Origins of Chinese Literature
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.
Out of stock
A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki around the fourth century BC, poets have produced countless versions in different languages. Here, drawing on the work of an eleventh-century poet called Kamban, Narayan employs the skills of a master novelist to re-create the excitement he found in the original. A luminous saga made accessible to new generations of readers, The Ramayana can be enjoyed for its spiritual wisdom, or as a thrilling tale of ancient conflict.
The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.
Set on a Bengali noble’s estate in 1908, this is both a love story and a novel of political awakening. The central character, Bimala, is torn between the duties owed to her husband, Nikhil, and the demands made on her by the radical leader, Sandip. Her attempts to resolve the irreconciliable pressures of the home and world reflect the conflict in India itself, and the tragic outcome foreshadows the unrest that accompanied Partition in 1947.
Mirza Waheed’s extraordinary new novel The Book of Gold Leaves is a heartbreaking love story set in war-torn Kashmir. In an ancient house in the city of Srinagar, Faiz paints exquisite Papier Mache pencil boxes for tourists. Evening is beginning to slip into night when he sets off for the shrine. There he finds the woman with the long black hair. Roohi is prostrate before her God. She begs for the boy of her dreams to come and take her away. Roohi wants a love story. An age-old tale of love, war, temptation, duty and choice, The Book of Gold Leaves is a heartbreaking tale of a what might have been, what could have been, if only. “I loved it. The voice is lyrical, to match the beauty of Kashmir, and yet it is tinged with melancholy and grief, as is the story it tells”. (Nadeem Aslam (on The Collaborator)). “Waheed’s prose burns with the fever of anger and despair; the scenes in the valley are exceptional, conveying, a hallucinatory living nightmare that has become an everyday reality for Kashmiris”. (Metro (on The Collaborator)). Mirza Waheed was born and brought up in Kashmir. His debut novel The Collaborator was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Shakti Bhat Prize, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. It was also book of the year for The Telegraph, New Statesman, Financial Times, Business Standard and Telegraph India, among others. Waheed has written for the BBC, The Guardian, Granta, Al Jazeera English and the New York Times. He lives in London.