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Classical Asian Literature

ESSENTIAL TAGORE

ESSENTIAL TAGORE

By: Tagore, Rabindranath
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The Essential Tagore showcases the genius of India's Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laureate and possibly the most prolific and diverse serious writer the world has ever known.

Marking the 150th anniversary of Tagore's birth, this ambitious collection--the largest single volume of his work available in English--attempts to represent his extraordinary achievements in ten genres: poetry, songs, autobiographical works, letters, travel writings, prose, novels, short stories, humorous pieces, and plays. In addition to the newest translations in the modern idiom, it includes a sampling of works originally composed in English, his translations of his own works, three poems omitted from the published version of the English Gitanjali, and examples of his artwork.

Tagore's writings are notable for their variety and innovation. His Sonar Tari signaled a distinctive turn toward the symbolic in Bengali poetry. "The Lord of Life," from his collection Chitra, created controversy around his very personal concept of religion. Chokher Bali marked a decisive moment in the history of the Bengali novel because of the way it delved into the minds of men and women. The skits in Vyangakautuk mocked upper-class pretensions. Prose pieces such as "The Problem and the Cure" were lauded by nationalists, who also sang Tagore's patriotic songs.

Translations for this volume were contributed by Tagore specialists and writers of international stature, including Amitav Ghosh, Amit Chaudhuri, and Sunetra Gupta.

EVERYTHING YEARNED FOR

EVERYTHING YEARNED FOR

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Manhae (1879-1944), or Han Yongun, was a Korean Buddhist (Son) monk during the era of Japanese colonial occupation (1910-1945). Manhae is a political and cultural hero in Korea, and his works are studied by college students and school children alike.

Everything Yearned For is a collection of 88 love poems, evocative of the mystical love poetry of Rumi, and even reminiscent of the work of Pablo Neruda.Though Manahe's poetry can be read allegorically on many levels - political and religious - it is completely unlike any other poetry in Buddhist or secular realm.

The first poem, "My Lover's Silence," narrates the lover's departure and establishes the enduring themes of the work: the happiness of meeting, the sadness of separation, the agony of longing and waiting, and, most of all, the perfection of love in absence that demands the cost of one's ongoing life, as opposed to the relief of death. The Korean word translated in these poems as "love" and "lover" is nim, though nim has many and broad interpretations. Understandably, the identity of Manhae's lover, or "nim" has been the subject of much speculation.

Manhae writes in his own preface:

"Nim" is not only a human lover but everything yearned for. All beings are nim for the Buddha, and philosophy is the nim of Kant. The spring rain is nim for the rose, and Italy is the nim of Mazzini. Nim is what I love, but it also loves me. If romantic love is freedom, then so is my nim. But aren't you attached to the lofty name of freedom? Don't you also have a nim? If so, it's only your shadow. I write these poems for the young lambs wandering lost on the road home from the darkening plains.

EXISTENCE: A STORY

EXISTENCE: A STORY

By: Hinton, David
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The mystery of existence and our place in that mystery--as expressed in a single Chinese landscape painting: a new work of meditative philosophy by the renowned translator of the Chinese classics and author of Hunger Mountain.


Join David Hinton, the premier modern translator of the Chinese classics, as he stands before a single landscape painting, discovering in it the wondrous story of existence--and as part of that story, the magical nature of consciousness. What he coaxes from the image is nothing less than a revelation: the dynamic interweaving of mind and Cosmos, and the glorious dance of Absence and Presence that is the secret of that Cosmos.

The painting called Peaceful-Distance Pavilion by Shih-t'ao (1642-1707) is, like other paintings in that genre, mostly space: one tiny figure, accompanied by an attendant, looks out over a vast landscape of mountains and clouds. But start looking into that space and, with the right guidance, what you end up seeing is profound. David Hinton is the perfect guide. He uses his knowledge of Chinese philosophy, poetry, art, language, and writing system to illuminate this painting's message, which is ultimately the story of the glorious dance between nothing and everything, between emptiness and existence. It's an enthralling journey that can change the way you look at the world, a journey for which David is a wise and eloquent guide.

