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The history of Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court
archive An archive is an accumulation of historical records – in any media – or the physical facility in which they are located. Archives contain primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece An ...

archive
s to the mature vernacular fiction novels that arose during the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
to entertain the masses of literate Chinese. The introduction of widespread
woodblock printing Woodblock printing or block printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of textile printing, printing on textiles and later paper. As a Woodbl ...
during the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
(618–907) and the invention of
movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of a ...
printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour shows the Teide volcano. The city of Santa Cru ...

printing
by
Bi Sheng Bi Sheng and his invention at Beijing Printing Museum Bì Shēng (畢昇 972–1051 AD) was a Chinese artisan, engineer, and inventor of the world's first movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system ...
(990–1051) during the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960–1279) rapidly spread written knowledge throughout China. In more modern times, the author
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
(1881–1936) is considered an influential voice of '' baihua'' literature in China.


Pre-classical period

Formation of the earliest layer of Chinese literature was influenced by oral traditions of different social and professional provenance: cult and lay musical practices (''
Shijing The ''Classic of Poetry'', also ''Shijing'' or ''Shih-ching'' (), translated variously as the ''Book of Songs'', ''Book of Odes'' or simply known as the ''Odes'' or ''Poetry'' (), is the oldest existing collection of , comprising 305 works dati ...
''), divination (''
Yi jing The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated as ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination text and among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou p ...
''), astronomy, exorcism. An attempt at tracing the genealogy of Chinese literature to religious spells and incantations (the six ''zhu'' 六祝, as presented in the "Da zhu" chapter of the ''
Rites of Zhou The ''Rites of Zhou'' (), originally known as "Officers of Zhou" () is a work on bureaucracy and organizational theory. It was renamed by Liu Xin to differentiate it from a chapter in the ''Book of History The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūj ...
'') was made by Liu Shipei.


Classical texts

There is a wealth of early Chinese literature dating from the
Hundred Schools of Thought The Hundred Schools of Thought () were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century BC to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese histo ...
that occurred during the
Eastern Zhou Dynasty The Eastern Zhou (; zh, c=, p=Dōngzhōu; 770–256 BC) was the second half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It was divided into two periods: the Spring and Autumn period, Spring and Autumn and the Warring States period, Warring States. H ...
(770–256 BC). The most important of these include the Classics of
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
, of
Daoism Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of c ...
, of
Mohism Mohism or Moism () was an ancient Chinese philosophy Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was character ...
, of Legalism, as well as works of military science and
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...

Chinese history
. Note that, except for the books of poems and songs, most of this literature is philosophical and didactic; there is little in the way of fiction. However, these texts maintained their significance through both their ideas and their prose style. The Confucian works in particular have been of key importance to Chinese culture and history, as a set of works known as the ''Four Books and Five Classics'' were, in the 12th century AD, chosen as the basis for the
Imperial examination The Chinese imperial examinations, or ''keju'' (lit. "subject recommendation"), was a civil service examination system in History of China#Imperial era, Imperial China for selecting candidates for the state Civil service#China, bureaucracy. T ...
for any government post. These nine books therefore became the center of the educational system. They have been grouped into two categories: the ''
Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China written before 300 BC. The Four Books and the Five Classics are the most important classics of Chinese Confucianism. Four Books The Four Books () are Chi ...
'', allegedly commented and edited by
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
, and the
Four Books The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China written before 300 BC. The Four Books and the Five Classics are the most important classics of Chinese Confucianism. Four Books The Four Books () are Chi ...
. The ''Five Classics'' are: # the ''
I Ching The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated as ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination Divination (from Latin ''divinare'', 'to foresee, to foretell, to predict, to prophesy') is the at ...
'', or ''Classic of Changes'', a
divination Divination (from Latin ''divinare'', 'to foresee, to foretell, to predict, to prophesy') is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occult The occult, in the broadest sense, is a category of supernatural ...

divination
manual; # the ''
Classic of Poetry The ''Classic of Poetry'', also ''Shijing'' or ''Shih-ching'' (), translated variously as the ''Book of Songs'', ''Book of Odes'' or simply known as the ''Odes'' or ''Poetry'' (), is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry Chinese po ...
'', a collection of poems, folk songs, festival and ceremonial songs, hymns and eulogies; # the ''
Book of Rites The ''Book of Rites'', also known as the ''Liji'', is a collection of texts describing the social forms, administration, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou dynasty as they were understood in the Warring States period, Warring States and the early Ha ...
'' or ''Record of Rites''; # the ''
Book of documents The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūjīng'', earlier ''Shu King'') or ''Classic of History'', also known as the ''Shangshu'' ("Esteemed Documents"), is one of the Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of ...
'', an early Chinese prose collection of documents and speeches allegedly written by rulers and officials of the early
Zhou period The Zhou dynasty ( ) was a Dynasties in Chinese history, Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty and preceded the Qin dynasty. The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in History of China, Chinese history (790 years). The mi ...
and earlier; # the ''
Spring and Autumn Annals The ''Spring and Autumn Annals'' or ''Chunqiu'' is an ancient Chinese chronicle that has been one of the core Chinese classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated ...
'', a historical record of Confucius' native state, Lu, from 722 to 479 BC. The ''Four Books'' are: # the ''
Analects of Confucius The ''Analects'' (; ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...
'', a book of pithy sayings attributed to Confucius and recorded by his disciples; # the ''
Mencius Mencius ( ); born Mèng Kē (); or Mengzi (; 372–289 BC) was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's R ...
'', a collection of political dialogues; # the ''
Doctrine of the Mean#REDIRECT Doctrine of the Mean The ''Doctrine of the Mean'' or ''Zhongyong'' is both a doctrine of Confucianism , Shanxi Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously descri ...
'', a book that teaches the path to Confucian virtue; and # the ''
Great Learning The ''Great Learning'' or ''Daxue'' was one of the "Four Books The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a la ...
'', a book about education, self-cultivation and the
Dao Tao or Dao is the natural order of the universe whose character one's human intuition Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is someth ...

Dao
. Other important philosophical works include the Mohist ''
Mozi Mozi (; ; Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s to r ...

Mozi
'', which taught "inclusive love" as both an ethical and social principle, and '' Hanfeizi'', one of the central Legalist texts. Important
Daoist Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of China, Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the ''Tao'' (, Taoism#Spelling and pronunciation, or ''Dao''). In Taoism, the ''Tao'' is the source, pattern ...
classics include the ''
Dao De Jing The ''Tao Te Ching'' (, ; ), is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi, also known as ''Lao Tzu'' or ''Lao-Tze''. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The ol ...
'', the ''
ZhuangziZhuangzi may refer to: *Zhuangzi (book), ''Zhuangzi'' (book) (莊子), an ancient Chinese collection of anecdotes and fables, one of the foundational texts of Daoism **Zhuang Zhou (莊周), the historical figure known as "Master Zhuang" ("Zhuangzi") ...
'', and the ''
Liezi The ''Liezi'' () is a Taoist Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the ''Tao'' (, or ''Dao''). In Taosim the ''Tao'' is the source, pattern and substance of every ...
''. Later authors combined Daoism with Confucianism and Legalism, such as
Liu An Liú Ān (, c. 179–122 BC) was a Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the Ho ...
(2nd century BC), whose ''
Huainanzi The ''Huainanzi'' is an ancient Chinese text that consists of a collection of essays that resulted from a series of scholarly debates held at the court of Liu An, Prince of Huainan, sometime before 139. The ''Huainanzi'' blends Daoist, Confucia ...
'' (''The Philosophers of Huai-nan'') also added to the fields of
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

geography
and
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an ...
. Among the classics of military science, ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese histor ...
'' by
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
(6th century BC) was perhaps the first to outline guidelines for effective international
diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the inte ...

diplomacy
. It was also the first in a tradition of Chinese military treatises, such as the '' Jingling Zongyao'' (''Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques'', 1044 AD) and the ''
Huolongjing The ''Huolongjing'' (; Wade-Giles: ''Huo Lung Ching''; rendered in English as ''Fire Drake Manual'' or ''Fire Dragon Manual''), also known as ''Huoqitu'' (“Firearm Illustrations”), is a Chinese military treatise compiled and edited by Jiao ...
'' (''Fire Dragon Manual'', 14th century AD).


