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Classical Asian Literature

KOJIKI: AN ACCOUNT OF ANCIENT MATTERS

KOJIKI: AN ACCOUNT OF ANCIENT MATTERS

By: Ō, No Yasumaro
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Japan's oldest surviving narrative, the eighth-century Kojiki, chronicles the mythical origins of its islands and their ruling dynasty through a diverse array of genealogies, tales, and songs that have helped to shape the modern nation's views of its ancient past. Gustav Heldt's engaging new translation of this revered classic aims to make the Kojiki accessible to contemporary readers while staying true to the distinctively dramatic and evocative appeal of the original's language. It conveys the rhythms that structure the Kojiki's animated style of storytelling and translates the names of its many people and places to clarify their significance within the narrative. An introduction, glossaries, maps, and bibliographies offer a wealth of additional information about Japan's earliest extant record of its history, literature, and religion.

KOKORO-HINTS & ECHOS OF JAPANESE

By: Hearn, Lafcadio
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First Published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
LATE TANG: CHINESE POETRY 827-860

LATE TANG: CHINESE POETRY 827-860

By: Owen, Stephen
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The poetry of the Late Tang often looked backward, and many poets of the period distinguished themselves through the intensity of their retrospective gaze. Chinese poets had always looked backward to some degree, but for many Late Tang poets the echoes and the traces of the past had a singular aura.

In this work, Stephen Owen resumes telling the literary history of the Tang that he began in his works on the Early and High Tang. Focusing in particular on Du Mu, Li Shangyin, and Wen Tingyun, he analyzes the redirection of poetry that followed the deaths of the major poets of the High and Mid-Tang and the rejection of their poetic styles. The Late Tang, Owen argues, forces us to change our very notion of the history of poetry. Poets had always drawn on past poetry, but in the Late Tang, the poetic past was beginning to assume the form it would have for the next millennium; it was becoming a repertoire of available choices--styles, genres, the voices of past poets. It was this repertoire that would endure.

LI PO & TU FU

LI PO & TU FU

By: Tu Fu
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The poems of two of China's most influential classical poets: Tu Fu, called "China's Shakespeare" (BBC), and Li Po, the subject of Ha Jin's The Banished Immortal and "China's most beloved poet" (The New Yorker)

A Penguin Classic

Li Po (AD 701-62) and Tu Fu (AD 712-70) were devoted friends who are traditionally considered to be among China's greatest poets. Li Po, a legendary carouser, was an itinerant poet whose writing, often dream poems or spirit-journeys, soars to sublime heights in its descriptions of natural scenes and powerful emotions. His sheer escapism and joy is balanced by Tu Fu, who expresses the Confucian virtues of humanity and humility in more autobiographical works that are imbued with great compassion and earthy reality, and shot through with humour. Together these two poets of the T'ang dynasty complement each other so well that they often came to be spoken of as one - 'Li-Tu' - who covers the whole spectrum of human life, experience and feeling.

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.

LIGHT VERSE FROM FLOATING WORLD

LIGHT VERSE FROM FLOATING WORLD

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Similar in form to the well-known, more serious haiku, the satirical--and often humorous--poems known as senryu have received little scholarly attention because most were written by anonymous amateur poets and were therefore considered popular literature unworthy of serious study. Senryu are interesting, however, precisely because they reflect the thoughts and feelings of ordinary townspeople in a way that other more orthodox types of Japanese literature do not. In his introduction on the nature and historical background of the form, Makoto Ueda explores the elements of humor and satire contained in senryu, highlighting the mores that lie behind the laughter the poems evince.

Collecting 400 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poems--with the romanized Japanese verse presented at the bottom of each page--Light Verse from the Floating World is divided into thematic sections, each preceded by a short introduction:

- satirical senryu, aimed at people of the ruling warrior class and civilians of various professions;

- senryu on human relationships--between young lovers, husband and wife, parent and child, or family members of different generations;

- poems on townspeople enjoying themselves in the "amusement" district;

- ridicule of well-known historical figures;

- and poems on the poets' general outlook on life.

