Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective: A Guide for Teaching

By Barbara Stoler Miller | Go to book overview

Guide to the Reader

Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective includes two tables of contents, one which groups the texts by country and a second which groups them by genre. The "Summaries of the Masterworks," found at the end of the volume, provide brief background on each of the texts discussed for the instructor seeking the appropriate text(s) for a specific course. The reader is also referred to the first section of the volume, "The Worlds of Asian Literature," where introductory essays on the imaginative universe of each of the three literary traditions can be found. These essays provide both context for reading the individual texts and points for comparison among the three traditions.

Topics for discussion follow each essay. A list of references, containing recommended translations and other background works, concludes each entry. The list of references is designed to facilitate the compilation of a syllabus, whether the work is being chosen for a core reading in a literature course or a supplementary reading in a history course.

To illustrate the complex issues involved in translation of lyric texts, transliterated poems are translated and explicated in the essays on lyric. In addition, specifically for classroom use, there are four examples of poems in Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, and Japanese, giving the original language, the transliterated version, a word-forword translation, and one or more poetic renditions in English. These can be found on pages 93, 104, 244, and 376.

Timelines of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese history are included at the end of the volume for reference.

-xvii-

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