Historical texts, dictionaries and encyclopedias

The Chinese kept consistent and accurate court records after the year 841 BC, with the beginning of the
Gonghe Regency The Gonghe Regency () was an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one ...
of the
Western Zhou Dynasty The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chin ...
. The earliest known
narrative history Narrative history is the practice of writing history in a story-based form. It tends to entail history-writing based on reconstructing series of short-term events, and ever since the influential work of Leopold von Ranke on professionalising histor ...
of China was the ''
Zuo Zhuan The ''Zuo Zhuan'' (; ), generally translated ''The Zuo Tradition'' or ''The Commentary of Zuo'', is an ancient Chinese narrative history that is traditionally regarded as a commentary on the ancient Chinese chronicle ''Spring and Autumn Annals ...

Zuo Zhuan
'', which was compiled no later than 389 BC, and attributed to the blind 5th-century BC historian
Zuo Qiuming Zuo Qiuming, Zuoqiu Ming or Qiu Ming (556–451 BC) was a Chinese historian who was a contemporary of Confucius that lived in the Lu (state), State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. The influential ''Zuozhuan'' (''Com ...
. The ''
Book of Documents The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūjīng'', earlier ''Shu King'') or ''Classic of History'', also known as the ''Shangshu'' ("Esteemed Documents"), is one of the Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of ...
'' is thought to have been compiled as far back as the 6th century BC, and was certainly compiled by the 4th century BC, the latest date for the writing of the
Guodian Chu Slips The Guodian Chu Slips () were unearthed in 1993 in Tomb no. 1 of the Guodian tombs in Jingmen, Hubei Province Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of Chin ...
unearthed in a
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
tomb in 1993. The ''Book of Documents'' included early information on geography in the ''
Yu Gong The ''Yu Gong'' () or ''Tribute of Yu'' is a chapter of the ''Book of Xia'' (夏書/夏书) section of the '' Book of Documents'', one of the Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in Ch ...
'' chapter.Needham, Volume 3, 500–501. The ''
Bamboo Annals The ''Bamboo Annals'' (), also known as the ''Ji Tomb Annals'' (), is a chronicle A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ) ...
'' found in 281 AD in the tomb of the King of Wei, who was interred in 296 BC, provide another example; however, unlike the ''Zuo Zhuan'', the authenticity of the early date of the ''Bamboo Annals'' is in doubt. Another early text was the political strategy book of the ''
Zhan Guo Ce The ''Zhan Guo Ce'', ( W-G: Chan-kuo T'se), also known in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
'', compiled between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC, with partial amounts of the text found amongst the 2nd century BC tomb site at
Mawangdui Mawangdui () is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of hu ...
. The oldest extant
dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include in ...

dictionary
in China is the ''
Erya The ''Erya'' or ''Erh-ya'' is the first surviving Chinese dictionary Chinese dictionaries date back over two millennia to the Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty ...
'', dated to the 3rd century BC, anonymously written but with later commentary by the historian
Guo Pu Guo Pu (; AD 276–324), courtesy name Jingchun () was a Chinese historian, poet, and writer during the Eastern Jin Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is ...

Guo Pu
(276–324). Other early dictionaries include the '' Fangyan'' by Yang Xiong (53 BC – 18 AD) and the ''
Shuowen Jiezi ''Shuowen Jiezi'' () is an ancient Chinese dictionary Chinese dictionaries date back over two millennia to the Han Dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), esta ...
'' by
Xu Shen Xu Shen ( CE) was a Chinese politician, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics (with especially stron ...
(58–147 AD). One of the largest was the ''
Kangxi Dictionary #REDIRECT Kangxi Dictionary#REDIRECT Kangxi Dictionary The ''Kangxi Dictionary'' () is the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), ...
'' compiled by 1716 under the auspices of the
Kangxi Emperor The Kangxi Emperor (Xuanye; 4 May 1654– 20 December 1722) was the third Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Wester ...

Kangxi Emperor
(r. 1661–1722); it provides definitions for over 47,000 characters. Although court records and other independent records existed beforehand, the definitive work in early Chinese historical writing was the ''
Shiji The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...

Shiji
'', or ''Records of the Grand Historian'' written by
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
court historian
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
(145 BC – 90 BC). This groundbreaking text laid the foundation for Chinese historiography and the many official Chinese historical texts compiled for each dynasty thereafter. Sima Qian is often compared to the Greek
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
in scope and method, because he covered Chinese history from the mythical
Xia Dynasty #REDIRECT Xia dynasty #REDIRECT Xia dynasty The Xia dynasty is the first dynasty in traditional Chinese historiography. According to tradition, the Xia dynasty was established by the legendary Yu the Great, after Shun, the last of the Five ...

Xia Dynasty
until the contemporary reign of
Emperor Wu of Han Emperor Wu of Han (30 June 156 – 29 March 87BC), formally enshrined as Emperor Wu the Filial Filial may refer to: * Filial church, a Roman Catholic church to which is annexed the cure of souls, but which remains dependent on another church ...

Emperor Wu of Han
while retaining an objective and non-biased standpoint. This was often difficult for the official dynastic historians, who used historical works to justify the reign of the current dynasty. He influenced the written works of many Chinese historians, including the works of
Ban Gu Ban Gu (AD32–92) was a Chinese historian, politician, and poet best known for his part in compiling the ''Book of Han The ''Book of Han'' or ''History of the Former Han'' is a history of China The earliest known written r ...

Ban Gu
and
Ban Zhao Ban Zhao (; 49 – c. 120 CE or 45 - c. 117 CE), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultur ...

Ban Zhao
in the 1st and 2nd centuries, and even
Sima Guang Sima Guang (17 November 1019 – 11 October 1086), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultur ...

Sima Guang
's 11th-century compilation of the ''
Zizhi Tongjian ''Zizhi Tongjian'' () is a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084 AD during the Song dynasty in the form of a chronicle recording Chinese history from 403 BC to 959 AD, covering 16 dynasties and spanning almost 1 ...
'', presented to
Emperor Shenzong of Song Emperor Shenzong of Song (25 May 1048 – 1 April 1085), personal name Zhao Xu, was the sixth Emperor of China, emperor of the Song dynasty of History of China, China. His original personal name was Zhao Zhongzhen but he changed it to "Zhao Xu" ...
in 1084 AD. The overall scope of the historiographical tradition in China is termed the
Twenty-Four Histories The ''Twenty-Four Histories'' (), also known as the ''Orthodox Histories'' (), are the Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is t ...
, created for each successive Chinese dynasty up until the
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming Dynasty
(1368–1644); China's last dynasty, the
Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
(1644–1911), is not included. Large encyclopedias were also produced in China through the ages. The ''
Yiwen Leiju The ''Yiwen Leiju'' is a Chinese ''leishu'' encyclopedia completed by Ouyang Xun in 624 under the Tang dynasty, Tang. Its other contributors included Linghu Defen and Chen Shuda. It is divided into 47 sections and many subsections. It covers a ...
'' encyclopedia was completed by
Ouyang Xun Ouyang Xun () (557–641), courtesy name Xinben (), was a Chinese calligrapher, politician, and writer of the early Tang Dynasty. He was born in Changsha, Hunan, Changsha, to a family of government officials; and died in modern Anhui province. Ac ...
in 624 during the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
, with aid from scholars
Linghu Defen Linghu Defen () (582–666), formally Duke Xian of Pengyang (), was Chinese historian and politician. He was an official of the History of China, Chinese dynasties Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty. During Tang, he was a major proponent for the compilat ...
and
Chen Shuda Chen Shuda (572 - 635), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere The East Asian ...
. During the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, the compilation of the
Four Great Books of Song The ''Four Great Books of Song'' () was compiled by Li Fang (Song dynasty), Li Fang (925–996) and others during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The term was coined after the last book (''Cefu Yuangui'') was finished during the 11th century. The fo ...
(10th century – 11th century), begun by Li Fang and completed by
Cefu Yuangui ''Cefu Yuangui'' (冊府元龜) is the largest ''leishu The ''leishu'' () is a genre of reference books historically compiled in China and other East Asian countries. The term is generally translated as "encyclopedia", although the ''leishu'' a ...
, represented a massive undertaking of written material covering a wide range of different subjects. This included the ''Taiping Guangji'' (978), the ''Taiping Yulan'' (983), the ''Wenyuan Yinghua'' (986), and the ''
Cefu Yuangui ''Cefu Yuangui'' (冊府元龜) is the largest ''leishu The ''leishu'' () is a genre of reference books historically compiled in China and other East Asian countries. The term is generally translated as "encyclopedia", although the ''leishu'' a ...
'' (1013). Although these Song Dynasty Chinese encyclopedias featured millions of written Chinese characters each, their aggregate size paled in comparison to the later ''Yongle Encyclopedia'' (1408) of the Ming Dynasty, which contained a total of 50 million Chinese characters.Ebrey (2006), 272. Even this size was trumped by later Qing Dynasty encyclopedias, such as the printed ''Gujin Tushu Jicheng'' (1726), which featured over 100 million written Chinese characters in over 800,000 pages, printed in 60 different copies using copper-metal Chinese
movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of a ...
printing. Other great encyclopedic writers include the polymath scientist Shen Kuo (1031–1095) and his ''Dream Pool Essays'', the agronomist and inventor Wang Zhen (official), Wang Zhen (floruit, fl. 1290–1333) and his ''Wang Zhen (official)#Life and works, Nongshu'', and the minor scholar-official Song Yingxing (1587–1666) and his ''Song Yingxing#Written works, Tiangong Kaiwu''.