FAR BEYOND THE FIELD

FAR BEYOND THE FIELD

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Far Beyond the Field is a first-of-its-kind anthology of haiku by Japanese women, collecting translations of four hundred haiku written by twenty poets from the seventeenth century to the present. By arranging the poems chronologically, Makoto Ueda has created an overview of the way in which this enigmatic seventeen-syllable form has been used and experimented with during different eras. At the same time, the reader is admitted to the often marginalized world of female experience in Japan, revealing voices every bit as rich and colorful, and perhaps even more lyrical and erotic, than those found in male haiku.
FIFTY-FIVE T'ANG POEMS

FIFTY-FIVE T'ANG POEMS

By: Stimson, Hugh M
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Four masters of the shi form of Chinese poetry, who are generally considered to be giants in the entire history of Chinese literature, are represented in this book: three from the eighth century, and one from the ninth. A few works by other well-known poets are also included. The author provides a general background sketch, instruction to the student, a description of the phonological system and the spelling used, as well as an outline of the grammar of T'ang shi, insofar as it is known.
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FINDING THEM GONE: VISITING CHINA'S POETS OF THE PAST

By: Pine, Red
$24.00
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"A travel writer with a cult following."--The New York Times

"There are very few westerners who could successfully cover so much territory in China, but Porter pulls it off. Finding Them Gone uniquely draws upon his parallel careers as a translator and a travel writer in ways that his previous books have not. A lifetime devoted to understanding Chinese culture and spirituality blossoms within its pages to create something truly rare."--The Los Angeles Book Review

"A road trip with poetry--if that sounds like your kind of thing, then this is the book for you."--That's China Magazine

To pay homage to China's greatest poets, renowned translator Bill Porter--who is also known by his Chinese name "Red Pine"--traveled throughout China visiting dozens of poets' graves and performing idiosyncratic rituals that featured Kentucky bourbon and reading poems aloud to the spirits.

Combining travelogue, translations, history, and personal stories, this intimate and fast-paced tour of modern China celebrates inspirational landscapes and presents translations of classical poems, many of which have never before been translated into English.

Porter is a former radio commentator based in Hong Kong who specialized in travelogues. As such, he is an entertaining storyteller who is deeply knowledgeable about Chinese culture, both ancient and modern, who brings readers into the journey--from standing at the edge of the trash pit that used to be Tu Mu's grave to sitting in Han Shan's cave where the Buddhist hermit "Butterfly Woman" serves him tea.

Illustrated with over one hundred photographs and two hundred poems, Finding Them Gone combines the love of travel with an irrepressible exuberance for poetry. As Porter writes: "The graves of the poets I'd been visiting were so different. Some were simple, some palatial, some had been plowed under by farmers, and others had been reduced to trash pits. Their poems, though, had survived... Poetry is transcendent. We carry it in our hearts and find it there when we have forgotten everything else."

In praise of Bill Porter/Red Pine:

"In the travel writing that has made him so popular in China, Porter's tone is not reverential but explanatory, and filled with luminous asides... His goal is to tell interested foreigners about revealing byways of Chinese culture."--New York Review of Books

"Porter is an amiable and knowledgeable guide. The daily entries themselves fit squarely in the travelogue genre, seamlessly combining the details of his routes and encounters with the poets' biographies, Chinese histories, and a generous helping of the poetry itself. Porter's knowledge of the subject and his curation of the poems make this book well worth reading for travelers and poetry readers alike. It's like a survey course in Chinese poetry--but one in which the readings are excellent, the professor doesn't take himself too seriously, and the field trips involve sharing Stagg bourbon with the deceased."--Publishers Weekly

"Red Pine's out-of-the-mainstream work is canny and clearheaded, and it has immeasurably enhanced Zen/Taoist literature and practice."--Kyoto Journal

"Bill Porter has been one of the most prolific translators of Chinese texts, while also developing into a travel writer with a cult following."--The New York Times

"Red Pine's succinct and informative notes for each poem are core samples of the cultural, political, and literary history of China." --Asian Reporter

Poets' graves visited (partial list): Li Pai, Tu Fu, Wang Wei, Su Tung-p'o, Hsueh T'ao, Chia Tao, Wei Ying-wu, Shih-wu (Stonehouse), Han-shan (Cold Mountain).

Bill Porter (a.k.a. "Red Pine") is widely recognized as one of the world's finest translators of Chinese religious and poetic texts. His best-selling books include Lao-tzu's Taoteching and The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain. He lives near Seattle.

