300 Yuan Songs Translated by Xu Yuanchong

Price: $25.53 $17.94 (Save $7.59)
Add to Wishlist

Ancient Chinese classic poems are exquisite works of art. As far as 2,000 years ago, Chinese poets composed the beautiful work Book of Poetry and Elegies of the South, Later, they created more splendid Tang poetry and Song lyrics. Such classic works as Thus Spoke the Master and Laws: Divine and Human were extremely significant in building and shaping the culture of the Chinese nation. These works are both a cultural bond linking the thoughts and affections of Chinese people and an important bridge for Chinese culture and the world. Mr. Xu Yuanchong has been engaged in translation for 70 years. In December 2010, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation conferred by the Translators Association of China (TAC). He is honored as the only expert who translates Chinese poems into both English and French. After his excellent interpretation, many Chinese classic poems have been further refined into perfect English and French rhymes. This collection of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose gathers his most representative English translations. It includes the classic works Thus Spoke the Master, Laws: Divine and Human and dramas such as Romance of the Western Bower, Dream in Peony Pavilion, Love in Long-life Hall and Peach Blossom Painted with Blood. The largest part of the collection includes the translation of selected poems from different dynasties. The selection includes various types of poems, lyrics and Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty songs. The selected works start from the pre-Qin era to the Qing Dynasty, covering almost the entire history of classic poems in China. Reading these works is like tasting "living water from the source" of Chinese culture. We hope this collection will help English readers "know, love and appreciate" Chinese classic poems, share the intelligence of Confucius and Lao Tzu, share the gracefulness of Tang Dynasty poems, Song lyrics and classic operas and songs and promote exchanges between Eastern and Western culture. This book is one of the 14 books of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose, a translation of Confucian classics Thus Spoke the Master.
Sample Pages Preview
Sample pages of 300 Yuan Songs Translated by Xu Yuanchong (ISBN:9787508542065)
Sample pages of 300 Yuan Songs Translated by Xu Yuanchong (ISBN:9787508542065)
Sample pages of 300 Yuan Songs Translated by Xu Yuanchong (ISBN:9787508542065)

How can we know the cultural level of a nation? We may see how many masterpieces her people has created for mankind. Tang poetry, Song lyrics and Yuan songs are masterpieces created by the Chinese people from the seventh to the fourteenth centuries.
Poetry is the voice of the mind, As Confucius said, “poetry serves to inspire, to reflect, to communicate and to criticize,” we may say to voice what is in the mind is to inspire others, to reflect reality, to communicate with people and to criticize the times. In Tang poetry, Song lyrics and Yuan songs we can find inspiration to the mind, reflections of the times, communion with Heaven above and criticism on evils below. For instance, in Tang poetry we can see Li Bai’s communion with nature and man in his romanticism, Du Fu’s reflections of the people’s misery in his classicism, Bai juyi’s criticism of the evils of the times in his realism, and Li Shangyin’s inspiration to the mind in his symbolism, which may be said to be earlier than these literary trends in the west by a thousand years. In Song lyrics we can find lyricism in Liu Yong, rationalism in Su Dongpo, colloquialism in Li Qingzhao and satirism in Xin Qiji. On the one hand, both Tang and Song poets are successors to ancient literary tradition crystallized in the Book of Poetry compiled by Confucius; on the other, they have exercised great influence on Yuan songs.
The Tang and Song dynasties are the golden ages in Chinese history. During these six hundred years the Chinese empire was the most prosperous, most developed, most civilized country in the world, while the west was under the reign of the Dark Ages. But during the Yuan Dynasty, the Mongols came from the north to conquer the central plain. They became the rulers and oppressed the southern people. The Mongols might kill Southerners without reason and without being punished. The conquered intellectuals sank so low in their social position that they were classified even under prostitutes and only above beggars. These phenomena are reflected in songs. For example, Zhong Sicheng sang of the beggar:
I ask if there’s a charitable miss
Who would give me a hearty meal.
and of a poor scholar:
I would repair an old brick-kiln with clay
And open a school for beggars by day.
I’ll put on a black hat half outworn
And a yellow cloak half torn.
And Zhen Shi sang of a prostitute:
It is my duty to please men by my beauty,
But behind them my tears fall in streams.
Here we see the realism of Tang poets extended more deeply to the lower class of people.
What could intellectuals do under such oppression but voice their discontent and hatred in songs?

You May Also Like
Others Also Purchased
300 Yuan Songs Translated by Xu Yuanchong