The classics of Chinese literature

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Explains why China is so concerned with territorial integrity.

Or you can just watch the Anime adaptation, Brave Battle Warriors.

I consider Flashman and the Dragon to be a classic. Ending could have been better.

I read Mo Yan’s Red Sorghum recently, a pretty interesting read for the early to mid 20th. c. That is, however, not an answer to your question.

But as for foundational works of modern literature, maybe Lu Xun?

P.S. I think “Story of the stone” is an alternate title (石頭記) seen on Qing manuscripts of Dream of the Red Chamber, so it’s not really that the book was renamed.



OK, jeez…everybody’s a critic.


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I actually read The Tao of Pooh when I was a teenager. I’m sure if I read it now I’d find it embarrassing, but I remember finding it quite profound when I was a teenager.

It isn’t strictly a “classic”, but Mo Yan is a good suggestion!

How about 儒林外史/Rulin waishi or The Scholars? Anyone read it? Is it interesting?

I found some threads.

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I was supposed to read that my sophomore year in high school (Ethnic Experience Lit).

Of course, I didn’t read anything assigned in high school, with a few exceptions.

I find Flowers in the Mirror (鏡花緣) and The Travels of Lao Can (老殘遊記) greatly enjoyable.

If you like some fantasy in your historical novel, Investiture of the Gods (封神榜) can be fun.

For romance novels from Quanzhou Fijian, Tale of the Lychee Mirror (荔鏡記) is a good one.

Too bad you missed out on that “ethnic” experience. :grin:

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Don’t miss 聊齋 & 封神榜
Tho my favorite is 西遊記 but seems like you’ve read it
There’s a manga based on 封神榜 called 封神演義
Also a good one

And the film’s not bad. :2cents:

No, it’s actually a really well-written book.

This site has some famous classics.


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How about Mao’s Little Red Book?

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On my list:
Taiwan Theory by Yoshinori Kobayashi
Sun Yat Sen by Marie-Claire Bergere
Three Principles of the People by Sun Yat-sen
Progress and Poverty by Henry George

Manual for Control of Wuhan Pneumonia Victims and their Families.

Kind of like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but darker.

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Another good one is Tsai, Ing-wen, “Unfair trade practices and safeguard actions.”

“Drinking Alone under the Moon” by Li Bai

David Bowles April 23, 2014 Chinese, Poetry, Translations

Li Bai, also known as Li Po, was arguably the greatest poet of China’s Tang dynasty, and possibly of all its history. His verse is notable for the strong voice and personality it reflects, uncommon in the 8th century. An accomplished martial artist and academic genius, Li Bai was also a great lover of wine, becoming a member of the “Six Idlers of the Bamboo Brook”, an informal group dedicated to literature and drinking. It was the custom of the time to indulge socially, so the following poem—one of his most famous pieces—explores the unusual problem of drinking alone, for which Li Bai finds an uncommon solution.

Among the blossoms waits a jug of wine.
I pour myself a drink, no loved one near.
Raising my cup, I invite the bright moon
and turn to my shadow. We are now three.
But the moon doesn’t understand drinking,
and my shadow follows my body like a slave.
For a time moon and shadow will be my companions,
a passing joy that should last through the spring.
I sing and the moon just wavers in the sky;
I dance and my shadow whips around like mad.
While lucid still, we have such fun together!
But stumbling drunk, each staggers off alone.
Bound forever, relentless we roam:
reunited at last on the distant river of stars.

—translated by David Bowles
April 20, 2014

Original Chinese



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