The immortal classical Chinese poetry season 1
What you'll learn
- The students will learn a wide range of Chinese vocabularies, for example, vocabularies describing Nature, emotion, major human conditions and express theselves in these terms.
- Preferably they had taken or is willing to take my College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own beginning level to be acquainted with Chinese pinyin and writing system and some basic Chinese vocabularies. But this course has very detailed introduction of vocabulary from the most basic level to the advanced.
This course will allow you to learn a wide range of Chinese language (such as language describing Nature, emotion, basic topics of human existence) by learning the breath-taking, immortal beauty of the original works of the most famous classical Chinese poets, world-renowned poets such as Li Po, Tu Fu, Wang Wei, etc. More than any other countries, classical Chinese poetry is given the most prominent and exalted status, which not only shapes Chinese language, literature, arts, philosophy and religion, but also Chinese history and politics. Chinese scholar-officials are invariably good poets who had passed Civic Entrance Exams with good grades and became high officials by composing excellent poetry and to a lesser extent, great essays. Moreover, the language of classical Chinese poetry is surprisingly similar to modern Chinese language, therefore it is very adaptable to the language use in daily life. For example, look at any casually selected poetic line, such as Li Po's poem, "月下独酌”，("Drinking Alone under the Moon") "花间一壶酒/独酌无相亲/举杯邀明月/对影成三人”，("Among the flowers, a jug of wine/ drinking alone, no companion/ raise the cup, invite bright moon/ And my shadows, makes three") you will see that every phrase in the poetic lines is perfectly understandable and applicable as modern Chinese language. To the very few vocabularies that changes their usage in time, the course will explain carefully and provide the modern equivalent. One major change is that the monosyllabic vocabularies in classical Chinese becomes double-syllabic in modern Chinese, but the source and change is perfectly traceable and easy to master and gives you a clear idea of the development of Chinese language. Therefore, by learning this course, you will not only take pride in yourself being able to understand and appreciate the greatest jewel of Chinese language and art, as well as crystallized Chinese philosophy embedded in this literary genre, which is world-renowned and highly influential on world literature and arts, but also learn a great range of Chinese language quickly, impressively, and memorably through the original works of these famous poets, and these language you acquired through this course is perfectly adaptable to your modern, daily use.
This first season of this classical Chinese poetry series choose the most famous poems of three greatest classical Chinese poets--Li Po, Tu Fu, Wang Wei, called the Poet Immortal (诗仙），Poet Saint (诗圣） and Poet Buddha (诗佛）respectively, and represent the Taoist, Confucius and Buddhist strands of Chinese culture respectively. Each poem of theirs is taught in three lectures: the first lecture teaches the language of the poem. Vocabulary lists are provided and taught to recite and to use in modern situation, the literal meaning of each poetic line is explained in great detail, and each poetic line is led to recite and memorize, because the vocabulary lists include vocabularies from the most basic to the advanced, any level of Chinese students can take the course, although it is advisable to take my College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Beginning Level so that you are knowledgeable of the Chinese pinyin and writing system and basic Chinese vocabularies. The second lecture teaches in English the poetic implication, the relationship between its poetic form and meaning, composition method and philosophical influence of the poem, so that you understand and appreciate the cultural implication of the poem in greatest depth. The third lecture is a music recitation video made with my recitation (which you can read after), beautiful classical Chinese music and painting, so that you can further familiarize and memorize the language of the poem, and appreciate the immortal, living beauty of these poems.
Through learning this course you will be able to take greatest pride in yourself in being able to understand the greatest jewel of Chinese language and literature which has amazing homology with Chinese arts, philosophy and religion and shapes Chinese history for thousands of years. While you take the aesthetic flight, your Chinese skill will also improve drastically with the wide range of vocabularies and expression (in Nature, society, human emotion and basic human existence) you learned through these poems.
Who this course is for:
- Students interested in learning Chinese language and culture, preferably has some preliminary basic Chinese by having taken or be willing to take my College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Beginning Level. It would be ideal if they are willing to take the intermediate level of that sequence as well.
I am an award-winning professor of Chinese, director of "Hong Zeng's Chinese Language and Culture”. (You may google it to know more about me). I have taught Mandarin Chinese at all levels in prestigious American colleges altogether for 16 years. I have taught nine years as a tenure-track professor of Chinese at Carleton College, ranked No. 1 in undergraduate teaching in all liberal arts colleges in America, and have directed the Chinese program for two years at Hamline University (the first university in Minnesota). In both my second year coming to Carleton and Hamline, I more than doubled their Beginning Chinese Class enrollment. I have also taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I have two PhDs, one in comparative literature from UNC, Chapel Hill, the other in English literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University. I have published five books in America (including two from Macmillan) on Chinese and comparative literature, film study, language study and language philosophy that are well-endorsed by world-renowned experts and book review journals in my field. I have earned 30000 dollars large grant from Asian Network in Chinese study.