CHIN 223(F) Traditional Chinese Literature and Culture (Same as Comparative Literature 273)*
With a written record that covers nearly 3500 years, China's traditional literary culture is one of the richest and most varied in human history. Its influence continues to be felt not only in modern China but throughout much of the world. This course will follow the origins and development of traditional Chinese culture through an examination of the literature it produced from its earliest stages up until the end of the imperial system in 1911. We will read texts ranging from the Analects of Confucius to the poetry of the Tang dynasty (618-906), from Buddhist sutras to plays about prostitutes and singing girls. Some important themes will include: the role of the individual versus that of the community, responses to chaos, and ways of dealing with the culture's historical and literary legacy. All readings are in English translation. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: one short paper (5-7 pages), one longer paper (10-12 pages), a take-home midterm, and a final exam. Participation in class discussions is expected. No prerequisites. No maximum enrollment (expected: 15). Open to all.