Anthology of Chinese Literature – Cyril Birch (1965) (1st ed)


Anthology of Chinese Literature – Cyril Birch (1965) (1st ed)


Title: Anthology of Chinese Literature. From early times to the fourteenth century

Author: Cyril Birch (ed.)

Publisher: Grove Press, New York, 1965. First printing.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Ex-library copy with all library markings. Slight tanning to pages, and small closed tears to dust jacket. Text clean, binding tight. 492pp., app 8.5″x5.5″.

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About the book (from dust jacket):

The difficulty of the Chinese language has not prevented scholars and scholar-poets from giving new expression in English to its enduring literary masterpieces. This is the first anthology of Chinese literature to draw together the finest of existing translations. Where these have been found wanting in scope or representative character, new translations have been commissioned: thus, roughly one-half of the material is published here for the first time.

As Japanese literature begins with the Man’-yoshu, so Chinese literature, a thousand years earlier, begins with a great collection of songs, hymns, and ballads. Some time about 600 B.C. the Book of Songs – with which the present volume opens – was compiled, according to tradition by Confucius himself.

Thus this impressive anthology, which has been several years in preparation, from the Chou Dynasty (1122-221 B.C.) to the Yuan Dynasty (1260 – 1367 A.D.).

Contents include:

The Songs of Ch’u
Chuang Tzu and Others on Death
Han Dynasty (including biographies of Ssu-Ma Ch’ien and Rhyme-Prose)
Period of Division
The Poetry of the Recluse (Juan Chi, Tao Chien)
Tang Dynasty (poems, short stories, prose essays)
Sung Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty