May 05, 2021

CHIN 290:Chinese Literature in Translation - Classic Novels - FA21

CHIN 290: Classic Novels
Fall 2021

Four novels, Water Margin, Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dream of the Red Chamber, are usually thought to be the best novels in Chinese literature. They have been widely read by the literati and administrative rulers and contained philosophical ideas, history, and ideas about human society, family life, and politics that defined part of the world view of the literate and politically influential, even the illiterate Chinese are intimately knowledgeable with the plot and the main characters of these novels because they have been the sources of much popular entertainment.

The four works form the core of Chinese classical literature and still inform modern culture. Water Margin and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, are semi-historical novels sort of like War and Peace by Tolstoy for impact. The Dream of the Red Chamber is amust-read for anyone interested in China’s enormously complex social structures, family roles, and Confucian traditions. Journey to the West is one of the most famous Chinese stories, the novel is a colorful array of adventure and strategy, with the pilgrims overcoming an impressive total of 81 trials and dangers, successively tempting the motley crew with trickery, wealth or beauty.

These four books are called the Four Great Classic Novels of China. As with Dante or Shakespeare in Europe, they are touchstones to which Chinese literary culture persistently returns to discover new relevance and fresh insight.

Fall 2021, 10:20am - 11:20am, MWF

No prerequisites, taught in English.

Fulfills the Global Perspective general education requirement.

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Meiru Liu,