With its fresh translations by newer voices in the field, its broad scope, and its flowing style, this anthology places the immense riches of Chinese literature within easy reach. Ranging from the beginnings to 1919, this abridged version of The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature, retains all the characteristics of the original. In putting together these selections Victor H. Mair interprets literature” very broadly to include not just literary fiction, poetry, and drama, but folk and popular literature, lyrics and arias, elegies and rhapsodies, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs, letters, criticism and theory, and travelogues and jokes.
Victor H. Mair is professor of Chinese languages and literature in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Among his many publications are Tun-huang Popular Narratives; Painting and Performance: Chinese Picture Recitation and Its Indian Genesis; T'ang Transformation Texts: A Study of the Buddhist Contribution to the Rise of Vernacular Fiction and Drama in China; Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way; and (with J. P. Mallory) The Tarim Mummies.