Popular Songs and Ballads of Han China  book cover
1st Edition

Popular Songs and Ballads of Han China

Edited By

Anne Birrell

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 18, 2022
ISBN 9780367770723
May 18, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
242 Pages

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Book Description

This book, first published in 1988, compiles 77 songs and ballads (yüeh-fu) of early imperial China (200 BC – AD 300). Each song-text is newly translated and fully annotated and explicated. Dr Birrell deals systematically with problems of the earliest sources, dating, attribution, textual variants, multiforms, metre, generic title, song title and structure. This careful and thorough treatment is especially necessary for a corpus of anonymous popular texts which are often corrupt, structurally confusing, laconic and full of nonsense words and colloquialisms. Her introductory essay provides a socio-historical context for this material and charts its literary transmission, while singling out special characteristics of the genre, such as musical, oral and dramatic elements. The main text, arranged into eleven chapters plus an introduction, is supplemented by notes, appendices, maps, chronology, bibliography and index.

Table of Contents

1. Hymns  2. Fables in Verse  3. The Elixir of Life  4. Carpe Diem  5. Burial Songs  6. Political Broadsides  7. Anti-War Ballads and Songs  8. Domestic Drama  9. Homeward Thoughts  10. Love Songs  11. The Ideal Home and Perfect Marriage

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Anne Birrell