(Library of Chinese Classics)Ancient Chinese Fables

中国古代寓言选

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Author: Yang Xiangyi and Gladys Yang
Language: Chinese and English bilingual
ISBN/ISSN: 9787119044743
2008; Hardcover;240*160mm;295 pages

A fable is a type of literature which uses parables to drive home the truth. It often uses exaggerated and imaginary means, simply yet lively language, and distinct and vivid images to embody the philosophy of life in interesting stories. It explains one point with another point, the profound with the elementary, the remote with the near, the large with the small, the present with the past, and the human being with inorganic matter, to enable people to gain enlightenment and learn lessons.
The creation of fables in China flourished during the pre-Qin period (770-221 BC). Many fabulists at that time were leading thinkers of the world. The fables in Zhuang Zi and Lie Zi are characterized by soaring imagination, bold exaggeration, rich language and broad vision; these promoted the Taoist ideas of revering the Way, valuing Emptiness (formless, not bound by any concrete laws), the equality of all things, and detachment from worldly concerns. The fables in Han Fei Zi are characterized by laconic and accurate language and put forth Legalist propositions of suiting political reforms to the time and situation and carrying out rigorous punishments and criminal law. Those in Zhan Guo Ce (Warring States Anecdotes) display a grandiose style of writing, and bring forward flexible strategies for heading off dangers in handling important diplomatic, military and domestic political issues.
One hundred and twenty-one of the best ancient Chinese fables-mostly from the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. as well as the 16th and 17th centuries- are contained in this volume. Written in the simple language of the people, these fables embodying the experience and wisdom of the Chinese have found their way into the hearts of many over hundreds of years.

 


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