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The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama - A Window into Chinese Culture

Jese Leos
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Published in The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama: Abridged Edition (Weatherhead On Asia)
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In recent years, the interest in Chinese culture has grown exponentially around the world. From Chinese cuisine to martial arts, people are curious to explore the rich heritage this ancient civilization has to offer. However, one aspect that often goes unnoticed is Chinese drama, a vibrant art form that has thrived for centuries.

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of Chinese drama, "The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama" is an invaluable resource. This comprehensive anthology, edited by Xiaomei Chen, brings together a curated selection of plays that showcase the evolution of Chinese drama from the early twentieth century to the present.

The Cultural Significance of Chinese Drama

Chinese drama, or "Huaju" as it is known in Mandarin, encompasses a wide range of theatrical forms, including spoken drama, musical theater, and puppetry. It serves as a powerful tool to express social and political commentary, explore historical events, and convey emotions deeply embedded in Chinese society.

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Drama: abridged edition (Weatherhead on Asia)
The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Drama: abridged edition (Weatherhead Books on Asia)
by Luisa Josefina Hern谩ndez(Kindle Edition)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 2737 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 656 pages
Hardcover : 140 pages
Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches

Through the plays featured in "The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama," readers can gain insights into key moments in Chinese history and the impact they had on the nation's cultural identity. From the May Fourth Movement to the Cultural Revolution, these plays offer a window into the tumultuous periods that shaped modern China.

The Evolution of Chinese Drama

Chinese drama has undergone various transformations over the years. From traditional forms heavily influenced by Peking opera to experimental works infused with Western theatrical techniques, the anthology offers a diverse collection that highlights the versatility of Chinese drama.

One notable play included in the anthology is "The Wilderness," written by Cao Yu in 1934. Considered a milestone in Chinese drama, this play explores the disillusionment and despair of individuals caught in a changing society. Its powerful portrayal of human suffering resonated with audiences and signaled a new era in Chinese theater.

Another significant play is "Teahouse" by Lao She, written in 1957. Set in a Beijing teahouse spanning several decades, this play masterfully encapsulates the social and political transformations China underwent during the first half of the twentieth century. It provides a rich tapestry of Chinese society and the individuals who witnessed its evolution.

The Power of Chinese Drama

Chinese drama is not only a vehicle to explore historical narratives but also a means to reflect on contemporary society. Plays like "The Bus Stop" by Gao Xingjian, a Nobel laureate in literature, challenge conventional storytelling techniques and delve into philosophical questions that resonate with audiences worldwide.

By capturing the essence of Chinese culture and its ongoing transformation, "The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama" fosters a greater understanding of the complex society that China is today. It provides a platform for Chinese voices to be heard on a global stage and serves as a bridge between nations.

The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama is more than just a compilation of plays. It is a portal into the depth and diversity of Chinese theater, offering a unique perspective on the historical and cultural forces that have shaped China's identity. Whether you are a theater enthusiast, a student of Chinese culture, or simply curious about exploring different art forms, this anthology is a must-read.

Through the meticulously selected plays and the informative annotations provided by Xiaomei Chen, readers can embark on a journey through time, experiencing the trials and tribulations of a nation on the stage. So, open the pages of "The Columbia Anthology Of Modern Chinese Drama" and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Chinese theater.

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Drama: abridged edition (Weatherhead on Asia)
The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Drama: abridged edition (Weatherhead Books on Asia)
by Luisa Josefina Hern谩ndez(Kindle Edition)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 2737 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 656 pages
Hardcover : 140 pages
Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches

This condensed anthology reproduces close to a dozen plays from Xiaomei Chen's well-received original collection, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Drama, along with her critical to the historical, cultural, and aesthetic evolution of twentieth-century Chinese spoken drama. Comprising representative works from the Republican era to postsocialist China, the book encapsulates the revolutionary rethinking of Chinese theater and performance that began in the late Qing dynasty and vividly portrays the uncertainty and anxiety brought on by modernism, socialism, political conflict, and war.

Chosen works from 1919 to 1990 also highlight the formation of national and gender identities during a period of tremendous social, cultural, and political change in China and the genesis of contemporary attitudes toward the West. PRC theater tracks the rise of communism, juxtaposing ideals of Chinese socialism against the sacrifices made for a new society. Post-Mao drama addresses the nation's socialist legacy, its attempt to reexamine its cultural roots, and postsocialist reflections on critical issues such as nation, class, gender, and collective memories. An essential, portable guide for easy reference and classroom use, this abridgment provides a concise yet well-rounded survey of China's theatricality and representation of political life. The original work not only established a canon of modern Chinese drama in the West but also made it available for the first time in English in a single volume.

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