Classical poetry

The rich tradition of Chinese poetry began with two influential collections. In northern China, the ''Shijing'' or ''
Classic of Poetry The ''Classic of Poetry'', also ''Shijing'' or ''Shih-ching'' (), translated variously as the ''Book of Songs'', ''Book of Odes'' or simply known as the ''Odes'' or ''Poetry'' (), is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry Chinese po ...
'' (approx. 11th–7th century BC) comprises over 300 poems in a variety of styles ranging from those with a strong suggestion of folk music to ceremonial hymns. The word ''Shi (poetry), shi'' has the basic meaning of poem or poetry, as well as its use in criticism to describe one of China's lyrical poetic genres.
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
is traditionally credited with editing the ''Shijing''. Its stately verses are usually composed of couplets with lines of four characters each (or four syllables, as Chinese characters are monosyllabic), and a formal structure of end rhymes. Many of these early poems establish the later tradition of starting with a description of nature that leads into emotionally expressive statements, known as ''bi'', , or sometime . Associated with what was then considered to be southern China, the ''Chuci'' is ascribed to Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC) and his follower Song Yu (fl. 3rd century BC) and is distinguished by its more emotionally intense affect, often full of despair and descriptions of the fantastic. In some of its sections, the ''Chu Ci '' uses a six-character per line meter, dividing these lines into couplets separated in the middle by a strong caesura, producing a driving and dramatic rhythm. Both the ''Shijing'' and the ''Chuci'' have remained influential throughout Chinese history. During the greater part of China's first great period of unification, begun with the short-lived Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 206 BC) and followed by the centuries-long
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
(206 BC – 220 AD), the ''Shi (poetry), shi'' form of poetry underwent little innovation. But a distinctively descriptive and erudite ''Fu (literature), fu'' form (not the same ''fu'' character as that used for the bureau of music) developed that has been called "rhyme-prose", a uniquely Han offshoot of Chinese poetry's tradition. Equally noteworthy is Music Bureau poetry (''yuefu''), collected and presumably refined popular lyrics from folk music. The end of the Han witnesses a resurgence of the ''shi'' poetry, with the anonymous ''Nineteen Old Poems, 19 Old Poems''. This collection reflects the emergence of a distinctive five-character line that later became ''shi'' poetry's most common line length. From the Jian'an poetry, Jian'an reign period (196 – 220 AD) onward, the five-character line became a focus for innovations in style and theme. The Cao family, rulers of the Cao Wei, Wei Dynasty (220 – 265 AD) during the post-Han Three kingdoms, Three Kingdoms period, distinguished themselves as poets by writing poems filled with sympathy for the day-to-day struggles of soldiery and the common people. Taoist philosophy became a different, common theme for other poets, and a genre emphasizing true feeling emerged led by Ruan Ji (210–263). The landscape genre of Chinese nature poetry emerged under the brush of Xie Lingyun (385–433), as he innovated distinctively descriptive and complementary couplets composed of five-character lines. A farmland genre was born in obscurity by Tao Yuanming, Tao Qian (365–427) also known as Tao Yuanming as he labored in his fields and then wrote extolling the influence of wine. Toward the close of this period in which many later-developed themes were first experimented with, the Xiao (surname), Xiao family of the Liang Dynasty, Southern Liang Dynasty (502–557) engaged in highly refined and often denigrated court-style poetry lushly describing sensual delights as well as the description of objects. Reunified China's
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
(618–907) high culture set a high point for many things, including poetry. Various schools of Buddhism (a religion from India) flourished as represented by the Chinese Chán, Chan (or Zen) beliefs of Wang Wei (Tang dynasty), Wang Wei (701–761). His quatrains (''jueju'') describing natural scenes are world-famous examples of excellence, each couplet conventionally containing about two distinct images or thoughts per line. Tang poetry's big star is Li Bai (701–762) also pronounced and written as Li Bo, who worked in all major styles, both the more free old style verse () as well as the tonally regulated new style verse (''Regulated verse, jintishi''). Regardless of genre, Tang poets notably strove to perfect a style in which poetic subjects are exposed and evident, often without directly referring to the emotional thrust at hand. The poet Du Fu (712–770) excelled at regulated verse and use of the seven-character line, writing denser poems with more allusions as he aged, experiencing hardship and writing about it. A parade of great Tang poets also includes Chen Zi'ang (661–702), Wang Zhihuan (688–742), Meng Haoran (689–740), Bai Juyi (772–846), Li He (790–816), Du Mu (803–852), Wen Tingyun (812–870), (listed chronologically) and Li Shangyin (813–858), whose poetry delights in allusions that often remain obscure, and whose emphasis on the seven-character line also contributed to the emerging posthumous fame of Du Fu, now ranked alongside Li Bai. The distinctively different ''Ci (poetry), ci'' poetry form began its development during the Tang as Central Asian and other musical influences flowed through its cosmopolitan society. China's
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960–1279), another reunification era after a brief period of disunity, initiated a fresh high culture. Several of its greatest poets were capable government officials as well including Ouyang Xiu (1007–1072), Su Shi (1037–1101), and Wang Anshi (1021–1086). The ''Ci (poetry), ci'' form flourished as a few hundred songs became standard templates for poems with distinctive and variously set meters. The free and expressive style of Song high culture has been contrasted with majestic Tang poems by centuries of subsequent critics who engage in fierce arguments over which dynasty had the best poetry. Additional musical influences contributed to the Yuan Dynasty's (1279–1368) distinctive ''Qu (poetry), qu'' opera culture and spawned the ''sanqu'' form of individual poems based on it. Classical Chinese poetry composition became a conventional skill of the well-educated throughout the Ming Dynasty, Ming (1368–1644) and Qing Dynasty, Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. Over a million poems have been preserved, including those by women, such as Dong Xiaowan and Liu Rushi, and by many other diverse voices. Painter-poets, such as Shen Zhou (1427–1509), Tang Yin (1470–1524), Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), and Yun Shouping (1633–1690), created worthy conspicuous poems as they combined art, poetry and calligraphy with brush on paper. Poetry composition competitions were socially common, as depicted in novels, for example over dessert after a nice dinner. The Song versus Tang debate continues through the centuries. While China's later imperial period does not seem to have broken new ground for innovative approaches to poetry, picking through its vast body of preserved works remains a scholarly challenge, so new treasures may yet be restored from obscurity.


