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Dear Ms. Mary Ma,
I am back from China now and would like to take a moment out of my busy schedule to let you know that your company and your guide Rogin Lee are fantastic. Rogine made my tour of China, his depth of knowledge is incredible and his presentations and introductions were indepth and interesting. Rogin presented China's past and present in a new light. This China tour with Rogin surpassed what I was expecting from any China tour company. I would like to extend my thanks to yourself, Rogin Lee and Mr. Wong, the driver.
Sincerely,
Lee A. Gravesen
lee@directdoor.com
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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way! After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  China Facts  »  Ancient Chinese Literature
Ancient Chinese Literature

Fiction of the Ming and Qing Dynasties – Chinese Culture
The Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties witnessed great achievement in the creation of fiction. The representative works are Romance of Three Kingdom, Ourlaws of the Marsh, Journey to the West, A Dream of Red Mansions and the ghost fiction Strange Tales of Liaozhai.
Fiction of the Ming and Qing Dynasties – Chinese Culture
Those works enjoy a high reputation throughout the world. What’s more, they have been adapted for the screen and the stage, winning the favor of global audience.

Romance of Three Kingdom is the first complete historical novel in China. The author Luo Guanzhong lived in the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties. This novel was written on the basis of historical records and the stories about the three kingdoms that circulated among the people.

It focused on the military and political rivalry between the kingdoms of Wei, Shu and Wu, reflecting the upheavals of the time. In the novel, the author successfully created a number of impressive characters with different characteristics, such as Zhuge Liang, a superb strategist, cunning and suspicious Cao Cao, loyal and brave Guan Yu, reckless Zhang Fei, etc.

Outlaws of the Marsh is a novel about a peasant rebellion. The author Shi Nai’an also lived in the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasties. Based on popular stories about a peasant rebellion led by Song Jiang in the later years of the Song Dynasty, Shi wrote this novel.

It describes the rise and fall of the peasant rebellion in the area of Liangshan, uncovering the social reality of a rebellion of civilians forced by persecution of officials. The novel successfully depicts 108 Liangshan heroes and heroines and lauds their dauntless acts. Episodes like Wu Song Strikes a Tiger and Lu Zhishen Pulls Out a Willow Tree remain vivid till now.

Journey to the West is a renowned mythical novel. The author Wu Cheng’en of the Ming Dynasty wrote this novel in accordance with storied about Tang Seng, monk of the Tang Dynasty who traveled to India in the face of many difficulties in order to learn the Buddhist scriptures.

The author created a cast of figures like Monkey, Pig and Sandy who escorted and protected their master, the Tang Monk on the way to the West. They subdued all kinds of demons during the journey and survived 81 calamities to eventually bring back the scriptures.

A Dream of Red Mansion can be regarded as the best Chinese classic novel. The author was Cao Xueqin, one of great litterateurs of the Qing Dynasty.

Through a tragedy of romance between Jia Baoyu of a noble clan and Lin Daiyu, the novel gives an account of the history of a feudal clan from its heyday to its final collapse.

There are more than 400 characters vivdly depicted in the novel, like Wang Xifeng, Xue BaoChai and Qingwen,etc. With its fascinating scenario and superb language, A Dream of Red Mansiosns has reached the zenith of the Chinese classic novels, and holds an important position in the history of world literature.

Strange Tales of Liaozhai is an internationally known collection of short stories written in the classical Chinese. The author Pu Songling lived in the Qing Dynast. Stories in this book are vivid and strange, mostly concerned with the spirit world where ghosts, immortals of flower or immortals of fox coexist with human being.

This story collection is widely read and it can be regarded as the classic novel written in the classical Chinese.

Opera of the Yuan Dynasty – Chinese Culture
It was after long years of development that the Chinese local opera, Yuan Zaju, came into being during the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368). It is a relatively natured form of opera appropriately integrating music, singing, dancing, performing and speaking.
Opera of the Yuan Dynasty – Chinese Culture
The rise of Yuan Zaju made the Yuan Dynasty the golden age of Chinese opera. Within less than one hundred years, according to records, there were more than 200 recorded playwrights and more than 700 zaju scripts.

Yuan Zaju provided image of the social reality of that time from every aspect and expressed the people’s with of resisting the oppression and pursuit of happy life.

Guan Hapnqing was the greatest and most prolific playwright of the Yuan Dynasty. He created over 60 plays, of which 18 still exist. Most of them reflected on the misery and struggles of women at the bottom of society and highly praised their wisdom and courage.

Wang Shifu was another renowned playwright of that period. Throughout his whole lile, Wand had written altogether 14 plays, of which The West Chamber was considered as the masterpiece in the history of Chinese drama.

Besides that, other well-known playwrights include Ma Zhiyuan, Bai Pu, Zheng Guangzu and Ji Junxiang, etc.

