Language : English
Published : 1978-05-01
Pages : 156
Imaginary conversations between Marco Polo and his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, conjure up cities of magical times. “Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvelous invention like Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant” (Gore Vidal). Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book.
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The splendour and richness of Chinese classical literature encompasses a dazzling range, from poetry, rhymed prose and eaasy to drama and novels, with outstanding representative works in each genre.
Despite the passage of time, these works remain fresh and relevant today. The immortals lines from Li Bai’s ‘Reflections on a Quiet Night’, “Raising my head, I look at the bright moon; Hanging my head, I think of home,” continue to strike a chord in the heart of many a traveller far from home, while the tragedy in The Dream of the Red Chamber is still able to move us deeply.
Using illustrations and lucid exposition of the various styles of classical Chinese literature, this book takes the reader on a tour of the Chinese literary world and provides a valuable insight into the Chinese civilisation.
David Hintons compelling new translation of Chuang Tzus Inner Chapters makes these ancient texts from the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers. Standing alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding text in the Taoist tradition, Chuang Tzu is highly readablewith a wild menagerie of characters and passages full of witty and engaging anecdotes. Revered for millennia in the Chinese spiritual tradition, Chuang Tzu stands alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding classic of Taoism. The Inner Chapters is the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the fourth century B.C. Witty and engaging, spiced with the lyricism of poetry, Chuang Tzus Taoist insights are timely and eternal, profoundly concerned with spiritual ecology. Indeed, the Tao of Chuang Tzu was a wholesale rejection of a human-centered approach. Zen traces its sources back to these Taoist roots–roots at least as deep as those provided by Buddhism. But this is an ancient text that yields a surprisingly modern effect. In bold and startling prose, David Hintons translation captures the zany texture and philosophical abandon of the original. The Inner Chapterss fantastical passages–in which even birds and trees teach us what they know–offer up a wild menagerie of characters, freewheeling play with language, and surreal humor. And interwoven with Chuang Tzus sharp instruction on the Tao are short-short stories that are often rough and ribald, rich with satire and paradox.On their deepest level, The Inner Chapters are a meditation on the mysteries of knowledge itself. Chuang Tzus propositions, the translators introduction reminds us, seem to be in constant transformation, for he deploys words and concepts only to free us of words and concepts. Hintons vital new translation makes this ancient text from the golden age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers.
Shakespeare’s valedictory play is also one of his most poetical and magical. The story involves the spirit Ariel, the savage Caliban, and Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan, now a wizard living on a remote island who uses his magic to shipwreck a party of ex-compatriots.
The third edition of The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature is the complete and authoritative reference guide to the classical world and its literary heritage. It not only presents the reader with all the essential facts about the authors, tales, and characters from ancient myths and literature, but it also places these details in the wider contexts of the history and society of the Greek and Roman worlds. With an extensive web of cross-references and a useful chronological table and location maps (all of which have been brought fully up to date), this volume traces the development of literary forms and the classical allusions which have become embedded in our Western culture. Extensively revised and updated, the Companion includes more thematic entries – medicine, friendship, science, the concept of freedom, and sexuality. These topical entries provide an excellent starting point to the exploration of their subjects in classical literature. The Companion contains extensive biographies of classical literary figures from Aeschylus to Zeno; entries on a multitude of literary styles from biography and rhetoric to lyric poetry and epic, and character entries and plot summaries for the major figures and myths in the classical canon. It is the ideal guide for students in Classics, and for all who are passionate about the vast and varied literary tradition bequeathed to us from the classical world.