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Paperback, General Books, 2010, ISBN13 9781443229043, ISBN10 1443229040
Excerpt: ...aims of the writers are on a sufficiently high level to keep them clear of what is popularly known as pornography or pig-writing; still, when all is said and done, there remains a balance of writing curiously in contrast with the great bulk of Chinese literature proper. As to the novel, the long story with a worked-out plot, this is not really a local product. It seems to have come along with the Mongols from Central Asia, when they conquered China in the thirteenth century, and established their short-lived dynasty. Some novels, in spite of their low moral tone, are exceedingly well written and clever, graphic in description, and dramatic in episode; but it is curious that no writer of the first rank has ever attached his name to a novel, and that the authorship of all the cleverest is a matter of entire uncertainty. The low-class novel is purposely pitched in a style that will be easily understood; but even so, there is a great deal of word- and phrase-skipping to be done by many illiterate readers, who are quite satisfied if they can extract the general sense as they go along. The book-language, as cultivated by the best writers, is to be freely understood only by those who have stocked their minds well with the extensive phraseology which has been gradually created by eminent men during the past twenty-five centuries, and with historical and biographical allusions and references of all sorts and things. A word or two, suggesting some apposite allusion, will often greatly enhance the beauty of a composition for the connoisseur, but will fall flat on the ears of those to whom the quotation is unknown. Simple objects in everyday life often receive quaint names, as handed down in literature, with which it is necessary to be familiar. For instance, a "fairy umbrella" means a mushroom; a "gentleman of the beam" is a burglar, because a burglar was once caught sitting on one of the open beams inside a Chinese roof; a "slender waist" is a wasp; the...
|Number of Pages:||88|
|Number in Series:||1|
|Author:||Giles, Herbert Allen|
|Publication Date:||August, 2012|
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H):||7.44 x 0.18 x 9.69 Inches|
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