Traditional Chinese Literature and Tradition

Oracle Bones
Discovered in 1899 by Wang Yirong in his Chinese medicineIn Anyang, Henan province50,000 oracle bone inscriptions excavated4,500 characters found, 2,000 identified

Yi ching/The Changes/Zhou Yi
One of the oldest Chinese booksThe book contains a divination systemProbably written down in the early centuries of Zhou dynasty.

Commentaries after Zhou were added to the original text by urbane scholars.Art, literature, natural philosophy and even the martial arts have all drawn from the tradition of the Changes for their theoretical framework and terminology.

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Is a body of sayings, brief discourses, and conversations attributed primarily to Confucius and secondarily to his disciples. It sets forth Confucius’ philosophical and political beliefs, Is thought to be compiled by his disciples. It is one of the “Four Books” of Confucianism that Chinese philosopher Zhu Xi, published as Sishu in 1190.

Kong Qiu ??, borned in Qu Fu, Shandong (Lu state of China)The most influential Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure known for his popular aphorisms and for his models of social interaction. Background: During the sixth century B.C., competing Chinese states undermined the authority of the Chou Empire. Traditional Chinese principles began to deteriorate, resulting in a period of moral decline.

His social philosophy was based primarily on the principle of “ren” or “loving others” while exercising self-discipline. “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.” (Analects, 12.2, 6.30).His political beliefs were likewise based on the concept of self-discipline.His main objective of being an educator was to teach people to live with integrity. Through his teachings, he strove to resurrect the traditional values of benevolence, propriety and ritual in Chinese society.

His philosophy had not made a significant impact on Chinese culture during his time. As of the fourth century B.C., Confucius was regarded as a sage who had deserved greater recognition in his time. By the second century B.C., during China’s first Han Dynasty, his ideas became the foundation of the state ideology.

Confucianism was the official imperial philosophy of China, and was extremely influential during the Han, Tang and Song dynasties. rearrangement of the Book of Odesrevision of the historical Book of Documentscompiled a historical account of the 12 dukes of Lu, called the Spring and Autumn Annals.Analects

The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way: Tao Te ching
A difficult text. Its language is often cryptic; the sense or reference of the many symbols it employs remains unclear, and there seems to be conceptual inconsistencies. It is a book concerned with realizing peace and sociopolitical order.

It offers essentially a philosophy of life. It is a work of philosophy, which gives a metaphysical account of reality and insight into Daoist self-cultivation and government. It gives voice to a profound mysticism.

1. (Those who) possessed in highest degree the attributes (of the Tao) did not (seek) to show them, and therefore they possessed them (in fullest measure). (Those who) possessed in a lower degree those attributes (sought how) not to lose them, and therefore they did not possess them (in fullest measure).2. (Those who) possessed in the highest degree those attributes did nothing (with a purpose), and had no need to do anything.

(Those who) possessed them in a lower degree were (always) doing, and had need to be so doing.3. (Those who) possessed the highest benevolence were (always seeking) to carry it out, and had no need to be doing so. (Those who) possessed the highest righteousness were (always seeking) to carry it out, and had need to be so doing.

4. (Those who) possessed the highest (sense of) propriety were (always seeking) to show it, and when men did not respond to it, they bared the arm and marched up to the 5. Thus it was that when the Tao was lost, its attributes appeared; when its attributes were lost, benevolence appeared; when benevolence was lost, righteousness appeared; and when righteousness was lost, the proprieties appeared.6. Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith, and is also the commencement of disorder; swift apprehension is (only) a flower of the Tao, and is the beginning of stupidity.7. Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower.

It is thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other.

Li Po (35)
The greatest poet in Chinese literature, the best known Chinese poet in the west. Also known as Li Pai, Li Bai, Li T’ ai-po, Li T’ ai-pai, Rihaku. He was probably born in central Asia and raised in Sichuan province.

