Presentation on theme: "Chinese literature （ 3 ）. Part One: Yuan Qu In Chinese literature, Yuan Qu consists of Sanqu and Zaju. Qu became popular during the late Southern Song."— Presentation transcript:
Part One: Yuan Qu In Chinese literature, Yuan Qu consists of Sanqu and Zaju. Qu became popular during the late Southern Song Dynasty, and reached its highest popularity in Yuan Dynasty, therefore it is often called Yuanqu.
Sanqu was a new poetic style popular in Yuan dynasty. Both sanqu and ci are lyrics written to fit a particular melody, but sanqu differs from ci in that it is more colloquial, and is allowed to contain chenzi ("filler words" which are additional words to make a more complete meaning).
Zaju is a drama form, reflecting the reality of the society and received warm welcome by the people at that time. Zaju opera was the first new force suddenly rising, whose emergence marked the maturity of Chinese opera.
1.1 The category of Yuan Qu Zaju Yuan Qu: Sanqu: 1)Santao 2)Xiaoling
There are two direct origins of Zaju in Yuan Dynasty: one is a storytelling and singing art form from the Song Dynasty to the Jin Dynasty-Zhu Gongdiao; the other is a playlet form that focuses on making fun- Zaju of Song Dynasty and performers' scripts of the Jin Dynasty.
Zaju of the Yuan Dynasty is evolved by inheriting characteristics of performers' scripts of Jin Dynasty, combining many features of Zhu Gong Diao and absorbing elements from other folk crafts. After its formation, Zaju quickly became popular in northern China.
Sanqu can be further divided into xiaoling and santao, with the latter comprising of more than one melody. Xiaoling is made up of a single piece of music. The lines are not uniform in length, but have certain format. Santao comprises over two pieces of music of the same gong diao. Some sanqu works are elegant and graceful, and some bold and incisive.
1.2 Four Great Yuan Playwrights Guan Hanqing : sobriquet "the Oldman of the Studio" ( 齋 叟 Zhāisǒu), produced about 65 plays, mostly in Vernacular Chinese of the time, but nowadays only fourteen of his plays are extant, including: The Injustice to Dou E /Snow in Midsummer ( 感天动地窦 娥冤 ) Saving the Dusty-windy /Saving the Prostitute /Rescued by a Coquette ( 赵盼儿风月救风尘 )
His works reflected the spirit of a fighter and encouraged common people to fight against oppression. The characters in the plays were upright, courageous and rebellious. The Injustice to Dou E was his masterpiece. The Injustice to Dou E tells a tragic story of young woman named Dou E and has been listed as one of the ten great classical tragedies in China.
Ma Zhiyuan courtesy name Dongli ( 东篱 ), a Chinese poet and celebrated playwright Among his achievements is the development and popularizing of the new sanqu ( 散曲 ) lyric form of poetry. The poem "Autumn Thoughts" ( 秋思 ) from the book ' 东篱乐府 ' is the most widely known of his sanqu poems.sanqu
Autumn Thoughts Dry vine, old tree, crows at dusk, 枯藤老树昏鸦, Low bridge, stream running, cottages, 小桥流水人家。
Ancient road, west wind, lean nag, 古道西风瘦马, The sun sinking west, And one with breaking heart at the sky’s edge. 夕阳西下，断肠人在天涯。
Zheng Guangzhu Representative work: Qian Nu‘s Soul Fleeing with Her Lover （ Chinese: 倩女离魂） Bai Pu Representative work: Pei Shaojun and Li Qianjun (Chinese: 墙头马上）
Part Two ： Ming-Qing Novels The Ming and Qing Dynasties were the prosperous periods in the history of Chinese novels. From the Ming Dynasty, novel as a literary form fully displayed its social functions and literary values. The Qing Dynasty was the period when classical Chinese novels started to fall after reaching the zenith and transit to modern novels.
Novels of the Ming Dynasty can be mainly divided into two categories, namely vernacular short novels and full-length novels. By subjects and contents, full-length novels of the Ming Dynasty can be generally divided into four types, namely historical novels, novels of gods and spirits, secular novels and legal case novels.
Novels of the Qing Dynasty were mainly created by literati. Although the literati borrowed ideas from historical and legendary materials, most of the works were based on the reality. They fully embodied the authors' wishes and became more and more mature in structure, narration and figure depiction.
It was in this period that the four great Chinese classical novels were written, namely,Journey to the West, Water Margin, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and A Dream of Red Mansions.
Journey to the West It was written by Wu Cheng'en of the Ming Dynasty. It is based on the true story of a Tang Dynasty monk who made a perilous overland trip to India to fetch back the Buddhist scriptures. Journey to the West, which depicts the story of Monk Tang and his disciples going west to seek for Sutra.
The influence of Journey to the West being so wide and lasting is largely because it models the Monkey King, the Pig Marshal, Monk Tang and Monk Sha, etc. into vivid figures with independent personalities and infectious power. Of these, the most talked about and best known is the Monkey King. He is an omnificent humanized monkey, mischievous and cute, knowing precisely whom and what to love or hate.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms Luo Guanzhong, the author of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, based his novel on both folk tales and historical records of the conflicts between the kingdoms of Wei, Shu and Wu, established by Cao Cao, Liu Bei and Sun Quan, respectively. Written in the early Ming Dynasty, it was the first historical novel to appear in China.
Water Margin It was written at almost the same time as Three Kingdoms, was written by Shi Nai'an. It is based on folk tales about a band of rebels led by Song Jiang at the close of the Northern Song Dynasty. There are 108 heroes and heroines in the novel, which is a savage satire on official corruption and feudal oppression.
A Dream of Red Mansions It also named Tale of the Rock, has 120 chapters, of which the first 80 were written by Cao Xueqin, and the remaining 40 by Gao E. With the tragic love story of Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu as the main theme, the novel describes the decline of four feudal noble families. The novel is a treasure house of information about the way aristocratic families lived in the Qing Dynasty.
Strange Tales of Liaozhai Strange Tales of Liaozhai is a well-known collection of short stories written by Pu Songlin of the Qing Dynasty. The work is called "the No.1 book about vixen spirits and ghosts". It is said that Pu Songlin ran a teahouse outside his home, offering tea free of charge to passers- by, from whom he gathered material for the novel in return.
Strange Tales of Liaozhai contains a total of 491 short stories, all of which are fascinating and colorful, with vivid character portrayal. A lot of the stories are about the worlds of human beings, ghosts and spirits.
The most well-known stories include Xiao Qian, Xi Fangping, and The Painted Skin etc. These stories are extremely popular and widely spread
Through the stories of vixen spirits and ghosts, Strange Tales of Liaozhai indirectly reflects the social contradictions and people's thoughts and wishes of the 17th century China.
Assignments 1 What are the historical reasons for the formation of Yuan Qu? 2 Please describe the artistic style of Yuan Qu and its main writers. 3 What’s your favorite one in the Ming-Qing Novels ? State some reasons.