Replete with keen observations on the human world rather than the natural one, this first comprehensive anthology in English translation of this major genre of Japanese literature will appeal to scholars and students of Japanese culture, as well as general readers of poetry.

LITTLE CLAY CART

LITTLE CLAY CART

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The Little Clay Cart is a Sanskrit play revolving around a romantic theme of the love of a high-born man for a courtesan. It contains dramatic developments involving a dynastic overthrow and contains realistic portrayals of a wide range of characters.

LITTLE SONGS OF THE GEISHA

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LIVES OF THE JAIN ELDERS

LIVES OF THE JAIN ELDERS

By: Hemacandra
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The Lives of the Jain Elders by the twelfth-century Jain scholar-monk, Hemacandra, is the key synthesis of source material for the early history of Jainism. Hemacandra's epic relates the pupillary succession of the early monastic Jain community, their influence, and the legendary spread of their influence, and the asceticism of the Elders, performed in the hope of liberation from a cycle of death and rebirth. Abounding in memorable characters, and providing a rich compendium of Indian folk-tale, The Lives of the Jain Elders offers fascinating insight into the social life of medieval India. This new translation makes the complete work available for the first time in a European language and substantial editorial apparatus illuminates Jain belief and history.
MAGNOLIA AND LOTUS: SELECTED POEMS OF HYESIM

MAGNOLIA AND LOTUS: SELECTED POEMS OF HYESIM

By: Hyesim, Chin'gak Kuksa
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"Hyesim's poems: transformative as walking high granite mountains by moonlight, with fragrant herbs underfoot and a thermos of clear tea in the backpack. Their bedrock is thusness, their images' beauty is pellucid and new, their view without limit. The shelf of essential Zen poets for American readers grows larger with this immediately indispensable collection."--Jane Hirshfield

"His poems speak softly and clearly, like hearing a temple bell that was struck a thousand years ago."--Sam Hamill

Chin'gak Kuksa Hyesim (1178-1234) was the first Zen master dedicated to poetry in Korea.

Ian Haight's books of translations include Borderland Roads: Selected Poems of Ho Kyun and Garden Chrysanthemums and First Mountain Snow: Zen Questions and Answers from Korea.

MAHABHARATA adapted and edited by David R. Slavitt

MAHABHARATA adapted and edited by David R. Slavitt

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Within its 200,000 verse lines in Sanskrit the Mahabharata takes on many roles: epic poem, foundational text of Hinduism, and, more broadly, the engaging story of a dynastic struggle and the passing of an age when man and gods intermingled. David R. Slavitt's sparkling new edition condenses the epic for the general reader.

At its core, the Mahabharata is the story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two related noble families who are struggling for control of a kingdom in ancient northern India. Slavitt's readable, plot-driven, single-volume account describes an arc from the conception and birth of Bhishma to that hero's death, while also introducing the four goals of life at the center of Hinduism: dharma (righteousness, morality, duty), artha (purpose), kāma (pleasure), and moksa (spiritual liberation). The Mahabharata is engaging, thrilling, funny, charming, and finally awesome, with a range in timbre from the impish naivete of fairy tales to the solemnity of our greatest epics, and this single-volume edition is the best introduction available.

MAJESTIC NIGHTS

MAJESTIC NIGHTS

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How do Bengali women love in times of social transition and political upheaval? These poems look at how Bengali women tell their truths of the heart and mind through their struggles for equality, opportunity, and recognition in a changing society. The poems follow a subtle trajectory through the stages of love: first love; marriage; separation; aging and death; and ultimate supreme, universal love, of which romantic love is an imperfect reflection.

Carolyne Wright spent four years collecting and translating Bengali women's poetry. Wright is a poet herself, and her most recent collection is A Change of Maps.