Never took the Imperial Examination , but was appointed to the Hanlin Academy by the emperor. Notions of Confucianism, Taoism and chivalry were all embodied in his character. Extant works include more than 900 poems, which artistically recount his own life, social reality and the spirit of the high Tang Dynasty.Li Bai had great political ambitions all through his life and he never concealed his yearning for fame and honor in his poems.Li Bai revered the chivalrous spirit when he was young and wrote many poems on this.He also wondered as a Taoist hermit in his teens and Taoist fantasy permeates his work.

As a great national poet Li Bai also showed a great concern about war “Drinking alone in moonlight” Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,No friends at hand, so I poured alone;I raised my cup to invite the moon,Turned to my shadow, and we became three.Now the moon had never learned about my drinking,And my shadow had merely followed my form,But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;Drunk, then each went off on his own.But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,We promised to meet in the far Milky Way. “Still Night Thoughts” Moonlight in front of my bed—I took it for frost on the ground!I lift my head, gaze at the bright moon,lower it and dream of home.

Tu Fu (37)
Born into a scholar-official family, he failed to pass the literary examination or to win the support of influential people.

Traveling in his youth, waiting in Chang’an for almost 10 years, experiencing the rebellion for 4 years, spending 10 years in Chengdu, and last two years roaming up and down in rivers and lakes.

Li Ching Cao (99)

Po Chu-yi (149)
Po Chü-i was born to a family of poets and minor officials.He became a Presented Scholar in 799 but, because of his uncompromising honesty and forthrightness, his official career was not smooth.

But in general, he had a relatively successful civil service career, serving as collator at the Imperial Secretariat , tax collector, member of the Han-lin Academy, junior counselor in the Eastern Palace. He was not only one of the most productive of the T’ang poets, but also the most fortunate in that a large bulk of his writings has survived. Po left behind more than three thousand poetic works.

He is best known for his ballads and satirical poems.He held the view that good poetry should be readily understood by the common people and exemplified it in poems noted for simple diction, natural style, and social content. By stressing the utilitarian and moral concept of literature in the Confucian tradition, he brought to Chinese poetry a new direction, a sense of moral integrity, and a serious concern for the social problems of the period.

What is Li Yu’s contribution to the development of Ci/lyrics?
Although, Li Yu indeed was a great exponent and developer of the Ci poetry form, which form sometimes or often seems to characterize poetry of the Song Dynasty, there is also some difficulty in categorizing him as a Song poet: the Southern Tang state is more of a continuation of Tang than a precursor on the Song side of the divide of the history of the Tang-Song transition. Li Yu represents both a continuation of the Tang poetry tradition, as well as representing the Ci poetic style which is so especially associated with the poetry of Song.Li Houzhu devoted much of his time to pleasure-making and literature, and this is reflected in his early poems. A second phase of Li’s ci poems seems to have been the development of a sadder style after the death of his wife, in 964.

[4] However, his best-known, and saddest, poems were composed during the years after the Song formally ended his reign in 975. He was created the Marquess of Wei Ming (Chinese: ???; literally, the Marquess of Disobeyed Edicts), a token title only: actually, he was a prisoner. Li’s works from this period dwell on his regret for the lost kingdom and the pleasures it had brought him.He developed the ci by broadening its scope from love to history and philosophy, particularly in his later works.

He also introduced the two stanza form, and made great use of contrasts between longer lines of nine characters and shorter ones of three and five. Only 45 of his ci poems survive, thirty of which have been verified to be his authentic works, the other of which are possibly composed by other writers: also, seventeen shi style poems remain to his credit.[5] His story remains very popular in many Cantonese operas. In 2006, a 40-episodes wuxia TV series named ‘ Li Hou Zhu yu Zhao Kuang Yin’ or ‘Li Hou Zhu and Zhao Kuang Yin’ was made, with main stars Nicky Wu (as Li Houzhu), Huang Wen Hao (as Emperor Taizu of Song) and Liu Tao (as Empress Zhou, wife of Li Houzhu).

