Chinese literature - literature in Chinese .
In contrast to the West European literature of the New Time , literary texts in China occupied a secondary place with respect to literature of a historiographic and ethical-philosophical orientation, as a direct consequence of the rule of Confucian ideology.
The absence of the most ancient layer of epic oral creativity and the fragmentation of mythological representations are striking. It is believed that Confucian ideology also participated in their eradication; traces of their existence are found in the folklore of Chinese national minorities.
A distinctive feature of the hierarchy of Chinese literary genres is the low position of the drama and its relatively late emergence. Underdeveloped in relation to the European tradition were the memoir and epistolary genres, but their place was taken by the so-called. Biji's "notes" genre, close to an essay .
Ancient Written Monuments
- Jiaguen - fortunetelling inscriptions on the bones and shells of turtles ( Shang Dynasty )
- Epigraphic inscriptions on ritual bronze vessels ( Zhou Dynasty )
In addition to epigraphic sources , classical literature mentions a number of monuments, the origin of which is almost unknown: see San Fen, Wu Dian三 墳 五 典.
The eighth year from the founding of the Qin Dynasty is an important milestone in the history of ancient Chinese literature: this is the date of the famous decree of Qin Shihuandi banning the circulation of books on the territory of the state .
Among the literary monuments known at that time are:
- Yi Jing ( Book of Changes )
Western Zhou period
- Shijin ( Book of Songs )
- Yuejing ( Book of Music ) - partially preserved in Liji , Xunzi , etc.
- Zhou Li ( Zhou Book of Rituals)
the period of Oyster and Autumn and the Battle of the Kings
- Daodejing ( Lao Tzu )
- Lun Yu (“ Conversations and Judgments ” by Confucius)
- Chuang tzu
- Hanfei Tzu, see Han Fei
After the fall of the Qin dynasty, Confucianism begins to acquire the status of state ideology, a Confucian canon is formed. The turning point is considered to be 26 BC, when Emperor Cheng (West Han) ordered the collection of all written monuments of the state. The ordering and cataloging work was done by Liu Xiang, Liu Xin and Yang Xiong.
The currently accepted names of the works of this period, as well as their individual chapters, are most likely the product of editorial activity, and not copyright. For the authors of the pre-imperial period, the literary reality was only the division of the most widely cited sources into shi (odes, poems, songs) and shu (books, documents).
Early Middle Ages
According to Liu Xie (5-6 centuries), "the only (?) Function of literature is to be an offshoot of the canon" (唯 文章 之 用, 實 經典 枝條 - 文心雕龍) ...
- Shi ji
- Jizhi tongjian
- Bamboo Annals (Zhu Shu Ji Nian)
- Go yu
- Zuo Zhuan
Other historical and geographical genres
- Tsunshu 叢書 / 丛书 - collections of preparatory materials for writing stories (included copies of unorganized texts for their preservation during periods of political instability)
- Difan Zhi 地 方志
- Sy shu (four-knee)
- Wu Ching (Confucian Five Books)
The formation of canons refers to ep. Han. Studying earlier texts required interpretation and editing. Researchers drew attention to the stylistic heterogeneity of the surviving documents and identified the most noticeable categories in them:
- Jing - canons
- Zhuan - Comments or "Traditions"
- "internal and external chapters" inside anthologies of the pre-imperial period
- Chenwei zh: 讖 緯 - textual commentary focused on explaining omens using classics.
- Yongle Encyclopedia
- Syuk Quanshu
The tradition of versification in China goes back to Shijin , a collection of folk and liturgical poetry. Poetic creativity was closely connected with the musical tradition (see yuefu ).
One of the first collections of poetry following Shijin in importance was Wenxuan 文選 . The creation of a poetic text was an indispensable element in classical education, dogmatized thanks to the examination system in the late imperial era. Often poets were major statesmen such as Cao Cao and Wang Anshi .
Notes on the Unusual 志怪 is a specific medieval genre that has spread widely since the Han Dynasty. For the period preceding the founding of the Tang (618), 64 full or fragmentary texts containing more than 4,000 relevant plots were preserved. [one]
Traditionally considered unacceptably low in a Confucian environment, theatrical performance was widespread in China as entertainment. China gave the world, through the mediation of the Mongolian troops, a shadow theater (to this day rarely seen as an important piece of literature, despite the prevalence), and in China itself under the Mongol dynasty , jiuju, or "mixed performances", also called yuan drama , flourished. With the decline of the Confucian system during this period, the drama became its main literary heritage, and since then the drama has firmly become part of the Chinese literary heritage.
A number of “southern” plays, the medieval dramatic heritage of the southern regions of China, also entered the Chinese literary canon.
Modern theater schools, the Beijing Opera, Shanghai Opera, etc., are the direct heirs of the Yuan drama, which also had a significant impact on world cinema: in martial arts films, these arts were demonstrated primarily by actors brought up in schools of the so-called. "Opera".
G. Krill (Herrlee G. Creel, 1905-1994) called the book "Jin Teng" from "Shanshu" the alleged example of the "first Chinese story". 
