Questions tagged [chinese-literature]

Questions about literature that was originally written in any of the Chinese languages (including Classical Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese), regardless of where it was published. Please also make sure to use the applicable work and author tag.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
0 answers
21 views

What was the intended audience of "Absent, Or Not Absent" by Tsering Woeser?

Tibetan poet and activist Tsering Woeser wrote the poem Absent, or Not Absent in Chinese. (The full text is available from Words Without Borders). I am somewhat curious as to why she chose to write in ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
12 views

Why did Li Hao call himself "foolish"?

Li Hao's poem I Want to Walk Toward the Altar of the Lord contains the following lines: Lord, I am foolish, I am suffering, and my body, like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out my brain. ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Is the Ruyi Jingu Bang a sentient weapon?

The question What is the first known work of fantasy to feature a sentient weapon? on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange has the Ruyi Jingu Bang as an accepted answer, but nothing in the ...
user avatar
  • 500
2 votes
0 answers
49 views

Why do Chinese novelists sometimes have the same name as their characters?

I've encountered this twice now: 这世界,缺你不可 by 吴大伟 (Google Books) has a character named 大伟 (pinyin: Dà​wěi). 谢谢你曾来过我的世界 by 仲尼 (Google Books) has a character named 仲尼 (pinyin: Zhòng​ní). I'm puzzled as ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
49 views

Who translated "CEO's Wife So Sweet"?

CEO's Wife So Sweet This seems to be an online novel series originally written in Chinese. The language in the translated end product seems stilted and unnatural to say the least. I am wondering about ...
user avatar
  • 1,316
3 votes
0 answers
49 views

Who wrote/recorded this Chinese parable about a deer trained not to fear wolves?

It was a Chinese writer or philosopher, probably pre-1900. Basically, a man captures a deer and a wolf and keeps them in his garden/compound. He trains the wolf not to attack the deer. The deer ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
82 views

Original Poems from Notes from the City of the Sun

I am interested in finding the original Chinese poems used in Notes from the City of the Sun by Bonnie S. McDougall. I know the poems are from Bei Dao, and, according to this webpage, the poems used ...
user avatar
  • 63
20 votes
4 answers
4k views

In what Chinese fairy tale does a painter disappear into his own painting?

The online description of Rüdiger Safranski's book Wieviel Wahrheit braucht der Mensch? begins with the following sentence: In einem berühmten chinesischen Märchen verschwindet der Maler in seinem ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

In what way does Sun Tzu square "put your soldiers in desperate straits" with his earlier chapter

I would love your take on a section I am currently reading about, Sun Tzu’s description of grounds. He says: Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive; plunge it into desperate straits, ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
50 views

What is the underlying message of the first story of 听你的 ("Up To You")?

I read an (untitled) short story: the first chapter of 《听你的》 (full text is here), and I don't feel I fully understand the plot. Here's my summarization: The main character "you" (unnamed) ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
586 views

What is the best selling Chinese book?

Which Chinese book is the most sold? I mean a book written in the Chinese language by a Chinese author.
user avatar
  • 227
0 votes
1 answer
222 views

Who is "Dao" in this quote from Laozi's Tao Te Ching?

I found the following quote here: The Dao hides in wordlessness. Only the Dao is well begun and well completed. -- Laozi, Dàodé Jīng / Tao Te Ching What is the exact meaning and context of this ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

Where can I find an English translation of Pan Pingge Searching for Humanity (求仁录)?

I'm interested in reading works by the Chinese philosopher Pan Pingge. His work entitled Searching for Humanity or 求仁录 appears, from secondary sources, to be a good place to start. However, I cannot ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
144 views

What novel is Yehsao Paoyen?

In the chapter "Ideals of Life" of My Country and My People, Lin Yutang briefly discusses the novel Yehsao Paoyen, an out-and-out Confucianist novel, which takes special delight in exposing the ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
2 votes
0 answers
36 views

In Yuan Zhen's story ‘ Passion’, what does 14 February refer to?