MAKIOKA SISTERS

MAKIOKA SISTERS

By: Tanizaki, Junichiro
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Junichirō Tanizaki's magisterial evocation of a proud Osaka family in decline during the years immediately before World War II is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century and a classic of international literature.

Tsuruko, the eldest sister of the once-wealthy Makioka family, clings obstinately to the prestige of her family name even as her husband prepares to move their household to Tokyo, where that name means nothing. Sachiko compromises valiantly to secure the future of her younger sisters. The shy, unmarried Yukiko is a hostage to her family's exacting standards, while the spirited Taeko rebels by flinging herself into scandalous romantic alliances and dreaming of studying fashion design in France. Filled with vignettes of a vanishing way of life, The Makioka Sisters is a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family--and an entire society--sliding into the abyss of modernity. It possesses in abundance the keen social insight and unabashed sensuality that distinguish Tanizaki as a master novelist.

MASTER TUNGS WESTERN CHAMBER

MASTER TUNGS WESTERN CHAMBER

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This twelfth-century masterpiece suffered virtual oblivion from the late fourteenth century until 1912, when it was rediscovered by the great sinologist Wang Kuo-wei who helped restore it to its preeminent position in Chinese literature. Comprising 184 prose passages and 5,263 lines of verse to be narrated and sung by a performing singer-storyteller, it is an elaboration of the T'ang dynasty love story, The Story of Ying-ying, by Yuan Chen (779-831).
MISTRESS & MAID

MISTRESS & MAID

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Mistress & Maid, one of the greatest tragedies of Chinese drama, is here available for the first time in English. Acclaimed translator Cyril Birch presents the bittersweet tale of Bella, daughter of the Wang family, her maid Petal, and the young scholar Shen Chun. After her father reneges on her marital pact, Bella refuses to renounce her love for Shen, with whom she has vowed to share "in life one room, in death one tomb." The subversion of both conventional morality and the arranged marriage through vivid drama and witty comic scenes makes this seventeenth-century play particularly innovative. Chinese critics have hailed it as essentially revolutionary for its depiction of youthful resistance to latter-day Confucian values, but as Birch notes in the introduction, "the glory of Mistress & Maid is the tender delicacy of the lovers' interactions." This depth of feeling also distinguishes the play from others of the "talent-meets-beauty" genre so prevalent during the late-imperial age.
MOUNTAIN HOME TR. HINTON

MOUNTAIN HOME TR. HINTON

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The earliest and most extensive literary engagement with wilderness in human history, Mountain Home is vital poetry that feels utterly contemporary. China's tradition of rivers-and-mountains poetry stretches across millennia. This is a plain-spoken poetry of immediate day-to-day experience, and yet seems most akin to China's grand landscape paintings. Although its wisdom is ancient, rooted in Taoist and Zen thought, the work feels utterly contemporary, especially as rendered here in Hinton's rich and accessible translations. Mountain Home collects poems from 5th- through 13th-century China and includes the poets Li Po, Po Chu-i and Tu Fu. The rivers-and-mountains tradition covers a remarkable range of topics: comic domestic scenes, social protest, travel, sage recluses, and mountain landscapes shaped into forms of enlightenment. And within this range, the poems articulate the experience of living as an organic part of the natural world and its processes. In an age of global ecological disruption and mass extinction, this tradition grows more urgently important every day. Mountain Home offers poems that will charm and inform not just readers of poetry, but also the large community of readers who are interested in environmental awareness.
MOUNTAIN POEMS OF STONEHOUSE

MOUNTAIN POEMS OF STONEHOUSE

By: Stonehouse
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Winner of the 2015 Washington State Book Award in Poetry Translation

The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse [is] a tough-spirited book of enlightened free verse.--Kyoto Journal

The Zen master and mountain hermit Stonehouse--considered one of the greatest Chinese Buddhist poets--used poetry as his medium of instruction. Near the end of his life, monks asked him to record what he found of interest on his mountain; Stonehouse delivered to them hundreds of poems and an admonition: Do not to try singing these poems. Only if you sit on them will they do you any good.