FOUR HUNDRED SONGS WAR & WISDOM

FOUR HUNDRED SONGS WAR & WISDOM

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Two prominent translators present the first complete English-language edition of one of India's greatest works of classical literature: the Purananuru. This anthology of four hundred poems by more than 150 poets between the first and third centuries CE in old Tamil--the literary language of ancient Tamilnadu--was composed before Aryan influence had penetrated the south. It is thus a unique testament to pre-Aryan India.

Beyond its importance for understanding the development of South Asia's history, culture, religion, and linguistics, the Purananuru is a great work of literature, reflecting accurately and profoundly the life of southern India 2,000 years ago. One of the few works of classical India that confronts life without the insulation of a philosophical facade and that makes no basic assumptions about karma and the afterlife, the Purananuru has universal appeal. It faces the world as a great and unsolved mystery, delving into living and dying, despair, love, poverty, and the changing nature of existence.

To this hidden gem of world literature George L. Hart and Hank Heifetz add a helpful appendix, an annotated bibliography, and an excellent introduction describing the work and placing it in its social and historical context.

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FOUR MAJOR PLAYS OF CHIKAMATSU

By: Chikamatsu
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Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725) wrote some 130 plays, chiefly for the puppet theater, many of which are still performed today by puppet operators and Kabuki actors. Chikamatsu is thought to have written the first major tragedies about the common man. This edition of four of his most important plays includes three popular domestic dramas and one history play.Chikamatsu's domestic dramas are accurate reflections of Japanese society at the time: his characters are samurai, farmers, merchants, and prostitutes who speak colloquially, and who people the shops, streets, teahouses, and brothels that consituted their daily environment. The heroes and heroines of theses plays gain their tragic stature from their conflict with society. "The Love Suicides at Sonezaki" and "The Love Suicides at Amijima" became so popular that they initiated a vouge for love suicides, both in life and onstage.Donald Keene's translation of the original text is presented here with an introduction and a new preface to aid readers in their comprehension and enjoyment of the plays.
GAZING AT THE MOON: BUDDHIST POEMS OF SOLITUDE

GAZING AT THE MOON: BUDDHIST POEMS OF SOLITUDE

By: Saigyo
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A fresh translation of the classical Buddhist poetry of Saigyō, whose aesthetics of nature, love, and sorrow came to epitomize the Japanese poetic tradition.

Saigyō, the Buddhist name of Fujiwara no Norikiyo (1118-1190), is one of Japan's most famous and beloved poets. He was a recluse monk who spent much of his life wandering and seeking after the Buddhist way. Combining his love of poetry with his spiritual evolution, he produced beautiful, lyrical lines infused with a Buddhist perception of the world.

Gazing at the Moon presents over one hundred of Saigyō's tanka--traditional 31-syllable poems--newly rendered into English by renowned translator Meredith McKinney. This selection of poems conveys Saigyō's story of Buddhist awakening, reclusion, seeking, enlightenment, and death, embodying the Japanese aesthetic ideal of mono no aware--to be moved by sorrow in witnessing the ephemeral world.

GHALIB: SELECTED POEMS AND LETTERS

GHALIB: SELECTED POEMS AND LETTERS

By: Ghalib, Mirza Asadullah Khan
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This selection of poetry and prose by Ghalib provides an accessible and wide-ranging introduction to the preeminent Urdu poet of the nineteenth century. Ghalib's poems, especially his ghazals, remain beloved throughout South Asia for their arresting intelligence and lively wit. His letters--informal, humorous, and deeply personal--reveal the vigor of his prose style and the warmth of his friendships. These careful translations allow readers with little or no knowledge of Urdu to appreciate the wide range of Ghalib's poetry, from his gift for extreme simplicity to his taste for unresolvable complexities of structure.

Beginning with a critical introduction for nonspecialists and specialists alike, Frances Pritchett and Owen Cornwall present a selection of Ghalib's works, carefully annotating details of poetic form. Their translation maintains line-for-line accuracy and thereby preserves complex poetic devices that play upon the tension between the two lines of each verse. The book includes whole ghazals, selected individual verses from other ghazals, poems in other genres, and letters. The book also includes a glossary, the Urdu text of the original poetry, and an appendix containing Ghalib's comments on his own verses.