Some notable poets

*
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
**Bai Juyi **Cen Shen **:zh-tw:曹松, Cao Song **Du Mu **Du Fu **Gao Pian **Gao Shi **Han Yu **He Zhizhang **Jia Dao **Lu Zhaolin **Li He **Liu Gongquan **Luo Yin **Li Bai **Liu Zongyuan **Li Shangyin **Luo Binwang **Liu Yuxi **Liu Changqing **Lu Lun **Meng Haoran **Meng Jiao **Shangguan Wan'er **Song Zhiwen **Wang Changling **Wang Wei (Tang dynasty), Wang Wei **Wang Zhihuan **Wang Bo (poet), Wang Bo **Wei Yingwu **Wen Tingyun **Xue Tao **Yang Jiong **Yuan Zhen **Zhang Ji (poet from Hubei), Zhang Ji, Hubei **Zhang Ji (poet from Jiangnan), Zhang Ji, Jiangnan **Zhang Zhihe **Zhang Jiuling **Zhang Ruoxu *
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
**Fan Zhongyan **Fan Chengda **Jiang Kui **Kou Zhun **Li Yu (Southern Tang), Li Yu **Li Qingzhao **Lu You **Liu Yong (Song dynasty), Liu Yong **Lin Sheng **Ouyang Xiu **Qin Guan **Su Xun **Su Shi **Su Zhe **
Sima Guang Sima Guang (17 November 1019 – 11 October 1086), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultur ...

Sima Guang
**:zh-tw:史达祖, Shi Dazu **Wang Anshi **:zh-tw:王沂孙, Wang Yisun **Wen Tianxiang **:zh-tw:吴文英 (词人), Wu Wenying **Xin Qiji **Yang Wanli **:zh-tw:晏几道, Yan Jidao **Yan Shu **Yue Fei **Ye Shaoweng **Zhang Xian (poet), Zhang Xian **Zeng Gong **Zhou Bangyan


Classical prose

Early Chinese prose was deeply influenced by the great philosophical writings of the
Hundred Schools of Thought The Hundred Schools of Thought () were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century BC to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese histo ...
(770–221 BC). The works of Mo Zi (墨子), Mencius (孟子) and Zhuang Zhou, Zhuang Zi (莊子) contain well-reasoned, carefully developed discourses that reveal much stronger organization and style than their predecessors. Mo Zi's polemic prose was built on solid and effective methodological reasoning. Mencius contributed elegant diction and, like Zhuang Zi, relied on comparisons, anecdotes, and allegories. By the 3rd century BC, these writers had developed a simple, concise and economical prose style that served as a model of literary form for over 2,000 years. They were written in Classical Chinese, the language spoken during the Spring and Autumn period. During the Tang Dynasty, Tang period, the ornate, artificial style of prose developed in previous periods was replaced by a simple, direct, and forceful prose based on examples from the Hundred Schools (see above) and from the Han Dynasty, Han period, the period in which the great historical works of Sima Tan and
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
were published. This neoclassical style dominated prose writing for the next 800 years. It was exemplified in the work of Han Yu 韓愈 (768–824), a master essayist and strong advocate of a return to Confucian orthodoxy; Han Yu was later listed as one of the "Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song". The
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
saw the rise in popularity of "travel record literature" (''youji wenxue''). Travel literature combined both diary and narrative prose formats, it was practiced by such seasoned travelers as Fan Chengda (1126–1193) and Xu Xiake (1587–1641) and can be seen in the example of Su Shi's ''Su Shi#Travel record literature, Record of Stone Bell Mountain''. After the 14th century, vernacular fiction became popular, at least outside of court circles. Vernacular fiction covered a broader range of subject matter and was longer and more loosely structured than literary fiction. One of the masterpieces of Chinese vernacular fiction is the 18th-century domestic novel ''Dream of the Red Chamber'' (紅樓夢).


Some notable contributors

*Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang Dynasty, Tang and Song Dynasty, Song (唐宋八大家) **Han Yu **Liu Zongyuan **Ouyang Xiu **Su Zhe **Su Shi **Su Xun (蘇洵) **Wang Anshi **Zeng Gong *Two great scientific authors from the Song period: **Shen Kuo (1031–1095) **Su Song (1020–1101) *
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming Dynasty
** Song Lian (1310–1381) ** Liu Bowen (1311–1375) ** Jiao Yu ** Gui Youguang (1506–1571) ** Yuan Hongdao (1568–1610) ** Xu Xiake (1586–1641) ** Gao Qi ** Zhang Dai ** Tu Long ** Wen Zhenheng *
Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
** Li Yu (author), Li Yu (1610–1680) ** Yao Nai (1731–1815) ** Yuan Mei (1716–1798) ** Gong Zizhen (1792–1841) ** Wei Yuan (1794–1857)