Newly revised, with the Chinese originals and Red Pine's abundant commentary and notes, The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse is an essential volume for Zen students, readers of Asian literature, and all who love the outdoors.

After eating I dust off a boulder and sleep
and after sleeping I go for a walk
on a cloudy late summer day
an oriole sings from a sapling
briefly enjoying the season
joyfully singing out its heart
true happiness is right here
why chase an empty name

Stonehouse was born in 1272 in Changshu, China, and took his name from a cave at the edge of town. He became a highly respected dharma master in the Zen Buddhist tradition.

Red Pine is one of the world's leading translators of Chinese poetry. Every time I translate a book of poems, he writes, I learn a new way of dancing. And the music has to be Chinese. He lives near Seattle, Washington.


NINE CLOUD DREAM

NINE CLOUD DREAM

By: Man-Jung, Kim
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Korea's most prized literary masterpiece: a Buddhist journey questioning the illusions of human life--presented in a vivid new translation by PEN/Hemingway finalist Heinz Insu Fenkl

*Named one of the year's most anticipated books by The New York Times, The Millions, and i09*



Often considered the highest achievement in Korean fiction, The Nine Cloud Dream poses the question: Will the life we dream of truly make us happy? Written in 17th-century Korea, this classic novel's wondrous story begins when a young monk living on a sacred Lotus Peak in China succumbs to the temptation of eight fairy maidens. For doubting his master's Buddhist teachings, the monk is forced to endure a strange punishment: reincarnation as the most ideal of men.

On his journey through this new life full of material, martial, and sensual accomplishments beyond his wildest dreams, he encounters the eight fairies in human form, each one furthering his path towards understanding the fleeting value of his good fortune. As his successes grow, he comes closer and closer to finally comprehending the fundamental truths of the Buddha's teachings. Like Hesse's Siddhartha, The Nine Cloud Dream is an unforgettable tale that explores the meaning of a good life and the virtue of living simply with mindfulness.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 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.

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NINETEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT WANG WEI

By: Weinberger, Eliot
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A new expanded edition of the classic study of translation, finally back in print
NOH THEATRE OF JAPAN

NOH THEATRE OF JAPAN

By: Pound, Ezra
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This outstanding, scholarly work by an American-born authority on Chinese and Japanese art and literature, edited and translated by one of the most ambitious, influential, and innovative poets of the first half of the 20th century, provides Western readers with a valuable interpretation of an important aspect of Japanese culture. In addition to the complete translations of 15 plays, the text discusses historical background and development of the Noh theater.

NOT FAR FROM THE RIVER

By: Ray, David
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ON COLD MOUNTAIN: A BUDDHIST READING OF THE HANSHAN POEMS

ON COLD MOUNTAIN: A BUDDHIST READING OF THE HANSHAN POEMS

By: Rouzer, Paul
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In this first serious study of Hanshan ("Cold Mountain"), Paul Rouzer discusses some seventy poems of the iconic Chinese poet who lived sometime during the Tang dynasty (618-907). Hanshan's poems gained a large readership in English-speaking countries following the publication of Jack Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums (1958) and Gary Snyder's translations (which began to appear that same year), and they have been translated into English more than any other body of Chinese verse.

Rouzer investigates how Buddhism defined the way that believers may have read Hanshan in premodern times. He proposes a Buddhist poetics as a counter-model to the Confucian assumptions of Chinese literary thought and examines how texts by Kerouac, Snyder, and Jane Hirshfield respond to the East Asian Buddhist tradition.