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GOLDEN LOTUS 1 TR. EGERTON

By: Xiaoxiaosheng, Lanling
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"The greatest novel of physical love which China has produced." --Pearl S. Buck

A saga of ruthless ambition, murder, and lust, The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei) has been called the fifth Great Classical Novel in Chinese literature and one of the Four Masterworks of the Ming novel. Admired in its own time for its literary qualities and biting indictment of the immorality and cruelty of its age, it has also been denigrated as a "dirty" book for its sexual frankness. It centers on Ximen Qing, a wealthy, young, dissolute, and politically connected merchant, and his marriage to a fifth wife, Pan Jinlian, literally "Golden Lotus." In her desire to influence her husband and, through him, control the other wives, concubines, and entire household, she uses sex as her main weapon. The Golden Lotus lays bare the rivalries within this wealthy family while chronicling its rise and fall. It fields a host of vivid characters, each seeking advantage in a corrupt world.

The author of The Golden Lotus is Lanling Xiaoxiaosheng, whose name, a pseudonym, means "Scoffing Scholar of Lanling." His great work, written in the late Ming but set in the Song Dynasty, is a virtuoso collection of voices and vices, mixing in poetry and song and sampling different social registers, from popular ballads to the language of bureaucrats, in order to recreate and comment mordantly on the society of the time.

This edition features a new introduction by Robert Hegel of Washington University, who situates the novel for contemporary readers and explains its greatness as the first single-authored novel in the Chinese tradition. This translation contains the complete, unexpurgated text as translated by Clement Egerton with the assistance of Shu Qingchun, later known as Lao She, one of the most prominent Chinese writers of the twentieth century. The translation has been pinyinized and corrected.

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GOLDEN LOTUS 2 TR. EGERTON

By: Xiaoxiaosheng, Lanling
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"The greatest novel of physical love which China has produced." --Pearl S. Buck

A saga of ruthless ambition, murder, and lust, The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei) has been called the fifth Great Classical Novel in Chinese literature and one of the Four Masterworks of the Ming novel. Admired in its own time for its literary qualities and biting indictment of the immorality and cruelty of its age, it has also been denigrated as a "dirty" book for its sexual frankness. It centers on Ximen Qing, a wealthy, young, dissolute, and politically connected merchant, and his marriage to a fifth wife, Pan Jinlian, literally "Golden Lotus." In her desire to influence her husband and, through him, control the other wives, concubines, and entire household, she uses sex as her main weapon. The Golden Lotus lays bare the rivalries within this wealthy family while chronicling its rise and fall. It fields a host of vivid characters, each seeking advantage in a corrupt world.

The author of The Golden Lotus is Lanling Xiaoxiaosheng, whose name, a pseudonym, means "Scoffing Scholar of Lanling." His great work, written in the late Ming but set in the Song Dynasty, is a virtuoso collection of voices and vices, mixing in poetry and song and sampling different social registers, from popular ballads to the language of bureaucrats, in order to recreate and comment mordantly on the society of the time.

This edition features a new introduction by Robert Hegel of Washington University, who situates the novel for contemporary readers and explains its greatness as the first single-authored novel in the Chinese tradition. This translation contains the complete, unexpurgated text as translated by Clement Egerton with the assistance of Shu Qingchun, later known as Lao She, one of the most prominent Chinese writers of the twentieth century. The translation has been pinyinized and corrected.

GOSSAMER YEARS: Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan

GOSSAMER YEARS: Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan

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Kagero Nikki, translated here as The Gossamer Years, belongs to the same period as the celebrated Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikuibu.

This remarkably frank autobiographical diary and personal confession attempts to describe a difficult relationship as it reveals two tempestuous decades of the author's unhappy marriage and her growing indignation at rival wives and mistresses.

Too impetuous to be satisfied as a subsidiary wife, this beautiful (and unnamed) noblewoman of the Heian dynasty protests the marriage system of her time in one of Japanese literature's earliest attempts to portray difficult elements of the predominant social hierarchy.

A classic work of early Japanese prose, The Gossamer Years is an important example of the development of Heian literature, which, at its best, represents an extraordinary flowering of realistic expression, an attempt, unique for its age, to treat the human condition with frankness and honesty. A timeless and intimate glimpse into the culture of ancient Japan, this translation by Edward Seidensticker paints a revealing picture of married life in the Heian period.