Classical fiction and drama

Chinese fiction was rooted in the official histories and such less formal works as ''Shishuo Xinyu, A New Account of the Tales of the World'' and ''Sou Shen Ji, Investigations of the Supernatural'' (4th and 5th century); ''Wenyuan Yinghua, Finest Flowers from the World of Letters'' (a 10th-century compilation of works from earlier centuries); ''Da Tang Xiyu Ji, Great Tang Record on the Western Regions'' completed by the pilgrim to India, Xuanzang in 646; ''Youyang Zazu, Variety Dishes from Youyang'', the best known collection of Classical Chinese ''chuanqi (short story), chuanqi'' (Marvelous Tales) from the Tang dynasty; and the ''Taiping Guangji'', which preserved the corpus of these Tang dynasty tales. There was a range of less formal works either oral or using oral conventions, such as the bianwen (Buddhist tale), pinghua (storytelling), pinghua (plain tale), and huaben (novella), which formed background to the novel as early as the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
. The novel as an extended prose narrative which realistically creates a believable world of its own evolved in China and in Europe from the 14th–18th centuries, though a little earlier in China. Chinese audiences were more interested in history and Chinese authors generally did not present their works as fictional. Readers appreciated relative optimism, moral humanism, relative emphasis on group behavior, and welfare of the society. With the rise of monetary economy and urbanization beginning in the Song Dynasty, there was a growing professionalization of entertainment fostered by the spread of printing, the rise of literacy and education. In both China and Europe, the novel gradually became more autobiographical and serious in exploration of social, moral, and philosophical problems. Chinese fiction of the late
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
and early Qing dynasty was varied, self-conscious, and experimental. In China, however, there was no counterpart to the 19th-century European explosion of revolution and romanticism. The novels of the Ming and early Qing dynasties, represented a pinnacle of classical Chinese fiction. The highlights include: *The Four Great Classical Novels: **''The Romance of the Three Kingdoms'', by Luo Guanzhong **''The Water Margin'' (also translated as ''Outlaws of the Marsh''), by Shi Naian **''The Journey to the West'', by Wu Cheng'en **''The Dream of the Red Chamber'', by Cao Xueqin *There are two other novels that are considered classics: **''Jin Ping Mei'' (金瓶梅, ''The Plum in the Golden Vase''), by the Scoffing Scholar of Lanling (蘭陵笑笑生) - a spin-off from ''Water Margin'' **''Rulin waishi'' (儒林外史 ''The Unofficial History of the Scholars''), by Wu Jingzi (吳敬梓) *Other notable classic long and short fiction: ** Notable Gong'an fictions: ***''Cases of Judge Bao'' 包公案 (Baogong An) (1594) ***''The Chalk Circle'' 灰闌記 ***''Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee'' 狄公案 ***''Cases of Judge Shi'' 施公案 ***''Cases of Judge Lan'' 藍公案 ***''Cases of Judge Peng'' 彭公案 ***''Cases of Judge Hai'' 海公案 ***''The Seven Heroes and Five Gallants, The Three Heroes and Five Gallants'' 三侠五義 by Shi Yukun ***''The Five Younger Gallants'' 小五義 by Shi Yukun **Three Stories and Two Slaps: ***''Illustrious Words to Instruct the World'' 喻世明言 (Yushi Mingyan), or ''Stories Old and New'' (1620) by Feng Menglong ***''Stories to Caution the World'' (警世通言Jingshi Tongyan) by Feng Menglong. ***''Stories to Awaken the World'' (醒世恒言 Xingshi Hengyan) by Feng Menglong ***''Slapping the Table in Amazement'' (初刻拍案驚奇 Chuke Paian Jingji) by Ling Mengchu ***''The Second Collection of Slapping the Table in Amazement'' (二刻拍案驚奇 Erke Paian Jingji) by Ling Mengchu **''A Supplement to the Journey to the West'' (西遊補; Xī Yóu Bǔ) (c. 1640) by Dong Yue **''Haoqiu zhuan'' (''The pleasing history'' or ''The Fortunate Union'') (c. 1683) **''Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio'' (聊齋志異), by Pu Songling **''Flowers in the Mirror'' (鏡花緣, ''Jing huayuan'') by Li Ruzhen **''Fengshen Bang'' (封神榜, ''The Investiture of the Gods'') **''Xingshi Yinyuan Zhuan'' ( or ''The Story of a Marital Fate to Awaken the World'') **''Dijing Jingwulue'' (帝京景物略 or ''Survey of Scenery and Monuments in the Imperial Capital''), by Liu Tong **''Chronicles of the Eastern Zhou Kingdoms'' (東周列國志) by Feng Menglong, edited by Cai Yuanfang (蔡元放) **''The Carnal Prayer Mat'' () an Erotic novel#Asian erotic fiction, erotic novel by Li Yu (author), Li Yu (李渔) 1657. **''Six Records of a Floating Life'' (浮生六記 Fú Shēng Liù Jì) by Shen Fu. Early 19th century. **''Ernü Yingxiong Zhuan'' (''The Story of Hero Boys and Hero Girls'') by Wen Kang first published 1878. **Series of historical fictions regarding Tang and Song dynasties: ***''Stories of Tang Dynasty'' (說唐 Shuo Tang) ***''Xue Rengui's Expedition to the East'' (薛仁貴征東) ***''Xue Dingshan's Expedition to the West'' (薛丁山征西) ***''Xue Gang's Uprising against Tang Dynasty'' (薛剛反唐) ***''Romance of Sui and Tang Dynasties'' (隋唐演義) ***''General Yue Fei'' (說岳全傳 Shuo Yue Quan Zhuan) ***''The Generals of the Yang Family'' ('ˊ楊家将) ***''Stories of Huyan Family'' (說呼全傳 Shuo Hu Quan Zhuan) ***''Stories of Flying Dragon'' (飛龍全傳 Feilong Quanzhuan) **The Four Great Novels of Exposure in Late Qing Dynasty: ***''The Travels of Lao Can'' (''Lao Can Youji'' 老殘遊記) by Liu E 1903 ***''Bizarre Happenings Eyewitnessed over Two Decades (二十年目睹之怪現狀)'' by Wu Jianren ***''Officialdom Unmasked (Guanchang Xianxing Ji 官場現形記)'' by Li Baojia ***''A Flower in a Sinful Sea (Nie Hai Hua 孽海花)'' by Jin Tianhe and Zeng Pu *Drama: **''Romance of the Western Chamber'' (西廂記, ''Xīxiāngjì''), by Wang Shifu (王實甫) **''The Injustice to Dou E'' (竇娥冤, ''Dou E Yuan''), by Guan Hanqing **''The Jade Hairpin'' (''Yuzanji'' 玉簪記), by Gao Lian (dramatist), Gao Lian (高濂) **''Circle of Chalk, Hui Lan Ji'' (灰闌記), by Li Xingdao (李行道) became the basis for ''The Caucasian Chalk Circle'' **''The Peony Pavilion'' (''Mudan Ting'' 牡丹亭), by Tang Xianzu **''The Peach Blossom Fan'' (''Taohua Shan'' 桃花扇) by Kong Shangren (孔尚任) **''The Palace of Eternal Life'' (長生殿), by Hong Sheng (洪昇) ** ''The Orphan of Zhao'' (趙氏孤兒), a 13th-century play by Ji Junxiang (紀君祥), was the first Chinese play to have been translated into a European language. *Four Great Folklores: **''Legend of the white snake'' (白蛇傳, ''Baishezhuan'') **''Lady Meng Jiang'' (孟姜女, ''Mengjiangnv'') **''The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl'' (牛郎織女, ''Niulangzhinv'') **''Butterfly Lovers'' (梁山伯與祝英台, ''Liangshanboyuzhuyingtai'') *Myths: **''Classic of Mountains and Seas'' (山海經, ''Shanhaijing'') **''Investiture of the Gods'' (封神演義, ''Fengshenyanyi'')


Modern literature


Late Qing (1895–1911)

Scholars now tend to agree that modern Chinese literature did not erupt suddenly in the New Culture Movement (1917–23). Instead, they trace its origins back at least to the late Qing period (1895–1911). The late Qing was a period of intellectual ferment sparked by a sense of national crisis. Intellectuals began to seek solutions to China's problems outside of its own tradition. They translated works of Western expository writing and literature, which enthralled readers with new ideas and opened up windows onto new exotic cultures. Most outstanding were the translations of Yan Fu (嚴復) (1864–1921) and Lin Shu (林紓) (1852–1924). In this climate, a boom in the writing of fiction occurred, especially after the 1905 abolition of the civil service examination when literati struggled to fill new social and cultural roles for themselves. Stylistically, this fiction shows signs of both the Chinese novelistic tradition and Western narrative modes. In subject matter, it is strikingly concerned with the contemporary: social problems, historical upheaval, changing ethical values, etc. In this sense, late Qing fiction is modern. Important novelists of the period include Wu Woyao (吳沃堯) (1866–1910), Li Boyuan (李伯元) (1867–1906), Liu E (劉鶚) (1857–1909), and Zeng Pu (曾樸) (1872–1935). The late Qing also saw a "revolution in poetry" (詩界革命), which promoted experimentation with new forms and the incorporation of new registers of language. However, the poetry scene was still dominated by the adherents to the Tongguang School (named after the Tongzhi Emperor, Tongzhi and Guangxu Emperor, Guangxu reigns of the Qing), whose leaders—Chen Yan (poet), Chen Yan (陳衍), Chen Sanli (陳三立), Zheng Xiaoxu (鄭孝胥), and Shen Zengzhi (沈曾植)—promoted a Song style in the manner of Huang Tingjian. These poets would become the objects of scorn by New Culturalists like Hu Shih, who saw their work as overly allusive, artificial, and divorced from contemporary reality. In drama, the late Qing saw the emergence of the new "civilized drama" (文明戲), a hybrid of Chinese operatic drama with Western-style spoken drama. Peking opera and "reformed Peking opera" were also popular at the time.