ONCE A PEACOCK, ONCE AN ACTRESS: TWENTY-FOUR LIVES OF THE BODHISATTVA FROM HARIBHATTA'S "JATAKAMALA"

ONCE A PEACOCK, ONCE AN ACTRESS: TWENTY-FOUR LIVES OF THE BODHISATTVA FROM HARIBHATTA'S "JATAKAMALA"

By: Haribhatta
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Written in Kashmir around 400 CE, Haribhatta's Jåtakamåla is a remarkable example of classical Sanskrit literature in a mixture of prose and verse that for centuries was known only in its Tibetan translation. But between 1973 and 2004 a large portion of the Sanskrit original was rediscovered in a number of anonymous manuscripts. With this volume Peter Khoroche offers the most complete translation to date, making almost 80 percent of the work available in English.

Haribhatta's Jåtakamålå is a sophisticated and personal adaptation of popular stories, mostly non-Buddhist in origin, all illustrating the future Buddha's single-minded devotion to the good of all creatures, and his desire, no matter what his incarnation--man, woman, peacock, elephant, merchant, or king--to assist others on the path to nirvana. Haribhatta's insight into human and animal behavior, his astonishing eye for the details of landscape, and his fine descriptive powers together make this a unique record of everyday life in ancient India as well as a powerful statement of Buddhist ethics. This translation will be a landmark in the study of Buddhism and of the culture of ancient India.

ONE HUNDRED POETS, ONE POEM EACH

ONE HUNDRED POETS, ONE POEM EACH

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A prize-winning translation of the most widely known and popular collection of Japanese poetry

Hyakunin Isshu is the most famous and popular collection of Japanese poetry, and the first work of Japanese literature ever to be translated into English. Compiled in the fourteenth century, the book is a collection of one hundred waka poems (a precursor of haiku), dating back to the seventh century. It's had a huge influence on Japanese culture ever since it was first published and is considered one of the three most important works of Japanese classical literature along with The Tale of Genji and Tales of Ise.

"For more than seven centuries, these poems have resonated with countless readers ... [Peter
MacMillan's] excellent new translation of these poems makes clear why they have mattered
so much for so long ... [revealing] the vivid emotions that have kept the heart of the
collection beating all this time." --TIME

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 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.

ONE HUNDRED POETS, ONE POEM EACH: A Translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu

ONE HUNDRED POETS, ONE POEM EACH: A Translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu

By: McMillan, Peter
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Compiled in the 12th century, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu is one of Japan's most quoted and illustrated works. The text is an anthology of 100 waka poems, each written by a different poet from the 7th century to the middle of the 12th century.
PANCATANTRA tr. Rajan

PANCATANTRA tr. Rajan

By: Sarma, Visnu
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Enduring and profound, among the earliest and most popular of all books of fables

First recorded 1500 years ago, but taking its origins from a far earlier oral tradition, the Pancatantra is ascribed by legend to the celebrated, half-mythical teacher Visnu Sarma. Asked by a great king to awaken the dulled intelligence of his three idle sons, the aging Sarma is said to have composed the great work as a series of entertaining and edifying fables narrated by a wide range of humans and animals, and together intended to provide the young princes with vital guidance for life. Since first leaving India before AD 570, the Pancatantra has been widely translated and has influenced a cast number of works in India, the Arab world and Europe, including the Arabian Nights, the Canterbury Tales, and the Fables of La Fontaine.

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.

PEACH BLOSSOM FAN

PEACH BLOSSOM FAN

By: Shang-Jen, K'Ung
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A tale of battling armies, political intrigue, star-crossed romance, and historical cataclysm, The Peach Blossom Fan is one of the masterpieces of Chinese literature, a vast dramatic composition that combines the range and depth of a great novel with the swift intensity of film.

In the mid-1640s, famine sweeps through China. The Ming dynasty, almost 300 years old, lurches to a bloody end. Peking falls to the Manchus, the emperor hangs himself, and Ming loyalists take refuge in the southern capital of Nanking. Two valiant generals seek to defend the city, but nothing can overcome the corruption, decadence, and factionalism of the court in exile. The newly installed emperor cares for nothing but theater, leaving practical matters to the insidious Ma Shih-ying. Ma's crony Juan Ta-ch'eng is as unscrupulous an operator as he is sophisticated a poet. He diverts resources from the starving troops in order to stage a spectacular production of his latest play. History, however, has little time for make-believe, though the earnest members of the Revival Club, centered on the handsome young scholar Hou Fang-yü and his lover Fragrant Princess, struggle to discover a happy ending.