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GUIDE TO CAPTURING A PLUM BLOSSOM

By: Po-Jen, Sung
$16.00
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"It is one of the very first art books which helped artists develop the aptitude for seeing the inner essence of various natural phenomena."--Shambhala Sun

"Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom could fit neatly into any number of contemporary-sounding categories: hybrid text, art book, lyric essay, etc. It is a book that relies on interdependence of image and text, of history and the present, of evocation and concrete image."--The Rumpus

"Red Pine introduces Western readers to both the text itself and the traditions it has inherited."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"All lovers of Asian poetry, mysterious history, divine drawing, and plum blossoms will enjoy this book. Thank you once again, Red Pine, for deep translation."--Michael McClure

Through a series of brief four-lined poems and illustrations, Sung Po-jen aims at training artistic perception: how to truly see a plum blossom. First published in AD 1238, Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom is considered the world's earliest-known printed art books. This bilingual edition contains the one hundred woodblock prints from the 1238 edition, calligraphic Chinese poems, and Red Pine's graceful translations and illuminating commentaries.

"Tiger Tracks"

winter wind bends dry grass
flicks its tail along the ridge
fearful force on the loose

don't try to braid old whiskers

Red Pine's commentary: "The Chinese liken the north wind that blows down from Siberia in winter to a roaring tiger. China is home to both the Siberian and the South China tigers. While both are on the verge of extinction, the small South China tiger still appears as far north as the Chungnan Mountains, where hermits have shown me their tracks."

Sung Po-jen was a Chinese poet of the thirteenth century.

Red Pine (a.k.a. Bill Porter) is one of the world's foremost translators of Chinese poetry and religious texts. His published translations include The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, Lao-tzu's Taoteching, and Poems of the Masters. He lives near Seattle, Washington.


HAIKU BEFORE HAIKU: From the Renga Masters to Basho

HAIKU BEFORE HAIKU: From the Renga Masters to Basho

By: Carter, Steven D
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While the rise of the charmingly simple, brilliantly evocative haiku is often associated with the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, the form had already flourished for more than four hundred years before Basho even began to write. These early poems, known as hokku, are identical to haiku in syllable count and structure but function differently as a genre. Whereas each haiku is its own constellation of image and meaning, a hokku opens a series of linked, collaborative stanzas in a sequence called renga.

Under the mastery of Basho, hokku first gained its modern independence. His talents contributed to the evolution of the style into the haiku beloved by so many poets around the world--Richard Wright, Jack Kerouac, and Billy Collins being notable devotees. Haiku Before Haiku presents 320 hokku composed between the thirteenth and early eighteenth centuries, from the poems of the courtier Nijo Yoshimoto to those of the genre's first "professional" master, Sogi, and his disciples. It features 20 masterpieces by Basho himself. Steven D. Carter introduces the history of haiku and its aesthetics, classifying these poems according to style and context. His rich commentary and notes on composition and setting illuminate each work, and he provides brief biographies of the poets, the original Japanese text in romanized form, and earlier, classical poems to which some of the hokku allude.

HAIKU OF YOSA BUSON

HAIKU OF YOSA BUSON

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Buson was born in the village of Kema in Settsu Province (now Osaka). At around the age of 20, he moved to Edo (now Tokyo) and learned poetry under the tutelage of the haikai master Hayano Hajin. After Hajin died, and following in the footsteps of his idol, Matsuo Bashō, Buson travelled through the wilds of northern Honshū that had been the inspiration for Bashō's famous travel diary, Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Interior). He published his notes from the trip in 1744, marking the first time he published under the name Buson. After travelling through various parts of Japan, including Tango and Sanuki, Buson settled down in the city of Kyoto. He married at the age of 45 and had one daughter, Kuno. From this point on, he remained in Kyoto, writing and teaching poetry at the Sumiya. Buson died at the age of 68 and was buried at Konpuku-ji in Kyoto. This new translation of Buson's verse will be of great interest to all who admire haiku, and especially the work of "The Great Four" - Basho, Issa, Shiki and Buson.
HEART OF CHINESE POETRY

