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World Languages and Literatures

CHIN 230: Chinese Literature in Translation: The Classic Novels - FA18

April 15, 2018

  • The Water Margin by SHI Nai'an
  • Dream of Red Chamber by CAO Xuegin
  • Romance of Three Kingdoms by LUO Guanzhong
  • Journey to the West by WU Chengien

 

CHIN 230: Chinese Literature in Translation: The Classic Novels

 

The four great Classic Novels of China: Water MarginJourney to the WestRomance of the Three Kingdoms and Dream of the Red Chamber have been widely read by the literati and ruling classes in China for centuries. The stories have so permeated the culture that even illiterate Chinese are intimately knowledgeable with the plot and the main characters of these novels because they have been the source of much popular entertainment, including modern popular culture. They are rich in philosophical ideas, history, and notions about human society, family life, and politics, and have contributed to the formation of the world view of generations of readers.

Water Margin and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms are semi-historical novels, like War and Peace but with more kung-fu. Like Pride and Prejudice, The Dream of the Red Chamber is a must-read for anyone interested in complex social structures, family roles, and the challenges of romance. Journey to the West is a colorful array of adventure and strategy, perhaps a mix of Don Quixote and Dante‚Äôs trilogy. Like their counterparts in the western canon, these four novels are touchstones to which Chinese literary culture persistently returns to discover new relevance and fresh insight. The course is offered in English with a focus on the introduction and reading of these classics. 

 

No prerequisites. Taught in English.

Fall-18, MW 3-4:30 pm

Taught by Prof. Liu, liu@lclark.edu

 

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