ASIA 251

Classical Chinese Literature in Translation

This course outlines Chinese literature from the beginning to the Tang dynasty (618-907). From some of the most beloved and celebrated literary texts, we will glean the ageless enigmas of the Warring States sophists, the whimsical wisdom of Chinese hippies of the Bamboo Grove, and the anomalies and the fantastic from poetesses (both male and female) of China's Golden Age, the Tang dynasty. In seven themes, we will explore major genres and sub-genres of Chinese literature, including poetry (e.g., "the music bureau," "classical poetry,' and 'lyric meters'), prose (e.g., historical and philosophical), and fiction (e.g., 'describing anomalies' and 'romances'). We will learn and experience how politicians and common people in China over 2,500 years ago thought, felt, and lived. How did the ancient Chinese achieve immortality, behave in courtship, eavesdrop on a love affair, express their emotions, and criticize one another? Amazingly enough, many of the answers are as contemporary as scenes in a Hollywood movie today. No knowledge of Chinese is required.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities- or -International Experience 1 course