HEART OF CHINESE POETRY

By: Whincup, Greg
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Greg Whincup offers a varied and unique approach to Chinese translation in The Heart of Chinese Poetry. Special features of this edition include direct word-for-word translations showing the range of meaning in each Chinese character, the Chinese pronunciations, as well as biographical and historical commentary following each poem.
HEAVEN MY BLANKET EARTH MY PILLOW: Poems from Sung Dynasty

HEAVEN MY BLANKET EARTH MY PILLOW: Poems from Sung Dynasty

By: WAN-Li, Yang
$14.00
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Yang Wan-Li (1127-1206) is one of China's "four masters of Southern Sung poetry." These poems were written at what could be seen as a low point in Sung history: an invasion by the Jurchens had forced the Sung to flee to the southern city of Hangchow. But they created at Hangchow a refuge of elegant solitude from which they gazed longingly toward the north, and in this quiet setting, they were able to enjoy the beauties of nature. Many of the poems are perfect verbalizations of the magnificent landscape paintings of the Sung painters: misty, ethereal and luminous. The poetry, however, also holds the annoyances of overwork, aching feet, creaking bones and the pleasures of wine, filling it with humanity and a zest for living.

HITOPADESA

HITOPADESA

By: Narayana
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Widely read and beloved for more than a thousand years, the Hitopadesa (Book of Good Counsels) is an anthology of folk wisdom that offers humorous and profound reflections on human lives and loves, philosophies and follies. Drawing on traditional sources, Narayana presents classic tales as narrated by animals, resulting in a work that is a fascinating blend of fable and satire.
HUNDRED VERSES FROM OLD JAPAN

HUNDRED VERSES FROM OLD JAPAN

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Discover this classic translation of one of Japan's most famous poetry anthologies.

This gem of Japanese poetry has preserved its charm for over a century. Dating from the 13th century, this collection of Hyaku-nin-isshiu (literally one hundred poems by one hundred poets) contains one hundred evocative and intensely human poems. The selections are written as Japanese tanka (featuring a five-line thirty-one syllable format in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern) and were composed between the seventh and 13th centuries before being compiled by Sadaiye Fujiwara in 1235. These short poems consist almost entirely of love poems and picture poems intended to bring some well-known scene to mind: nature, the cycle of the seasons, the impermanence of life, and the vicissitudes of love. There are obvious Buddhist and Shinto influences throughout.

To make the sounds more familiar to English readers, the translator has adopted a five-line verse of 8-6-8-6-6 meter, with the second, fourth, and fifth lines rhyming. His accompanying notes put the poems into a cultural and historical context. Each poem is illustrated with an 18-century Japanese woodcut by an anonymous illustrator. Despite the centuries that have passed since these poems were written, modern readers are certain to connect with their themes and their beauty.

HUNGER MOUNTAIN: A FIELD GUIDE TO MIND AND LANDSCAPE

HUNGER MOUNTAIN: A FIELD GUIDE TO MIND AND LANDSCAPE

By: Hinton, David
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Come along with David Hinton on a series of walks through the wild beauty of Hunger Mountain, near his home in Vermont--excursions informed by the worldview he's imbibed from his many years translating the classics of Chinese poetry and philosophy. His broad-ranging discussion offers insight on everything from the mountain landscape to the origins of consciousness and the Cosmos, from geology to Chinese landscape painting, from parenting to pictographic oracle-bone script, to a family chutney recipe. It's a spiritual ecology that is profoundly ancient and at the same time resoundingly contemporary. Your view of the landscape--and of your place in it--may never be the same.
IDLE TALK UNDER THE BEAN ARBOR

IDLE TALK UNDER THE BEAN ARBOR

By: Aina the Layman
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Written around 1660, the unique Chinese short story collection Idle Talk under the Bean Arbor (Doupeng xianhua), by the author known only as Aina the Layman, uses the seemingly innocuous setting of neighbors swapping yarns on hot summer days under a shady arbor to create a series of stories that embody deep disillusionment with traditional values. The tales, ostensibly told by different narrators, parody heroic legends and explore issues that contributed to the fall of the Ming dynasty a couple of decades before this collection was written, including self-centeredness and social violence. These stories speak to all troubled times, demanding that readers confront the pretense that may lurk behind moralistic stances.

Idle Talk under the Bean Arbor presents all twelve stories in English translation along with notes from the original commentator, as well as a helpful introduction and analysis of individual stories.

