Classic literature

With the ancient history China has had there have been a myriad of literary styles. Each dynasty, a genre was popular without leaving aside other styles. Thus, mythological stories, philosophical essays, poetic prose, poetry, to opera and classical novels have succeeded over centuries and dynasties. Finally, contemporary literature became common in the early twentieth century.

There is no specific classical Chinese literature since each dynasty has its own common types of literature. Generally, these works were written in the conventional language of the time that is different then modern-day language. The writing is usually short because the earliest forms predate paper so it was tedious to burn stone tablets for long poems. There were often a series of four or five characters to four or five lines in a poem.

Book of Odes, first poems Zhou

In early Western Zhou to the middle of the famous Spring and Autumn the first collection of poems appeared, the Book of Odes (Shijing or Chinese). At the time, court poets produced such a quantity of work for the Emperor that they went to collect many poems among the people. Finally classified by court officials, they created the first collection containing 305 poems spanning 500 years of history.
Initially, the book was titled, Poems and Three hundred poems taking the name of the Book of Odes under the Han dynasty, which was well after Confucius took them to teach from.
This work was the origin of Chinese poetry. No subject or style is preferred.

Poetry singing Han

At the beginning, officials in the Han dynasty were responsible for collecting ballads and poems in rhymed prose that circulated around the court and among the commoners. Often inspired by stories of Chu, they used a very rich vocabulary.
Later, officials put the poems collected into music giving birth to a new literary style: poems to songs, called Yuefu in Chinese. These officials were responsible for finding hymns for the sacrifices and court music but also to consider the opinion of the people of their popular songs.
These are the most famous and often the simplest styles that were taken and subject to the passion of everyday ballads. Romance had its place in the middle of working conditions and suffering during the periods of war. These poems were set to music that was common in society at the time.
Historical memoirs were also popular during this period. This is the first project containing the history of previous dynasties as a whole. Addressing not only the timeline, each dynasty presented its musical styles, its rites, its ruling families and even characters marked each period. This book later served as a model for subsequent dynasties that did the same.
Famous Authors included, Jia Yi, Sima Qian, Dong Zhongshu, and Sima Xiangru, among others.
Examples of stories are as follows: In the south of the Yangtze, true to their oath, mulberry on bunds Lovers, the Peacock Flies to the Southeast, Historical Memoirs.

Tang poetry

The Tang Dynasty was distinguished by its golden, classical Chinese literature and poetry, which reached its peak during that time. There are thousands of masterpieces that are written over a period of 300 years. 48,900 of these poems were collected in the full Collection of Tang poets in 1705 but all works and poets are not represented in this book.
In the first century of the Tang Dynasty, poetry was still in its infancy. Seeking freedom, artists gave free rein to their desires in their works of art. The freedom in their writing was kept as poems in quatrains, in huitains and many other forms.
It was under Empress Wu and Emperor Xuanzong, patron of literature and the arts, poetry was the best enhancement. While poetry reached its pinnacle in China then, this period was also the same period as the Middle Ages in Europe. Tracing the secrets of the most developed culture of the time, we discover these works and living in this dynasty. These poems show that the man is in harmony with nature and the organization of society and the universe. Artists were both men of sound mind and heart.
Two great poets in the history of classical poetry are considered the greatest poets of China, which are Li Bai and Du Fu. However, each of them had a different style. Many famous poems were translated so that they could be distributed worldwide.
Li Bai, dubbed the "immortal poet" goes beyond the requirements of the court in his works. He puts his heart into his work and expresses his own experiences feelings ambitions disappointed, taste for adventure and travel, love nature, and Taoist beliefs. They’re all simply accessible to everyone  that speaks any language.
Du Fu, which is dubbed "the sage of poetry,” is a Confucian that mixes political events, people's livelihood and personal feelings in his poems. Having lived during war under difficult conditions, he took these issues as common for the people in his works. He tells the poetry of suffering of the people, the horrors of war and separation of families, the fall of the empire and conditions afflicting people's lives everyday. It also discusses a topic that few poets do including, old age and inevitable passage of time.
Famous Authors include, Li Bai, Du Fu, Wang Zhihuan, Wang Wei, Bai Juyi, Li Shangyin, Du Mu, among others.
Some examples are as follows: Night Thought, Spring Walk, Walk tanks, Three humble servants, three starts, Quatrain verse seven feet, beneficent rain in a spring night, the top of the flag storks, Invitation to drink Painful paths the land of Shu, and Contemplation of Mount Lushan waterfall.