Dean Tang, Ming: urban genre of the small category ( xiaosho )
- Three kingdoms
- River backwaters
- Journey to the West
- Dream in the red tower
- Plum blossoms in a golden vase (" Jin, Ping, Mei ")
- The unofficial story of Confucians - the formation of realistic satire
zh: 辑佚 , a predominantly late-imperial genre that is a compilation of quotes from lost works of antiquity.
Hanshu (111 AD), Yi Wen Zhi藝文志, China's earliest extant bibliography. It is based on the treatise “Qi lue” zh: 七 略 (also written in din. Han), which is now lost. And wen chi contains 6 types of books (Confucian classics 六藝, philosophers 諸子, poetry 詩賦, military treatises 兵書, calculations 數 術, occultism 方 技), which are divided into 38 categories and refer to the titles of 13,269 works of 596 authors, many of which known only through this mention. The value of Wen Zhi is all the more great since the dynastic stories immediately following Hanshu do not contain such materials, and bibliographic catalogs from Weishu (6th century) and Jinshu (7th century) have not been preserved.
The Book of Sui (636), in the treatise "Jing Ji Chi" 經 籍 志 (4 parts) introduces a new classification system, which is limited to only 4 types: classics 經, stories 史, philosophers 子, and collections 集 [Buddhist and Taoist ].
The modern bibliography can best be illustrated by the one published at the end of the 19th century. Review of Sy-ku-quan-shu-zong-mu (catalog of all books, in four sections, of the imperial library). In this review, following the example of the previous ones, all Chinese literature is divided into four main departments: classical literature (jing), history (shi), philosophy (zi), and elegant literature (ji).
In addition to 13 generally accepted classical books , some lexicon dictionaries ( hieroglyphic dictionaries ) are added to the first section (jing), that is, to classical or basic books (jing is the “basis” of the fabric).
The second section of Chinese literature - historical works (shi) and works on "historical criticism" (shi ping), apart from historical works, also includes works on legislation, geography, and even library catalogs and literature reviews. As examples of the most ancient historical writings, one can cite 24 books of Dynasty stories leading their development from the " Historical Notes " (史記, Shi Ji), which was compiled by Sima Qian (司馬遷) around 91 BC. The prototype of the "stories" was compiled by Confucius chronicle of Lu's lot, called Chunqiu (4th of 13 classic books ), did not reach us in its original form, but only in the form of three comments. The so-called “Three Encyclopedias” (Santun) also belong to the genre of chronicles: Tundian - “encyclopedia of statutes or government”, compiled by Tang scholar Du Yu , Tongzhi - “encyclopedia of reviews or historical”, compiled by Sung Zheng Qiao in the Song era (1161 ), and “ Wenxian-tungkao ” - “documentary or literary encyclopedia” compiled, under the Yuan Dynasty, by Ma Duanlin .
Works on Philosophy
The third section of Chinese literature - works on philosophy - includes works on philosophy, religions, sciences, arts, etc.
The works of this department are divided into 14 categories: 1) works on Confucianism (儒學, 儒学, ju-jia), 2) on military art, 3) on laws, 4) on agriculture, 5) on medicine, 6) on astronomy and mathematics , 7) regarding fortune telling and magic, 8) on arts, 9) practical manuals, 10) mixed works, 11) collections, 12) empirical works, 13) on Taoism (道教, Tao Jia, Tao Jiao) 14) on Buddhism (佛教).
As examples of the literature in this section, one can cite the works of philosophers of an indefinite nature, which cannot be attributed to any school. These are Mo-Tzu or Mo Di (V-IV century BC), Yang Tzu or Yang Zhu (IV century), Xun Tzu or Xun Kuan (III century), Shen Tzu or Shen Dao and etc.
The fourth section of Chinese literature is graceful literature. This includes works written by a special elegant syllable. Moreover, in addition to poetry and fiction, in this section there are preferences to books, decrees, reports, essays written on doctoral exams, composed on Buddhism and even on Islam. This is explained by the fact that written Chinese is immeasurably richer than spoken, and only in written language can corresponding grace be achieved.
This kind of literature originates from the " classical " Shi Jing (诗经). This section, of course, includes the works of Qu Yuan (первого), the first poet whose existence is enshrined in the written tradition. The first significant textbook in which samples of works of this kind are collected is considered to be Wenxuan (文選).
Chinese historiography has developed a special term for events that caused major losses in the literary tradition: shu e . Nu Hong （545-610), historian of the Sui Dynasty, classified the first five disasters of this kind:
- Burning books by decree of Qin Shihuang in 213 BC e.
- The uprising of the "red-browed" 17 BC e.
- Destruction of Luoyang Dong Zhuo 190
- The invasion of Liu Yuan and Shi Le ( zh: 刘 石 乱 华 ) to the north of China, the displacement of the capital dean. Jin .
- The burning of the Yuan-di library (din. Liang)梁元帝
In addition to them, historians also point to the catastrophic destruction of books during the seizure of the capital of Qin ( Xianyang ) Xiang Yuem in 206, when the fire in the imperial library, according to the descriptions, did not stop for several months.
See also zh: 中國 藏書 史
See the main article on the topic.
- Campany, Robert Ford. Strange Writing: Anomaly Accounts in Early Medieval China. SUNY, New York, 1996: ix, 99.
- Creel, The Origins of statecraft in China , 458.