Republican Era (1912–49)

The literary scene in the first few years before the collapse of the Qing in 1911 was dominated by popular love stories, some written in the classical language and some in the vernacular. This entertainment fiction would later be labeled "Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies" fiction by New Culturalists, who despised its lack of social engagement. Throughout much of the Republican era, Butterfly fiction would reach many more readers than its "progressive" counterpart. In the course of the New Culture Movement (1917–23), the vernacular language largely displaced the classical in all areas of literature and writing. Literary reformers Hu Shih (1891–1962) and Chen Duxiu (1880–1942) declared the classical language "dead" and promoted the vibrant vernacular in its stead. Hu Shih once said, "A dead language can never produce a living literature." In terms of literary practice,
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
(1881–1936) is usually said to be the first major stylist in the new vernacular prose that Hu Shih and Chen Duxiu were promoting. Another female writer who, in the words of scholar Nicole Huang, "persistently experimented with new literary language" is Eileen Chang. Though often said to be less successful than their counterparts in fiction writing, poets also experimented with the vernacular in new poetic forms, such as free verse and the sonnet. Given that there was no tradition of writing poetry in the vernacular, these experiments were more radical than those in fiction writing and also less easily accepted by the reading public. Modern poetry flourished especially in the 1930s, in the hands of poets like Zhu Xiang (朱湘), Dai Wangshu, Li Jinfa (李金發), Wen Yiduo, and Ge Xiao (葛蕭). Other poets, even those among the May Fourth Movement, May Fourth radicals (e.g., Yu Dafu), continued to write poetry in classical styles. May Fourth radicalism, combined with changes in the education system, made possible the emergence of a large group of women writers. While there had been Women in ancient and imperial China#Qing dynasty, women writers in the late imperial period and the late Qing, they had been few in number. These writers generally tackled domestic issues, such as relations between the sexes, family, friendship and war, Eileen Chang's writing uses the spatial specificities of the modern apartment as essential to the construction of a vision of life in wartime. But they were revolutionary in giving direct expression to female subjectivity. Ding Ling's story ''Miss Sophia's Diary'' exposes the thoughts and feelings of its female diarist in all their complexity. The 1920s and 1930s saw the emergence of spoken drama. Most outstanding among playwrights of the day are Ouyang Yuqian, Hong Shen, Tian Han, and Cao Yu (playwright), Cao Yu. More popular than this Western-style drama, however, was Peking opera, raised to new artistic heights by the likes of Mei Lanfang. In the late 1920s and 1930s, literary journals and societies espousing various artistic theories proliferated. Among the major writers of the period were Guo Moruo (1892–1978), a poet, historian, essayist, and critic; Mao Dun (1896–1981), the first of the novelists to emerge from the League of Left-Wing Writers and one whose work reflected the revolutionary struggle and disillusionment of the late 1920s; satirist and novelist Lao She (1899–1966); and Ba Jin (1904–2005), a novelist whose work was influenced by Ivan Turgenev and other Russian writers. In the 1930s Ba Jin produced a trilogy that depicted the struggle of modern youth against the ageold dominance of the Confucian family system. Comparison often is made between ''Family (Ba Jin novel), Jia'' (Family), one of the novels in the trilogy, and ''Dream of the Red Chamber''. Many of these writers became important as administrators of artistic and literary policy after 1949. Most of those authors who were still alive during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) were either purged or forced to submit to public humiliation. The League of Left-Wing Writers founded in 1930 included
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
among its leadership. By 1932 it had adopted the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism; that is, the insistence that art must concentrate on contemporary events in a realistic way, exposing the ills of nonsocialist society and promoting a glorious future under communism.Leo Oufan Lee, "Literary Trends: The Road to Revolution 1927–1949", Ch 9 in
link to excerpt
/ref> Other styles of literature were at odds with the highly-political literature being promoted by the League. The "New Sensationists" (新感覺派)—a group of writers based in Shanghai who were influenced, to varying degrees, by Western and Japanese modernism—wrote fiction that was more concerned with the unconscious and with aesthetics than with politics or social problems. Most important among these writers were Mu Shiying, Liu Na'ou (劉吶鷗), and Shi Zhecun. Other writers, including Shen Congwen and Fei Ming (廢名), balked at the utilitarian role for literature by writing lyrical, almost nostalgic, depictions of the countryside. Lin Yutang, who had studied at Harvard and Leipzig, introduced the concept of ''youmo'' (humor), which he used in trenchant criticism of China's political and cultural situation before leaving for the United States. The Communist Party of China had established a base after the Long March in Yan'an. The literary ideals of the League were being simplified and enforced on writers and "cultural workers". In 1942, Mao Zedong gave a series of lectures called "Yan'an Forum, Talks at the Yan'an Forum on Art and Literature" that clearly made literature subservient to politics via the Yan'an Rectification Movement. This document would become the national guideline for culture after the establishment of the People's Republic of China.


Maoist Era (1949–76)

After coming to power in 1949, the Communists gradually nationalized the publishing industry, centralized the book distribution system, and brought writers under institutional control through the Writers Union. A system of strict censorship was implemented, with Mao's "Yan'an Talks" as the guiding force. Periodic literary campaigns targeted figures such as Hu Shih and other figures from the New Culture period, especially Hu Feng, a protege of Lu Xun who, along with his wife Mei Zhi, did not toe the Party line on literature. Socialist realism became the uniform style, and many Soviet works were translated. The ability to satirize and expose the evils in contemporary society that had made writers useful to the Communist Party of China before its accession to power was no longer welcomed. Party cultural leaders such as Zhou Yang (literary theorist), Zhou Yang used Mao's call to have literature "serve the people" to mount attacks on "petty bourgeois idealism" and "humanitarianism". This conflict came to a head in the Hundred Flowers Campaign (1956–57). Mao Zedong initially encouraged writers to speak out against problems in the new society. Having learned the lessons of the anti-Hu Feng campaign, they were reluctant, but then a flurry of newspaper articles, films, and literary works drew attention to such problems as bureaucratism and authoritarianism within the ranks of the party. Shocked at the level of discontent, Mao's Anti-Rightist Movement put large numbers of intellectuals through so-called "thought reform" or sent them to labor camps. At the time of the Great Leap Forward (1957–59), the government increased its insistence on the use of socialist realism and combined with it so-called revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism. Despite the literary control and strictures to limit subjects to contemporary China and the glories of the revolution, writers produced widely read novels of energy and commitment. Examples of this new socialist literature include ''The Builder'' (Chuangye Shi 創業史) by Liu Qing 柳青, ''The Song of Youth'' (Qing Chun Zhi Ge 青春之歌) by Yang Mo, ''Tracks in the Snowy Forest'' (Lin Hai Xue Yuan 林海雪原) by Qu Bo (writer), Qu Bo, ''Keep the Red Flag Flying'' (Hong Qi Pu 紅旗譜) by Liang Bin 梁斌, ''The Red Sun'' (Hong Ri 紅日) by Wu Qiang 吳強, and ''Red Crag'' by Luo Guangbin 羅廣斌 and Yang Yiyan (楊益言). During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), Mao's wife, Jiang Qing led the campaign against "feudal" and "bourgeois" culture. The only stage productions allowed were her "Revolutionary opera, Eight Model Operas", which combined traditional and western forms, while great fanfare was given to politically orthodox films and heroic novels, such as those by Hao Ran (浩然). The period has long been regarded as a cultural wasteland, but some now suggest that the leading works have an energy which is still of interest. Mao Zedong has also written several poems such as: **''Changsha'' '':zh-tw:沁园春·长沙, 沁园春·长沙''1925 **''Double Ninth Festival'' '':zh-tw:采桑子·重阳, 采桑子·重阳'' 1929 **''Long March'' '':zh-tw:七律·长征, 七律·长征'' 1935 **''Snow'' '':zh-tw:沁园春·雪, 沁园春·雪'' 1936 **''The People's Liberation Army occupied Nanjing'' '':zh-tw:七律·人民解放军占领南京, 七律·人民解放军占领南京'' 1949 **''Swimming'' ''水调歌头·游泳'' 1956 **''Ode to the Plum Blossom'' ''卜算子咏梅'' 1961


Opening and reform (1978–1989)