Lin Yutang's collection Famous Chinese Short Stories contains a story by Yuan Zhen that is not simply a translation but a retelling. Lin Yutang follows Yuan Zhen's story until a certain point and then ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Did Yuan Zhen really write a text disproving the existence of ghosts

The book Famous Chinese Short Stories (John Day, 1948) contains a selection of stories, most from the Tang and Song dynasties, translated by Lin Yutang (1895 – 1976). One of the later stories in the ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
5 votes
0 answers
67 views

Is A Supplement to the Journey to the West from the 17th century the oldest Chinese work of literature involving time travel?

A Supplement to the Journey to the West is a Chinese novel from around 1640 that was written as a type of addendum to the great classic novel Journey to the West. Journey to the West is set during the ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
6 votes
1 answer
293 views

Why did Arthur Waley change the title in his translation of Journey to the West?

Journey to the West is a 16th-century Chinese novel whose original title 西遊記 means (according to Wikipedia) "West-Wandering Chronicles". In Arthur Waley's well-known 1942 English translation, he ...
user avatar
  • 63.1k
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did George R. R. Martin read Romance of The Three Kingdoms?

George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't need an introduction. It is also widely known among fans that Martin drew a lot of inspiration from history, for example the War of the Roses in ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
3 votes
1 answer
247 views

Where is the wordplay in the names Zhao Guiweng and Gu Jiu?

In the Wikisource version (in both Chinese and English) of Lu Xun's short story "A Madman's Diary" from his collection Call to Arms, the following footnotes are made about character names: Zhao ...
user avatar
  • 63.1k
2 votes
1 answer
379 views

How did Lu Xun choose his pen name?

Lu Xun was the pen name of Zhou Zhangshou (birth name) or Zhou Yushan (courtesy name) or Zhou Yucai (courtesy name 2.0) or Zhou Shuren (the name he chose in 1898). The "Lu" (魯 / 鲁) in his pen name ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

Source of comment that Ah Qs are now running China (Lu Xun, 1930s)

The American journalist Edgar Snow, who is best known for his book Red Star Over China (1937), apparently managed to interview Lu Xun (1881 - 1936). According to Helmut Martin, who wrote an afterword ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Zhuangzi translation in The Lathe of Heaven

In The Lathe of Heaven (1971) Ursula Le Guin uses an epigraph before the start of each chapter. The author most frequently quoted in these epigraphs is the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi or Chuang Tzu. ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

Which book is the maxim 大道無門 from?

From which book is the maxim 大道無門 Zen kōan だいどうむもん "Daidō mumon" "to achieve great understanding there is no single but thousands of ways".
user avatar
  • 137
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Difference between translations of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"?

I am planning to buy "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu (in English translation) but I've found versions of 90 pages, 170 pages and 200 pages. What is the difference between these versions? Is there a ...
user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did Ursula Le Guin translate the Tao Te Ching / Dao De Jing?

In 1998, Shambhala Publications published a translation of the Tao Te Ching (in pinyin: Daodejing and Dao De Jing) by Ursula Le Guin. The Dao De Jing was written in Classical Chinese, so it takes much ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
7 votes
0 answers
194 views

What narrative techniques and literary devices in The Three-Body Problem required or justified adjustment in the English translation?

In a postscript to the English translation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem, Ken Liu drew attention to his approach to the translation work. Ken Liu writes that "differences in linguistic ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it Zhan Zheng Xi, Zhan Zhengxi, or Zhan Xixi?

One of the protagonist of 19 Days - One Day is called Zhan Zheng Xi. Or Zhan Xixi. I'm not sure, because he's been called all three: Zhan Zhengxi Zhan Zheng Xi Zhan Xixi The first two I can ...
user avatar
  • 8,017
5 votes
1 answer
142 views

Why does Zhan Xixi call Jian Yi an idiot?

I've been re-reading 19 Days - One Day1, a webcomic2 by the Chinese author Old Xian. One of the first chapters has me wondering, though: Click for full resolution What does Zhan Xixi mean when he ...
user avatar
  • 8,017
10 votes
1 answer
486 views

When and where was 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu first adopted outside of China?

While of ancient origin and being still relevant today, much is speculation about the military classic 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. Even the existence of the author is disputed. He allegedly served ...
user avatar
  • 1,155