Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature - TennisForum.com

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2012, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

Water Margin
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Journey to the West - This is of particular interest for me.
Dream of the Red Chamber

Has anyone read any or all of them? It's on my list to read but it is a long list right now.

Which one should I start with? The best translated version?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2012, 09:41 PM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

Journey to the West. I am reading it for school right now
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

I've only read The Dream of the Red Chamber. I read it in the Penguin Edition which is split into like 7 smaller books iirc. Two translators worked on it; the first one is David Hawkes who I thought did a good job. I would start with that. The Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the best entry points into episodic, classical East Asian literature along with Tale of Genji. I'll be taking a Chinese lit class next semester, so hopefully I'll know more about this subject soon.

TBH, girl, just read classical or contemporary Japanese lit. I can hook you up with that shit.

Last edited by dybbuk; Nov 24th, 2012 at 11:34 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2012, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

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Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
I've only read The Dream of the Red Chamber. I read it in the Penguin Edition which is split into like 7 smaller books iirc. Two translators worked on it; the first one is David Hawkes who I thought did a good job. I would start with that. The Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the best entry points into episodic, classical East Asian literature along with Tale of Genji. I'll be taking a Chinese lit class next semester, so hopefully I'll know more about this subject soon.

TBH, girl, just read classical or contemporary Japanese lit. I can hook you up with that shit.
Not sure about contemporary Japanese literature but my sister likes it.

Tale of Genji is a great suggestion. I'll add it to the list. Thanks for your help.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

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Journey to the West. I am reading it for school right now
Thanks. This one's definitely high on my list to read.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

I've read Journey to the West in Chinese as a kid. I hated it (probably because it was the worst way of teaching Chinese to a child), and I'd say it's kind of like the Chinese The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where it is presented to kids as an adventure story with social themes embedded in it or whatever.

So tbh, I find it quite hard to find a good translation or get a good read on it because it's been heavily commercialized towards kids. Whenever I ask my parents about the value of it in terms of literature, they say that it encompasses a lot of adventure and good story and has endured generations. Take from that what you will.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 2012, 11:23 PM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

Wow,I think it's too hard to understand these novels

BTW,for me, Water Margin>Dream of the Red Chamber>>>>>Journey to the West.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2012, 01:16 AM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

Journey to the West works best in serialised TV.

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met./All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;/'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet/One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet/One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get/One perfect rose.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2012, 02:00 AM
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I've read the comic version of all four I think. Not literally read one of them though

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2012, 03:00 AM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

There are too many ancient poems in these novels, I was fascinated to these poems when I was in middle school.

I wonder how they translate this to english,never read the english version of them,curious

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

I never read Dream of the Red Chamber
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2012, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
I've only read The Dream of the Red Chamber. I read it in the Penguin Edition which is split into like 7 smaller books iirc. Two translators worked on it; the first one is David Hawkes who I thought did a good job. I would start with that. The Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the best entry points into episodic, classical East Asian literature along with Tale of Genji. I'll be taking a Chinese lit class next semester, so hopefully I'll know more about this subject soon.

TBH, girl, just read classical or contemporary Japanese lit. I can hook you up with that shit.
You should know, I've bought and have started reading Tale of Genji. Damn you for making me sidetrack from my reading list. I gave it to my sister but she didn't like it. She likes more contemporary stuff.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

I don't read Asian literature.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Re: Four Great classical novels of Chinese literature

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Originally Posted by Lin Lin View Post
There are too many ancient poems in these novels, I was fascinated to these poems when I was in middle school.

I wonder how they translate this to english,never read the english version of them,curious
Try to translate some for our benefit. Pretty please?
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