Book review


This book presents well over 100 distinct, diverse and extremely intriguing myths and legends from medieval China: each one cleverly translated and explained with copious footnotes and presented in an easy reading style.

Although ancient China was a land of 'this-worldly' humanistic rationality, it was also one of rich, colourful and soaring imagination, as is seen in its mythology. What survives of the early mythology is no doubt only a small part of what once existed, but amply suffices to provide us with a varied and connected, vivid and whimsical, view of the world’s creation and the supernatural beings and forces that were said to affect it. Many of these myths have been inspirational in, or even generated, works in the various aspects of Chinese culture, such as literature, drama, song, and visual arts. This book translates the main, and many of the minor, myths of ancient China, many of them for the first time into any non-oriental language.

This sample will undoubtedly serve as a readily accessible introduction to the wider Chinese lore of the supernatural, to be read aloud or indeed enjoyed silently.

Some of the tales listed in this volume are:

P’AN-KU OPENS OUT HEAVEN AND UNFOLDS EARTH
P’AN-KU IS TRANSFORMED AND GIVES BIRTH TO ALL THINGS from Ma Su (Ch’ing dynasty)
CANDLE DRAGON from Shan-hai ching (1st millennium BC)
GIANT SPIRIT HU from notes by Li Shan (AD ?-AD 689)
MIGHTY SPIRIT CLEAVES THE MOUNTAIN by Kan Pao (fl. ca. AD 317)
NÜ-WA MAKES HUMANS Ying Shao (fl. ca. AD 178)
NÜ-WA PATCHES UP THE SKY by Liu An (? BC-122 BC)
THE MARRIAGE OF NU-WA AND HER ELDER BROTHER by Li Jung (T’ang, Sung)
THE K’UN FISH CHANGING INTO THE P’ENG BIRD by Chuang Chou (368 BC-286 BC)
THE FIVE MOUNTAIN PARADISES, THE HUGE SEA-TURTLES AND THE GIANT ANGLER by Anon. (third century AD), from Lieh-tzu FIRE-MAKER MAN

With many more ..

Chinese Myth And Culture by Anne Margaret Birrell

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Author
Anne Margaret Birrell
Publisher
Date of release
Pages
0
ISBN
9780954755911
Binding
Illustrations
Format for Download
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
3
46

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