- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 3, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 019539206X
- ISBN-13: 978-0195392067
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.4 x 4.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction 1st Edition
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"Very much to the point, starts in antiquity." --Tyler Cowen, The New York Times Magazine ("A Really Short Book Review" section)
"This short book is a marvel of economy, substance, and style."--Tyler Cowen, George Mason University (on his blog Marginal Revolution)
"To summarize almost 3,000 years of literature in just 120 pages is no doubt a very difficult task; nevertheless, Sabine Knight has done so brilliantly." -- Taciana Fisac, The China Journal
"Sabina Knight has managed to square the circle in presenting a lucid and engaging survey of the main trends, authors and works of three thousand years of Chinese literature up to the present, striking the right balance between concrete example and general analysis, in such a short compass." --Wilt L. Idema, Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University
"A marvelous little book. Consistently lively, engaging, and thought-provoking. Knight successfully balances brevity and accessibility on the one hand and real intellectual substance on the other. It's beautifully written and a genuine pleasure to read."
-- David L. Porter, University of Michigan and author of The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England
"Like all the best books in this series, Knight's covers a great deal of ground in a lively and opinionated but deeply informed manner." -- Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century (on the Asia Society Blog)
"This book is a great way for me to show non-China professional students the valuable contributions that Chinese culture has to offer to our understanding of how the world works in general." --Elanah Uretsky, The George Washington University, Global Health, Anthropology, and Elliott School of International Affairs
"It would be hard to find a more pithy or profound description of the soul of Chinese culture than this little jewel, which deserves repeated and thoughtful reading; it is as brilliant and beautiful as it is brief." --G. Wright Doyle, author of China: Ancient Culture, Modern Society
"As an introduction to Chinese literature, this little book has accomplished its big mission. The scope of coverage is impressive, and the skill with which Knight makes the mountain of material cohere is remarkable." --Li-hua Ying, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture
"...Knight travels from Shang dynasty oracle bones to Shanghai Baby in just 120 pocket-sized pages; three millennia of written words in five brief chapters." --Kate Foster, The China Quarterly
"This is a delightful summary of the entire history of Chinese literature. It is a great place to start as it covers philosophy, poetry, drama, and modern fiction with sensitivity and intelligence." --Scott P. Phillips, North Star Martial Arts blog
"By presenting a concise, rich, and illuminating overview of the Chinese literary tradition, from antiquity to the present, this little book makes an important contribution to the field of Chinese literary studies. Knight places her audience first and seeks to provide, for as many readers as possible, an accessible and stimulating introduction to one of the world's great traditions." - Géraldine Fiss, China Review International
About the Author
Sabina Knight is Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature at Smith College and the author of The Heart of Time: Moral Agency in Twentieth-Century Chinese Fiction.
Top customer reviews
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Along the way, she provides astute observations regarding aesthetic and sociological developments; the importance of tradition and moral order; issues of country/city, translation, gender, and nature; and the sometimes sharp contrasts of realism and myth. Cogent and concise, Knight accomplishes a remarkable feat in covering Chinese literature in 120 pages, especially with such breadth and depth.
Knight's Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction delivers such an experience. You get a taste of Chinese literature through the ages without ever feeling like you're reading a dry textbook. Instead, it's more like sitting down with an expert who wants to share her enthusiasm for the subject.
What I most enjoyed in the the book are the short vignettes taken from the literature it describes. These vignettes give you an idea of the types of literature being produced in each time period. They offer a texture to the history and really help you narrow down your interests for further reading.
Those with some experience with Asian languages will appreciate the inclusion of the Chinese characters for the names of books and authors.