Poems to Song dynasty

A few dynasties after the Tang dynasty, the Song took up the torch on Chinese literature reaching its second golden age. A big difference is noted between the poetic styles from these two dynasties. Tang artists have a tendency of mixing objectivity and subjectivity, realism and emotion, while those in Song mainly focused on the realism of the scene described. They were very objective and analyzed more than they imagined.
The poetic styles of the time were influenced by the latter, although one could have perceived it as uneven. Thus, it was not considered important that each line could have different characters. The poems were based on an existing melody, which gave a certain order and earned the name of poetry singing. Rich and varied themes, some poems were included in the Three hundred Song is a classic Chinese families.
The Song but not excluded to other literary styles, and stories were very popular. Artists specialized in a specific genre, such as stories of ancient dynasties and Buddhism.
Among the artists of the time, a woman mingles with the male crowd, Li Qingzhao and softens poems by its delicacy. Su Dongpo, a prominent figure in the Southern Song wrote more than 2,500 poems for 350 regular verse poems.
Famous Authors include, Su Dongpo, Huang Tingjian, Li Qingzhao, Qiji Xi, and Lu You.
Some examples are as follows: Fu Red Cliff, Lent on every word, A Dream, The West Lake, The Feast of Mid-Autumn.

Theatrical opera in Yuan

The next dynasty added an extra touch to the musical poetry of Song zaju to create a type of theatrical opera drama. The Mongol dynasty, officials left aside the value written to oral forms such as stories, songs and theater arts.
Theater and texts combined oral and classical language, and music and dance to seduce the public. Although originally intended to entertain, will gradually move to the drama and the great lovers epics. There are more than 700 dramas that one identifies with 200 playwrights.
Actors combine songs with lyrics while interpreting their role with emotion. Whether to denounce social injustice or feudal rites, the parts have always had sensitive issues for people. Famous Authors include, Guan Hanqing, Wang Shifu, Ma Zhiyuan, Bai Pu, Zheng Guangzu, and Ji Junxiang.
Some examples are as follows: Dou E victim of injustice, West Pavilion, The Orphan of Zhao Family (adapted in the West under the name Orphan of China), and Autumn in the Han Palace.

Novels of the Ming and Qing

Historical narratives and stories had their first form in the Song dynasty but will remain in the shadows. They will be up to date in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Initially, there will be fairly short anecdotes but these tales are quickly appreciated by the public.
Thus, the style that defines the last two dynasties of the Middle Kingdom is the saga. Much longer in its infancy, it is more than a million characters that composed it and is divided into dozens of chapters. Generally, it is similar to a historical novel, fantasy or cloak and sword. Written as a mixture of classical and vernacular language, authors use the narrative prose or poetry to write their works.
The styles are different from classical literature, where artists were not recognized as well as poets and intellectuals of the time. Among great works of the time, we noted the four great books, which were considered works of fiction that were most influential at the time and in pre-modern China. These masterpieces were relevant as they were adapted to a television series and film in China as well as abroad. These four works are as follows: at the water's edge Nai'an Shi, The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, Journey to the West by Wu Ch'eng and Dream of Red Mansions Cao Xueqin (this last book is considered by Mao as a pride of China and is ranked the representative works of UNESCO). A fifth work is devoted to Jin Ping Mei but the novel was banned for many years for its erotic stories and later became available in 2006.
Famous authors include, Cao Xueqin, Luo Guanzhong, Wu Chengen, and Shi Nai'an.
Some examples are as follows: Dream of Red Mansions, The Three Kingdoms, the edge of the water, Journey to the West, and Fantasy Tales of recreational pavilion..

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