What is Liu Yung’s contribution to the development of Ci/lyrics?
First, he produced a large amount of slow long-term adjustment, so that the word small to make the transition to slow the main word of dominant position, so as to accommodate more content words corresponding expression. Second, he developed the technique of expression words, good at elaborate, good use of line drawing, Scenery lyrics closely, easy to understand language, temperament and harmonious. Liu Yong Qin Guan, who has influence on later literature and drama writers rap songs also have an impact on speech writing.

Liu words in the Song and Yuan period the most widely accepted legend, was “where well water to drink Office, that is, singing and Liu Yong.” A word set “Movement Set” [Song medium term] Compared with these few words were, Liu Yong’s situation is markedly different. Word Qi Qing Liu Yong, formerly known as the three variables, Sung (This is a Fujian) people, birth and death years unknown, about and Yan, Zhang Xian, the principal living in Shinshu, Ren era. Early testing is not repeated the first, late in life in the Scholars, served as Muzhou auxiliary, Dinghai Hillsborough field Yanguan and Farming Yuanwai Lang and other small government.

Have “Movement set.” There are several stories of Liu Yong. Early to write his “Songs of praise for the rule of obscenity” that is well-known secular favorite romantic tunes, Once wrote a “sky crane”, the last sentence is “tolerant to Ukena, for the odd glass of sings,” Chin said that when he quizzed when “Pay attention to elegance” of Renzong special to Chutui, said: “and to the odd glass of sings, how to Ukena?” And he made a long time since Chinese Scholars (Wu had “Man can change fast record”), simply known as “the throne to Liu lyrics Three Changes,” quit writing songs specifically. Another rumor Said Liu Yong has visited Yan, Yan asked him: “Yin Jun composer sub it?” He replied: “Only if xianggongzhuang also composer son.

” Yan that he intended to ridicule, then, note that said: “Although the composition special child, never Road: ‘Green Line careless picked to sit with Iran’.” (Zhang Shunmin “paint-Man Zhang Lu”) Liu Yong regular contacts with the song children dancers, writing songs for their speech, according to legend he died in dormitories, are

What are the technical features for regulated verse/Chinese poems?
Regulated verse consisting of the three jintishi or “new style poetry” forms of lushi, jueju, and pailu while retaining the basic characteristics are distinguished from the gushi or “old style poetry” by the addition of a number of formal rules, most of which they share in common, but in some of which they differ. These rules include:Number of lines are limited to four for jueju, eight for lushi, and an unlimited, greater, even number for the pailu. In each case, the poem is arranged in paired lines in the form of couplets.Line lengths are all the same in terms of syllables or characters throughout any given poem.

Generally, the line length is fixed at five or seven or characters per line; although, there are some poems which have a six character line-length. The line length is also used for the purpose of further classifying the main three forms of regulated verse into subtypes.Rhyme is mandatory. Rhyme, or rime, is based on a sometimes somewhat technical rhyme scheme. The rhyme of a poem can be difficult to determine, especially for older poems as pronounced in modern versions of Chinese; however, even as early as the Tang Dynasty, formal rhyme might be based upon authoritative references in a rime table or rime dictionary, rather than on actual vernacular speech.

Generally level tones only rhyme with level tones, and non-level (or “deflected”) tones only formally rhyme with other non-level tones. Also, the first line of the poem may also set the rhyme, more often in the seven-character form than the five-character.The pattern of tonality within the poem is regulated according to certain fixed patterns of alternating level and deflected tones. Although there is some question as to the status of tone in older forms of Chinese, in Middle Chinese (characteristic of the Chinese of the Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, and Song Dynasty), a four tone system developed.

