1st Edition

A History of Chinese Literature

By Zhang Longxi Copyright 2023
    440 Pages
    by Routledge

    440 Pages
    by Routledge

    Zhang Longxi, an internationally renowned scholar of Chinese and comparative literature, is your guide to the three-millennia-long history of Chinese literature from the remote antiquity of oracle bones to contemporary works.

    Professor Zhang charts the development of the major literary forms in Chinese, including poetry, prose, song lyrics, and plays, and introduces the most famous poets and writers and their representative texts. Taking a period-based approach through the major dynasties, he places these forms, texts, and authors within their historical contexts and tells the fascinating story of Chinese literature with copious examples in English translation. He writes in a clear and accessible style and assumes no prior knowledge of Chinese history or Chinese literature.

    This book is an ideal introduction for students and the general readers who want to get a broad but thorough overview of Chinese literature in all its richness and diversity.

    1. Pre-Qin Antiquity and Foundational Texts of the Chinese Cultural Tradition 2. The Book of Poetry and the Songs of Chu 3. The First Great Empire: The Han Dynasty 4. Another Wave of Intellectual Excitement: The Wei-Jin Period 5. The Rise of Wen or Literature: The Southern and the Northern Dynasties 6. The Splendor of Poetry: From the Early to the High Tang Period 7. The Twin Stars of Tang Poetry: Li Bo and Du Fu 8. Different Orientations in Mid-Tang Poetry 9. Literary Prose, Fiction, and Late Tang Poetry 10. Towards the Height of a Refined Culture: The Northern Song Dynasty 11. From Ouyang Xiu to Su Shi: The Splendor of Northern Song Literature 12. Literature from the Late Northern to the Early Southern Song Dynasty 13. From Lu You to Xin Qiji: Poetry and Ci Lyric in the Southern Song 14. Literature of the Late Southern Song and the Jin 15. Literature of the Yuan Dynasty 16. Poetry of the Ming Dynasty 17. Mid- and Late Ming Literature: Songs, Fiction, Drama and Essays 18. Poetry and Prose of the Qing: From Early to the Middle Period 19. Drama, Fiction and Late Qing Literature 20. Modern Chinese Literature


    Zhang Longxi, PhD Harvard, is Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong. He is a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and of Academia Europaea, and was President of the International Comparative Literature Association for 2016–2019. He serves as an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of World Literature and an Advisory Editor of New Literary History. He is the author of more than 20 books in English and Chinese and numerous articles on Chinese literature and East-West comparative literature.

    "In this game-changing tome, Professor Zhang traces those topics that mattered most to poets, writers, and readers in China from ancient through modern times, including love, social justice, the challenges of life and "the natural," among others. In lucid prose he furnishes easy access to the masters, schools, and debates that every literary scholar of China needs to know, so not only students, but specialists alike will find themselves perusing this book again and again."---Professor Martin Powers, Professor Emeritus in the History of Art, formerly Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Culture at the University of Michigan