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Laughter and Tears:Translation Of Selected Kunqu Dramas Translation by Ben Wang

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Author: Wang Ban;
Language: Chinese-English
Format: Papercover
Page: 417
Publication Date: 06/2009
ISBN: 9787119057293
Details
In this bilingual book in Chinese and English,a selection of 26 translated highlight acts from 9 outstanding Kunqu plays is presented, including The Peony Pavilion, The Palace of Eternal Youth, among others. AII the translations are based on the versions
as how they are performed on stage. These acts are translated into an English marked by a poetic flow and elegance to match the original classical language of Kunqu, whose quintessential spirit is poetry. This bilingual book may enable the readers to savour the
riveting Kunqu tales through appreciation of both languages. Furthermore, this book may well serve as a textbook lesson to the effort of translating classical Chinese dramas into non-Chinese languages, when they are presented outside of China.
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In this book are my translations of some of the most beauti-ful and celebrated poetic dramas of Kunqu. A teacher of classicalChinese drama and literature, I've translated these worthy worksfor productions of the New York Kunqu Society. All my transla-tions are based on the Chinese versions, as they were performedby the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe. I've also written all the synopsesof,these Kunqu plays, both as a point of interest and to makeclear the outlines of the stories, from which the fascinating high-light scenes are derived.
The poetic dramas that I have translated are from the rep-ertoire of the 500-year old Kunqu, the Chinese theater in whichpoetry reigns supreme. Written by masters of poetry and dramaduring the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties,these poetic librettos have been a major literary genre from the15th century down to the present day. Holding Kunqu in highesteem, members of the intelligentsia in China have for centuriesformed literary and music societies to write, study, appreciate andsing these Kunqu lyrics. This poetic and dramatic genre remainstoday the predominant classical theater of China.
To understand the concept based on which Kunqu was creat-ed, we must look to a collection of 300 songs-turned poems thatis called The Book of Songs, which is the fountainhead of all thingsrelated to Chinese culture. The quintessence of The Book of Songsis well captured in an introductory note by Mao Gong, a majorscholar of the Han dynasty around 200 B.C., which reads: "As wehumans have feelings, we express them through speech.
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