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History of Chinese Literature

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Asian literature is wide and cannot be studied easily as a single body. It dates back to thousands of years and has greatly enriched the world. In this essay I will analyze the literature from different sections of Asia and attempt to find a common thread among them. Asian literature can be grouped as East Asian literature which includes the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese literature.

Chinese literature dates back to thousands of years from the earliest dynasties to the modern fictional novels that were introduced during the Ming dynasty to entertain the Chinese people.

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(Wikipedia.org)The introduction of woodblock printing during the Tang dynasty and the invention of the printing machine rapidly spread written knowledge throughout China.

Lu Xun is considered the founder of modern baihua literature in China. Classical literature in China is rich dating back to the Eastern Zhou dynasty. One of the most important classics in Chinese literature is the book of changes, a manual of divination based on the eight trigrams attributed to the mythical emperor Fu Xi.

Japanese literature dates back to thousands of years and most of its work was influenced by the Chinese.Afetr world war II and the defeat of Japan many authors wrote stories of despair and desolation.

Arabic literature is the writing produced by writers in Arabic language. They may not necessarily be Arabs. It was the Quran produced in the 7th century that had the greatest impact on Arabic literature.(Wikipedia.org) The research into the life and times of Muhammad and the related prophets enhanced the spread of literature. Persian literature is also very closely related to Arabic literature and it was mainly confined to the present day Afghanistan and central Asia. Indian literature refers to the works produced on the Indian subcontinent. The earliest works of Indian literature were orally transmitted.

In conclusion, Asian literature has a rich history that dates back to thousands of years. The Chinese literature is probably the oldest and richest. However in recent times the literature has been influenced by western culture and it is getting increasingly harder to find authentic Asian literature today.

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