Chinese Poetry in the Far West
Although Tang poetry is recognized as one of the great achievements of world literature, its beauty is often lost in translation since so much of that beauty is integrally related to the structure of classical Chinese. In this course—intended for students with no knowledge of Chinese—we will thus spend a significant portion of our time learning from scratch how to read Tang poetry in the original by studying the most common characters and the most fundamental grammatical structures found in the Tang “sonnet.” Our energy will equally be devoted to examining such topics as: differences between Chinese and European poetics; differing theories of translation and intercultural adaptation; Orientalist fantasies of the ideogram; and the impact of ancient Chinese poetry on modern European and American poetry, especially the Imagism movement. Students will both study and write multiple translations in various styles. Readings will include both poetry and critical theory. Students who already know Chinese are not allowed to enroll. 3 hrs. lect/disc.