The arrest of Jiang Qing and the other members of the Gang of Four in 1976, and especially the reforms initiated at the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Party Congress Central Committee in December 1978, led writers to take up their pens again. Much of the literature in what would be called the "new era" (新時期) discussed the serious abuses of power that had taken place at both the national and the local levels during the Cultural Revolution. The writers decried the waste of time and talent during that decade and bemoaned abuses that had held China back. This literature, often called "scar literature", or "the literature of the wounded", discussed the experiences of sent-down youth with great though not complete frankness and conveyed disquieting views of the party and the political system. Intensely patriotic, these authors wrote cynically of the political leadership that gave rise to the extreme chaos and disorder of the Cultural Revolution. Many of these themes and attitudes were also found in Cinema of China#Rise of the Fifth Generation, Fifth Generation films of directors trained after 1978, many of which were based on published novels and short stories. Some of this fiction and cinema extended the blame to the entire generation of leaders and to the political system itself. The political authorities were faced with a serious problem: how could they encourage writers to criticize and discredit the abuses of the Cultural Revolution without allowing that criticism to go beyond what they considered tolerable limits? During this period, the number of literary magazines rose sharply, and many from before the Cultural Revolution were revived. Poetry also changed in its form and content. Four "misty poets", Bei Dao, Gu Cheng, Duo Duo and Yang Lian (poet), Yang Lian expressed themselves in deliberately obscure verse which reflected subjective realism rather than the realism of the sort promoted during the Cultural Revolution. There was a special interest in foreign works. Recent foreign literature was translated, often without carefully considering its interest for the Chinese reader. Literary magazines specializing in translations of foreign short stories became very popular, especially among the young. Some leaders in the government, literary and art circles feared change was happening too fast. The first reaction came in 1980 with calls to combat "bourgeois liberalism", a campaign that was repeated in 1981. These two difficult periods were followed by the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign in late 1983. At the same time, writers remained freer to write in unconventional styles and to treat sensitive subject matter. A spirit of literary experimentation flourished in the second half of the 1980s. Fiction writers such as Wang Meng (author), Wang Meng, Zhang Xinxin (writer), Zhang Xinxin, and Zong Pu and dramatists such as Gao Xingjian experimented with modernist language and narrative modes. Another group of writers—collectively said to constitute the Xungen movement—including Han Shaogong, Mo Yan, Ah Cheng, and Jia Pingwa sought to reconnect literature and culture to Culture of China, Chinese traditions, from which a century of modernization and cultural and political iconoclasm had severed them. Other writers such as Yu Hua, Ge Fei (author), Ge Fei, and Su Tong experimented in a more avant-garde mode of writing that was daring in form and language and showed a complete loss of faith in ideals of any sort.


Post-Tiananmen (1989–present)

In the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, Tiananmen massacre of 1989 and with the intensification of market reforms, literature and culture turned increasingly commercial and escapist. Wang Shuo, the so-called "hooligan" writer, is the most obvious manifestation of this commercial shift, though his fiction is not without serious intent. Some writers, such as Yan Lianke, continue to take seriously the role of literature in exposing social problems; his novel ''Dreams of Ding Village'' () deals with the plight of HIV-AIDS victims. As in the May Fourth Movement, women writers came to the fore. Many of them, such as Chen Ran, Wei Hui, Wang Anyi, and Hong Ying, explore female subjectivity in a radically changing society. Neo-realism is another important current in post-Tiananmen fiction, for instance in the writings of Liu Heng (writer), Liu Heng, Chi Li, Fang Fang, He Dun, and Zhu Wen (writer), Zhu Wen. According to Martin Woesler trends in contemporary Chinese literature include: 'cult literature' with Guo Jingming, Guo Jingming's ''Cry Me a Sad River'' (), vagabond literature with Xu Zechen, Xu Zechen's ''Running Through Beijing'' () Liu Zhenyun, Liu Zhenyun's ''The Pickpockets'' (), underground literature with Mian Mian, Mian Mian's ''Panda Sex'' (), divided in historicizing literature with Yu Dan (academic), Yu Dan's ''Confucius in Your Heart'' (), 'longing for something' literature such as Yi Zhongtian, and in Tibetan literature with Alai (author), Alai, literature of the mega cities, women's literature with Bi Shumin, Bi Shumin's ''Women’s Boxing'' () and ''The Female Psychologist'' (), master narratives by narrators like Mo Yan with ''Life and Death are Wearing Me Out'' (). Oblique social criticism is also a popular form, for example Han Han's novel ''His land'' (), which was written in a surreal style opposed to the uncritical mainstream, but ranked 1st in 2009 Chinese bestseller list. Another example is Yan Ge's novel ''Family of Joy'' (), which was written in Sichuanese and won the Chinese Media Group New Talent Award in 2013. Chinese language literature also flourishes in the diaspora—in South East Asia, the United States, and Europe. China is the largest publisher of books, magazines and newspapers in the world. In book publishing alone, some 128,800 new titles of books were published in 2005, according to the General Administration of Press and Publication. There are more than 600 literary journals across the country. Living in France but continuing to write primarily in Chinese, Gao Xingjian became the first Chinese writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000. In 2012, Mo Yan also received the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2015, children's author Cao Wenxuan was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the first Chinese author to win the top international children's book prize (although several Chinese authors had previously been nominated).


Online literature

In the new millennium, online literature in China plays a much more important role than in the United States and the rest of the world. Most books are available online, where the most popular novels find millions of readers. They cost an average of 2 CNY, or roughly a tenth of the average price of a printed book. Shanda, Shanda Literature Ltd. is an online publishing company that claims to publish 8,000 Chinese literary works daily.


Book market

China buys many foreign book rights; nearly 16 million copies of the sixth book of the Harry Potter series were sold in Chinese translation. As ''China Book Review'' reported, the rights to 9,328 foreign titles – including many children's books – went to China in 2007. China was nominated as a ''Guest of Honour'' at the Frankfurt Bookfair in 2009. The book market in China traditionally orders books during book fairs, because the country lacks a national book ordering system. In 2006, 6.8 million titles were sold, not including an unknown number of banned titles, bootleg copies and underground publishing factories. Seven percent of all publishers are located in Shanghai. Because the industry lacks a national distribution system, many titles from publishers in the provinces can only be found there. The central publishing houses belonging to ministries or (other) government institutions have their main seat at Beijing (40 percent of all publishers). Most regional publishing houses are situated in the capitals of the provinces. Universities also have associated presses. Private publishing is tolerated. 220,000 books were published in 2005. Among 579 publishers—almost five times more than thirty years ago—225 are supervised by ministries, commissions or the army; 348 are controlled by agencies; and six are even more independent. On the other hand, 100,000 private bookstores bring in the half of the income of the book industry.Zeitung zur Buchmesse, FAZ 19.10.2008, S. 22 (PDF; 12,15 MB)
/ref> China's state-run General Administration of Press and Publication (新聞出版總署) screens all Chinese literature intended to be sold on the open market. The GAPP has the legal authority to screen, censor, and ban any print, electronic, or Internet publication in China. Because all publishers in China are required to be licensed by the GAPP, that agency also has the power to deny people the right to publish, and completely shut down any publisher who fails to follow its dictates. As a result, the ratio of official to unlicensed books is said to be 2:3. According to a report in ZonaEuropa, there are more than 4,000 underground publishing factories around China. The Chinese government continues to hold public book burnings on unapproved yet popular "spiritual pollution" literature, though critics claim this spotlight on individual titles only helps fuel booksales. Many new-generation Chinese authors who were targeted by such government action have been subsequently published in English and found success in western literary markets, such as Wei Hui's ''Shanghai Baby'', Anchee Min's controversial memoir ''Red Azalea'', ''Time (magazine), Time'' magazine banned-book covergirl Chun Sue's ''Beijing Doll'', and Mian Mian's ''Candy''. Online bestseller ''Ghost Blows Out the Light'' had to be rewritten to remove references to the supernatural before it could be released in print."The Chinese Novel Finds New Life Online"
Aventurina King, ''Wired (magazine), Wired'', August 17, 2007


Impact of translation on modern and contemporary Chinese writers

Translated literature has long played an important role in modern China. Some writers, such as
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
, Yu Dafu, Ba Jin and others were literary translators themselves, and many present day writers in China, such as the Nobel laureate Mo Yan, listed translated works as sources of enlightenment and inspiration.