Yuan Zaju holds a very high position in the history of Chinese literature. Many plays of Yuan Zaju are still performed on the stage nowadays, and some have been made into films and TV plays, which have exerted a broad influence. In the 18th century, The Orphan of the Zhao Family was introduced to Europe and then converted into a play entitled The Orphan of China, catching the global attention.

Song Ci Poetry – Chinese Culture
Ci poetry is one type of the ancient poetry. Ci poetry has several names, and it is also known as musical Ci poetry because it can be sung to the music.

As the length of verses in a Ci poem differs, it is also called “Long and Short Verses”. The reason why there are more than one name concerning Ci poetry lies in the close relationship between Ci poetry and music and its difference from traditional poetry in terms of characteristic of form. Ci poetry has various names of cadence which we called “tune” such as The Moon over the West River, The River All Red and Dreamlilke Song, etc.

As a new type of poetry, Ci reached its zenith in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Like Tang poetry, the Song Ci poetry holds a very important position in the history of Chinese literature.

In the course of its development, many outstanding Ci poets, such as Su Shi, Li Qingzhao, Xin Qiji and Lu You emerged.

Su Shi’s Ci poems are characteristic of passion, refreshment and mellifluence. The contents of his poems are rich in terms of subject: some expressed his patriotism, some described scenes of country, some depicted grievance when lovers had to part.

Li Qingzhao is an outstanding Ci poetess. Her work are exquisite, refined and full of true feelings. She expressed her understanding and pursuit of true love, described the impact of the changing seasons on human’s sentiment, and reflected the misery of the people suffering from the decline of their country and the disasters befalling families.

Till today, Song Ci poems are still favored by the masses. The book Three Hundred Song Ci Poems can be regarded as a must for many families, and a great number of renowned Ci poems have been set to new tunes for extensive singing.

Tang Poetry – Chinese Culture
The Tang Poetry witnessed a peak in Chinese culture. Especially for ancient poetry, it had its flowering in the Tang Dynasty. In more than 300 years of history of the Tang Dynasty, some 48,900 poems were handed down and remain widely known today.
Tang Poetry – Chinese Culture
So many works also made more than 2,300 poets famous in history.

As far as the writing technique is concerned, the Tang poetry combined realism and romanticism. In form, poetry of the Tang Dynasty contained four-line and eight-line verse with fove or seven characters in each line. Moreover, “modern style” poetry, which is regular and polished, also appeared in the Tang Dynasty,

The best-known poets of the Tang Dynasty were Li Bai and Du Fu, who are very prestigious in the whole world. Therefore, people of later generations have praise both of them as “Li Du” collaboratively.

Being widely praised as the “Immortal of Poems”, Li Bai was a poet who abounded with passion and talent. With lofty sentiments and a powerful imagination, he created many poems in praise of magnificent mountains and mighty rivers of the mother-land.

Over 900 poems of Li Bai have been preserved, of which the most famous are invitation to Wine, The Sichuan Road, and Watching the Waterfall at Lushan, intonated by people for generations.

Du Fu is revered as “Sage of the Poems” by the posterity. When he was young, Du Fu visited many scenic spots and places of historical interest. But his later life was full of frustrations, which enabled him to gradually have a clear idea of the people’s sufferings.

In his poems, Du Fu boldly exposed the corruption of the feudal society and profoundly portrayed people’s miserable lives. More than 1,400 of his poems have been preserved till today, and the best-known ones are Spring Outlook, Ballad of the Army Carts, The Conscripting Officer at Tongguan, The Conscripting Officer at Xin’an, Farewell to My Husband, Farewell to My Old Wife and Farewell of a Lonely Soul.

The noted poets in the Tang Dynasty also include Wang Wei, Bai Juyi, Li He, Li Shangyin and Du Mu, etc.

Folk Songs of the Northern and Southern Dynasties – Chinese Culture
The period of more than one hundred years from the decline of the Eastern Jin (317-420) to the foundation of the Sui Dynasty (581-618) was in the confrontation between tow powers, one in the north nad the other in the south. This period is known in Chinese history as the Northern and Southern Dynasties. (420-589).

Folk songs o the Northern and Southern Dynasties were created orally by people in the wake of Yuefu songs.

Folk songs of the Southern Dynasties are mostly love songs which reflect the sincere and pure love life of people. Most of them were sung by women with refreshing and touching appeal. Ole to Xuzhou can be regarded as the representative work of them.

Most of folk songs of the Southern Dynasties belong to the 4-line poems with 5 characters in each mine, whose language is refreshing and natural, which possibly has a direct relation with the beautiful environment and rich condition of the south. Moreover, pun was often used in folk songs. Currently, there remain about 500 such songs.

Folk songs of the Northern Dynasties were mostly created by ethnic groups and reflected the society and their lives from every profile. As the Northern Dynasties were often at wars, the content of most folk songs had connection with wars.

Folk songs of the Northern and Southern Dynasties had great influences on poets of the Tang Dynasty.(618-907).

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