Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical
Now in paperback!

Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical

André Lévy
Translated by William H. Nienhauser, Jr.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 2/9/2007
Format: paper 184 pages
5.5 x 8.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21365-5
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André Lévy provides a “picture of Chinese literature of the past” that brilliantly illustrates the four great literary genres of China: the classics, prose, poetry, and the literature of entertainment. His discussion of approximately 120 vivid translations combines personal insights with innovative historical accounts in a genre-based approach that moves beyond the typical chronology of dynasties. Renowned scholar William H. Nienhauser, Jr., translated Lévy’s work from the French and returned to the original Chinese for the texts. This informative, engaging, and eminently readable introduction to the three millennia of traditional Chinese literature is highly recommended for students and general readers.

Author Bio

André Lévy is Emeritus Professor at the University of Bordeaux.

William H. Nienhauser, Jr., is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classical Chinese Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


"Eminent sinologist Lévy attempts an almost impossible task: to provide a general picture of ancient Chinese literature . . . Lévy's book is unique among the numerous published histories . . . because it is organized according to genres rather than according to the customary dynastic-political divisions." —Choice

"[A] concise and elegant account of pre—modern Chinese literature. . . . The translations . . . are fresh, uncluttered, and vivid." —Journal of the American Oriental Society

"[P]rovides an insightful overview of traditional Chinese literature, and is especially recommended for general readers and beginning students." —China Quarterly

"As a general introduction for the lay reader . . .
Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical works well, with the fast-pace and engaging short extracts providing excellent motivation." — , 11/23/2010

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