PENGUIN BOOK OF JAPANESE VERSE: FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT

PENGUIN BOOK OF JAPANESE VERSE: FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT

By: Various
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Poetry remains a living part of the culture of Japan today. The clichés of everyday speech are often to be traced to famous ancient poems, and the traditional forms of poetry are widely known and loved. The congenial attitude comes from a poetical history of about a millennium and a half. This classic collection of verse therefore contains poetry from the earliest, primitive period, through the Nara, Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi and Edo periods, ending with modern poetry from 1868 onwards, including the rising poets Tamura Ryuichi and Tanikawa Shuntaro.

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.

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POEMS OF LOVE & WAR-TAMIL POETRY

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Translations based on: Ettuttokai; Pattuppattu; and Tolkappiyam."
POEMS OF THE LATE T'ANG TR. GRAHAM

POEMS OF THE LATE T'ANG TR. GRAHAM

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Classical Chinese poetry reached its pinnacle during the T'ang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), and the poets of the late T'ang-a period of growing political turmoil and violence-are especially notable for combining strking formal inovation with raw emotional intensity. A. C. Graham's slim but indispensable anthology of late T'ang poetry begins with Tu Fu, commonly recognized as the greatest Chinese poet of all, whose final poems and sequences lament the pains of exile in images of crystalline strangeness. It continues with the work of six other masters, including the "cold poet" Meng Chiao, who wrote of retreat from civilization to the remoteness of the high mountains; the troubled and haunting Li Ho, who, as Graham writes, cultivated a "wholly personal imagery of ghosts, blood, dying animals, weeping statues, whirlwinds, the will-o'-the-wisp"; and the shimmeringly strange poems of illicit love and Taoist initiation of the enigmatic Li Shang-yin. Offering the largest selection of these poets' work available in English in a translation that is a classic in its own right, Poems of the Late T'ang also includes Graham's searching essay "The Translation of Chinese Poetry" as well as helpful notes on each of the poets and on many of the individual poems.
QUELLING THE DEMONS' REVOLT: A NOVEL FROM MING CHINA

QUELLING THE DEMONS' REVOLT: A NOVEL FROM MING CHINA

By: Luo, Guanzhong
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In this Ming-era novel, historical narrative, raucous humor, and the supernatural are interwoven to tell the tale of an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Song dynasty. A poor young girl meets an old woman who gives her a magic book that allows her to create rice and money. Her father, terrified that his daughter's demonic nature might be discovered, marries her off. Forced to flee, she and others with supernatural abilities find themselves in the midst of a grotesque version of a historical uprising, in which facts are intermingled with slapstick humor and wild fictions.

Attributed to the writer Luo Guanzhong, Quelling the Demons' Revolt is centered on the events of the rebellion led by Wang Ze in 1047-48. But it is a distorted, humorous version, in which Wang Ze's lieutenants show up as a comical peddler and a mysterious Daoist priest and a celebrated warrior appears despite having died many years earlier. Rather than fantastic adventures and supernatural marvels, the author points to human vanities and fixations as well as social injustice, warning of the vulnerability of any pursuit of order in a world plagued by demonic forces as well as mundane corruption. Although the story takes place long before the era in which it was written, ultimately Quelling the Demons' Revolt is the story of the Ming dynasty in Song masquerade, presciently warning of the dynasty's downfall. The novel is divided into chapters, but in many ways it is an arrangement of self-contained stories that draw on vernacular storytelling. This translation offers English-speaking readers a spirited example of social critique combined with caustic humor from the era of Luo Guanzhong.