For the purposes of regulated verse, the important distinction is between the level tone (similar to the modern Mandarin Chinese first tone) and the other three tones which are all classified in the category of deflected tones.Parallelism is a feature of regulated verse. The parallelism requirement means that the two parallel lines must match each word in each line with the word which is in the same position in the other line, the match can be in terms of grammatical function, comparison or contrast, phonology, among other considerations: the degree of parallelism can vary and the type of parallelism is crucial to the meaning of a well-written regulated verse poem. Phonological parallelism can include various considerations, including tonality. Grammatical function parallelism examples include matching colors, actions, numeric quantities and so on. In the eight-line lushi form, which is composed of four couplets, the middle two couplets have internal parallelism; that is, the third and fourth line are parallel with each other and the fifth and sixth lines are parallel with each other. The jueju is more flexible in terms of required parallelism, although it may be present.

The pailu requires parallelism for all couplets except for the first and last pair.The caesura, or a pause between certain phrases within any given line is a standard feature of regulated verse, with the main rule being for a major caesura preceding the last three syllables within a line. Thus, in the six-line verse the major caesura divides the line into two three-character halves.

Furthermore, in the seven-character line, there is generally a minor caesura between the first and second pairs of characters.

What are the major sub-genres of verse? Please give one example for each.
Four-syllable verse: four characters per line, rhymedAncient verse: five or seven characters per line, in which even numbered lines rhymed, using either one rhyme throughout or changing it at will, no fixed tone patternRegulated verse: five or seven characters per line, eight lines, rhyming even lines on the same rhyme sound, fixed tone patterns, the four lines in the middle must be couplets.Lyric meters: poems written to existing music, in lines of unequal length, rhyme.

Tao Chien, The Return
Tao Qian/Tao Yuanming Lived during the Six dynasty.Being known as a “Poet of the Fields”. .

Superlative examples of the theme: urges its audience to drop out of official life, move to the country, and take up a cultivated life of wine, poetry, and avoiding people with whom friendship would be unsuitable.

28 Ho Chih chang, written impromptu upon returing to my hometwon
???? Written impromptu upon returning toI left home as a youth and am returning an old man—The sounds of my hometown have not changed,yet the hair on my temples is receding;The children look at me but do not recognize me—Laughing, they ask, “Guest, where have you come from?”

29 Chen Tzuang poems of reflection on the vicissitudes of my life
Poems of reflection on the vicissitudes of lifeThe men in the market pride themselves on their knowledge and craft,But they are as ignorant as babes in regard to the Way;Amidst the press and grab, they make boastful display of luxury—They know not where their bodies will one day end up.How could they ever see the Master of Dark Purity,Who observed the world in a jade pot?Frustrated, he left behind him heaven and earth,And entered Infinity mounted on Transformation.

31 Wang Chihhuan, Climbing the stork pavilion
The white sun leaning on the mountain disappears,The Yellow River flows on into the sea;To stretch your gaze a thousand leagues,Climb up still another story.

32 Meng Hao jan, spring dawn
Asleep in spring unaware of dawn,And everywhere hear the birds in song.At night the sound of wind and rain,You’ll know how much from the flowers gone. SymbolismSentimental feelingSimple languageShort “good things comes in small package”.

34 Wang Wei, Deer Enclosure
On the empty mountain, seeing no one,Only hearing the echoes of someone’s voice;Returning light enters the deep forest,Again shining upon the green moss.(longs to be alone and in seclusion) Describe the emptiness in both the natural environment and the spiritual or emotional state of the poet.Longing to be alone in nature, to find an “empty mountain” to meditate.

38 Chang Chi, Maple bridge night mooring
Moon set, a crow caws, frost fills the skyRiver, maple, fishing-fires, cross my troubled sleep.

Beyond the walls of Soochow from Cold Mountain templeThe midnight bell sounds reach my boat..

Classic of Odes
The most ancient anthology of Chinese poetry. 305 poems from Late Western Chou to the middle of the Spring and Autumn period. divided into four parts: 160 Kuo Feng “airs of the states”, 74 Hsiao Ya “Lesser Ya”, 31 Ta ya “Greater Ya”, and 40 Sung “Temple Hymns”Airs of the states preserve an array of folk images and themes. Lesser Ya and Greater Ya are concerned with life at the royal court. And Sung is the temple hymns.

It established the basis for the long and glorious tradition of Chinese classical poetry.