IN SUCH HARD TIMES: Poetry of Wei Ying-wu tr. Red Pine

IN SUCH HARD TIMES: Poetry of Wei Ying-wu tr. Red Pine

By: Ying-Wu, Wei
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Wei Ying-Wu was undoubtedly one of the great T'ang poets, yet his work is much less well known in the West than that of Li Po, Tu Fu, and Po Chu-i. Now Red Pine (the lovely pen name that the American poet and Chinese scholar Bill Porter assumes for his translation work) celebrates Wei's life and achievement in a big new anthology, In Such Hard Times...Reading him is like listening to Mozart, there's something healing about the calm profundity with which he spins pain and disaster.--Los Angeles Times

"[Translator] Red Pine's out-of-the-mainstream work is uncanny and clearheaded."--Kyoto Journal

"Red Pine's succinct and informative notes for each poem are core samples of the cultural, political, and literary history of China."--Asian Reporter

Wei Ying-wu (737-791) is considered one of the great poets of the T'ang Dynasty, ranked alongside such poets as Tu Fu, Li Pai, and Wang Wei. Strangely, though, only a handful of Wei Ying-wu's poems have ever been translated into English.

True to his reputation as one of the world's leading translators of Chinese, Red Pine (a.k.a. Bill Porter) translates 175 of Wei's poems and demonstrates why he is "one of the world's great poets." Presented in a bilingual Chinese-English format, with extensive notes and an informative introduction, In Such Hard Times is a long-overdue world premiere.

A courtyard of bamboo in the snow at midnight
a lone lantern a book on my table
if I hadn't encountered the teachings of inaction
how else could I have gained this life of leisure

Wei Ying-wu (737-791) is considered one of the great poets of the T'ang Dynasty. Born into an aristocratic family in decline, Wei served in several government posts without distinction. He disdained the literary establishment of his day and fashioned a poetic style counter to the mainstream: one of profound simplicity centered in the natural world.

Red Pine (a.k.a. Bill Porter) is one of the world's leading translators of Chinese literary and religious texts.


INK DARK MOON: Love Poems by Onono Komachi and Izumi Shikibu Women of the Ancient Court of Japan

INK DARK MOON: Love Poems by Onono Komachi and Izumi Shikibu Women of the Ancient Court of Japan

By: Shikibu, Izumi
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These translated poems were written by two women of the Heian court of Japan between the ninth and eleventh centuries A.D.

The poems speak intimately of their authors' sexual longing, fulfillment and disillusionment.
JADE MIRROR: WOMEN POETS OF CHINA

JADE MIRROR: WOMEN POETS OF CHINA

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"A delectable selection of poems by China's greatest women poets in translations of exquisite beauty. A rare achievement!"--Red Pine

"Jade Mirror's particular strength comes from the fact that all of its fine translators bring to the work different senses of where poetry is to be found in the originals as well present some of the finest poetic translation of the last twenty years."--Jerome Seaton

This anthology spans twenty-five hundred years of writing by women. These are voices that were most often left out of the official anthologies and represent a hidden tradition that deserves a wider audience.

JAPANESE NO DRAMAS

JAPANESE NO DRAMAS

By: Various
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Japanese noh theatre or the drama of perfected art flourished in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries largely through the genius of the dramatist Zeami. An intricate fusion of music, dance, mask, costume and language, the dramas address many subjects, but the idea of form is more central than 'meaning' and their structure is always ritualized. Selected for their literary merit, the twenty-four plays in this volume dramatize such ideas as the relationship between men and the gods, brother and sister, parent and child, lover and beloved, and the power of greed and desire. Revered in Japan as a cultural treasure, the spiritual and sensuous beauty of these works has been a profound influence for English-speaking artists including W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound and Benjamin Britten.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 1 REVISED

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 1 REVISED

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Anthony C. Yu's translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China's most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.
With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.
One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu's elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 2 REVISED

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 2 REVISED

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Anthony C. Yu's translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China's most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.

With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.

One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu's elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 3 REVISED

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 3 REVISED

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Anthony C. Yu's translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China's most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.

With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.

One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu's elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 4 REVISED

JOURNEY TO THE WEST 4 REVISED

$31.00
More Info

Anthony C. Yu's translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China's most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.

With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.

One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu's elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.