History books about Chinese literature

The first two known history books about Chinese literature were published by Japanese authors in the Japanese language. - Cited: p. 54 Kojō Tandō wrote the 700 page ''Shina bungakushi'' (支那文学史; "History of Chinese Literature"), published in 1897. wrote the second ever such book in 1898, also called ''Shina bungakushi''. The first such book in English was ''A History of Chinese Literature'', by Herbert Giles, published in 1901. 1904's ''Zhongguo wenxue shi'' by was the first such history in Chinese. Lin Quanjia was inspired by a 1903 translation of Sasakawa's book.


Contemporary Chinese literature in translation

Chinese literature is increasingly available in translation- there are now several well-established websites sharing information, for example
Paper RepublicWriting ChineseChinese Short StoriesMy Chinese BooksChinese Books for Young Readers
In 2005, the Chinese government started a sponsoring program for translations of government-approved Chinese works, which has already resulted in more than 200 books being translated from Chinese into other languages.


Selected modern Chinese writers

* Ba Jin (巴金) (1904–2005) * Bei Dao (北島) (1949—) * Bing Xin (冰心) (1900–1999) * Can Xue (殘雪) (1953–) * Cao Wenxuan (曹文轩) (1955-) * Cao Yu (playwright), Cao Yu (曹禺) (1910–1996) * Eileen Chang (張愛玲) (1920–1995) * Chen Zhongshi (陳忠實) (1942—2016) * Chiung Yao (琼瑶) (1938—) * Cong Weixi (從維熙) (1933—2019) * Feng Zikai (豐子愷) (1898–1975) * Gao Xingjian (高行健) (1940–) * Guo Moruo (郭沫若) (1892–1978) * He Qifang (何其芳) (1912–1977) * Hu Shih (胡適) (1891–1962) * Jia Pingwa (賈平凹) (1952—) * Jidi Majia (吉狄馬加) (1961–) * Jin Yong (金庸) (1924–2018) (Pen name of Louis Cha Leung-yung) * Lao She (老舍) (1897–1966) * Liang Qichao (梁啟超) (1873–1929) * Liang Shiqiu (梁實秋) (1903–1987) * Lin Haiyin (林海音) (1918–2001) * Lin Yutang (林語堂) (1895–1976) * Liu E (劉鶚) (1857–1909) *
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
(魯迅) (1881–1936) * Ma Jian (writer), Ma Jian (馬建) (1953—) * Mao Dun (茅盾) (1896–1981) * Mo Yan (莫言) (1955—) * Qian Zhongshu (錢鍾書) (1910–1988) * Qiu Miaojin (邱妙津) (1969–1995) * Qu Bo (writer) (曲波) (1922–2002) * Sanmao (author) (三毛) (1943–1991) * Shen Congwen (沈從文) (1902–1988) * Shi Tiesheng (史鐵生) (1951–2010) * Su Manshu (蘇曼殊) (1894–1918) * Su Tong (蘇童) (1963—) * Tian Han (田漢) (1898–1968) * Tie Ning (鐵凝) (1957—) * Wang Guowei (王國維) (1877–1927) * Wang Tao (19th century), Wang Tao (王韜) (1828–1897) * Wang Xiaobo (王小波) (1952–1997) * Wang Zengqi (汪曾祺) (1920–1997) * Wen Yiduo (聞一多) (1899–1946) * Xiao Hong (萧红) (1911–1942) * Xu Dishan (許地山) (1893–1941) * Xu Zhimo (徐志摩) (1896–1936) * Yan Fu (嚴復) (1853–1924) * Yan Lianke (阎连科) (1958–) * Yang Mu (楊牧) (1940–2020) * Ye Shengtao (葉聖陶) (1894–1988) * Yu Dafu (郁達夫) (1896–1945) * Zhang Xianliang (張賢亮) (1936—2014) * Zhang Xinxin (writer), Zhang Xinxin (张辛欣) (1953-) * Zhang Zao (張棗) (1962–2010) * Zhu Ziqing (朱自清) (1898–1948)


Writers of Chinese heritage who write in other languages

Chinese writers writing in English:
See also List of Asian-American writers, Chinese American literature * Ha Jin (哈金) (1956—) * Chiang Yee (1903–1977) * Amy Tan (譚恩美) (1952–) * Yiyun Li * Qiu Xiaolong * Tao Lin (1983–) Chinese writers writing in French: * Chen Jitong (陳季同) (1852–1907) * François Cheng (程抱一) (1929—) * Dai Sijie (戴思傑) (1954—) * Shan Sa (山颯) (1972—)


See also

*Censorship in the People's Republic of China *Chen prophecy *Chinese classic texts *Chinese culture *Chinese dictionary *Chinese encyclopedias *Chinese language *Chinese mythology *Classical Chinese poetry *''Dream Pool Essays'' *''
Huainanzi The ''Huainanzi'' is an ancient Chinese text that consists of a collection of essays that resulted from a series of scholarly debates held at the court of Liu An, Prince of Huainan, sometime before 139. The ''Huainanzi'' blends Daoist, Confucia ...
'' *List of Chinese authors *List of Hong Kong poets *List of poems in Chinese or by Chinese poets *Literature of Hong Kong *Society and culture of the Han dynasty *Tea classics *Women in Chinese literature


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

These are general works. For those on specific topics, please see the particular article. * Cai, Zong-qi, ed. (2008). ''How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology''. New York: Columbia University Press. * Chaves, Jonathan, ed. (1986). ''The Columbia Book of Later Chinese Poetry: Yüan, Ming, and Ch'ing Dynasties (1279–1911)''. New York: Columbia University Press. * *Cheng, François (1982). ''Chinese Poetic Writing''. Trans. Donald A. Riggs and Jerome P. Seaton. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press. *Cui, Jie and Zong-qi Cai (2012). ''How to Read Chinese Poetry Workbook''. New York: Columbia University Press. * * Wilt L. Idema, Idema Wilt L., and Lloyd Haft, eds (1997). ''A Guide to Chinese Literature''. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies. . Bibliographical and background essays. * Knight, Sabina (2012). ''Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction''. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, Very Short Introductions Series. . * Lévy, André (2000). ''Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical''. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Translated by William H. Nienhauser. xi, 168p. . *Lin, Shuen-fu and Stephen Owen (1986). ''The Vitality of the Lyric Voice''. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. *Liu, James J.Y. (1962). ''The Art of Chinese Poetry''. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. * Victor H. Mair, Mair, Victor H. (2001). ''The Columbia History of Chinese Literature''. New York: Columbia University Press. . * Mair, Victor H.(1994). ''The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature''. New York: Columbia University Press, Translation from the Asian Classics, 1994. . * Mair, Victor H., Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt and Paul Rakita Goldin, eds. ''Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture''. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005). . * Nienhauser, William H., Jr. (1986 and 1998). ''The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature''. 2v. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. , 0-253-33456-X. * * Kang-i Sun Chang, Stephen Owen (academic), Stephen Owen, eds. (2010), ''The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature'', 2 vol. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Burton Watson, Watson, Burton (1971). ''Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry from the Second to the Twelfth Century''. New York: Columbia University Press. * Watson, Burton, ed. (1984). ''The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century''. New York: Columbia University Press.


External links


Paper Republic – Chinese Literature in Translation
nbsp;– useful site, and produces annual list of translations into English
2015201420132012


nbsp;– bibliography of scholarly studies and translations of modern Chinese literature

nbsp;– scholarly journal

nbsp;– Annotated collection of classical and modern Chinese literary texts
Chinese Text Project
nbsp;– Early classical texts with English and modern Chinese translations * http://www.china-on-site.com/comicindex.php – manhua retellings of old Chinese legends
Renditions
nbsp;– English translations of modern and classical Chinese literature

nbsp;– Early classical texts

nbsp;– Annotated Collection of Digitized Chinese Texts for Students of Chinese Language and Culture *The Columbia University Pres
web page accompanying Cai 2008
has PDF and MP3 files for more than 75 poems and CUP'
web page accompanying Cui 2012
includes MP3 files of modern Chinese translations for dozens of these {{DEFAULTSORT:Chinese Literature Chinese literature, History of literature Chinese philosophy China in fiction