master said, "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."
The Analects - Chapter 03
Confucius said of the head of the Chi family, who had eight rows of pantomimes in his area, "If he can bear to do this, what may he not bear to do?" The three families used the Yungode, while the vessels were being removed, at the conclusion of the sacrifice. The Master said, "'Assisting are the princes;-the son of heaven looks profound and grave';-what application can these words have in the hall of the three families?"
The Analects - Chapter 04
The Master said, "It is virtuous manners which constitute the excellence of a neighborhood. If a man in selecting a residence do not fix on one where such prevail, how can he be wise?"
The Analects - Chapter 05
The Master said of Kung-ye Ch'ang that he might be wived; although he was put in bonds, he had not been guilty of any crime. Accordingly, he gave him his own daughter to wife. of Nan Yung he said that if the country were well governed he would not be out of office, and if it were in governed, he would escape punishment and disgrace. He gave him the daughter of his own elder brother to wife.
The Analects - Chapter 06
The Master said, "There is Yung!- He might occupy the place of a prince."
The Analects - Chapter 07
The Master said, "A transmitter and not a maker, believing in and loving the ancients, I venture to compare myself with our old P'ang."
The Analects - Chapter 08
The Master said, "T'ai-po may be said to have reached the highest point of virtuous action. Thrice he declined the kingdom, and the people in ignorance of his motives could not express their approbation of his conduct."
The Analects - Chapter 09
The subjects of which the Master seldom spoke were-profitableness, and also the appointments of Heaven, and perfect virtue.
The Analects - Chapter 10
Confucius, in his village, looked simple and sincere, and as if he were not able to speak.
The Analects - Chapter 11
The Master said, "The men of former times in the matters of ceremonies and music were rustics, it is said, while the men of these latter times, in ceremonies and music, are accomplished gentlemen.
The Analects - Chapter 12
Yen Yuan asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, "To subdue one's self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue. If a man can for one day subdue himself and return to propriety, an under heaven will ascribe perfect virtue to him. Is the practice of perfect virtue from a man himself, or is it from others?"
The Analects - Chapter 13
Tsze-lu asked about government. The Master said, "Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs."
The Analects - Chapter 14
Hsien asked what was shameful. The Master said, "When good government prevails in a state, to be thinking only of salary; and, when bad government prevails, to be thinking, in the same way, only of salary;-this is shameful."
The Analects - Chapter 15
The Duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about tactics. Confucius replied, "I have heard all about sacrificial vessels, but I have not learned military matters." On this, he took his departure the next day.
The Analects - Chapter 16
The head of the Chi family was going to attack Chwan-yu. Zan Yu and Chi-lu had an interview with Confucius, and said, "Our chief, Chil is going to commence operations against Chwan-yu."

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