This book is a collection of lectures on literature given in top universities in China by BI Feiyu, one of the country's best known writers. From the perspective of a novelist, the author revisits and interprets classic works by eleven renowned writers, aiming to illuminate what constitutes a classic.
The lectures deep dives into classical and modern Chinese literature such as A Dream of Red Mansions, Water Margin and works by Lu Xun and Wang Zengqi, as well as world-famous writers such as Guy de Maupassant, VS Naipaul, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Hardy. The interpretation and criticism of the works goes beyond academic textual analysis, highlighting the instincts, writing experience and insights of a creative writer. Comparison is made between the literary elements of modernism and classical Chinese works, techniques of character shaping and plot development, thematic dimensions, narrative style, literary topos, environment sketching, literary aesthetics and the language of literature.
The title will appeal to readers interested in literature, literary criticism, Chinese literature and world classics.
Table of Contents
1. Gazing at an Unbroken Range of Mountains, Listening to the Surging Waves: Reading Pu Songling’s The Fighting Cricket 2. Different Ways of Walking: Logic and Counter-logic in the Novel 3. Two Necklaces: Checks and Balances within the Novel 4. Ice and Fire: Reading VS Naipaul’s B. Wordsworth 5. What Does Home Mean: Reading Lu Xun’s Hometown 6. Following the Inner Edge of the Circle, From Victory to Victory: Lu Xun’s The True Story of Ah Q 7. A Deadly Atmosphere: Reading Hemingway’s Short Story, The Killers 8. Temple Love: On Reading Wang Zengqi’s Taking Buddhist Orders 9. Li Shangyin’s Sun, Li Shangyin’s Rain: The Characters 字 in a Poem
BI Feiyu is a contemporary Chinese writer, a professor at Nanjing University, and the chairman of the Jiangsu Writers Association. He is the author of The Moon Opera, Three Sisters, LA PLAINE, Massage, etc., and has won the Man Asian Literary Prize, French "Le Monde" Literature Award, and the highest awards for a Chinese novel, the Mao Dun Literature Award and the Lu Xun Literature Award.