三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms

三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Postby laoshi » Tue May 06, 2014 8:06 am

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Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong, is a historical novel set amidst the turbulent years near the end of the Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history, starting in 169 AD and ending with the reunification of the land in 280 AD.

The story (part historical, part legend, and part myth) romanticises and dramatises the lives of feudal lords and their retainers, who tried to replace the dwindling Han dynasty or restore it. While the novel follows hundreds of characters, the focus is mainly on the three power blocs that emerged from the remnants of the Han dynasty, and would eventually form the three states of Cao Wei, Shu Han, and Eastern Wu. The novel deals with the plots, personal and army battles, intrigues, and struggles of these states to achieve dominance for almost 100 years.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is acclaimed as one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature; it has a total of 800,000 words and nearly a thousand dramatic characters (mostly historical) in 120 chapters. The novel is among the most beloved works of literature in East Asia, and its literary influence in the region has been compared to that of the works of Shakespeare on English literature. It is arguably the most widely read historical novel in late imperial and modern China.
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Re: 三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Postby laoshi » Tue May 06, 2014 8:07 am

English translations

Romance of the Three Kingdoms has been translated into English by numerous scholars. The first known translation was performed in 1907 by John G. Steele and consisted of a single chapter excerpt that was distributed in China to students learning English at Presbyterian missionary schools. Z.Q. Parker published a 1925 translation containing four episodes from the novel including the events of the Battle of Red Cliffs, while Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang published excerpts in 1981, including chapters 43–50. A complete and faithful translation of the novel was published in two volumes in 1925 by Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor, a long time official of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. The translation was well-written, but lacked any supplementary materials such as maps or character lists that would aid Western readers; a 1959 reprint was published that included maps and an introduction by Roy Andrew Miller to assist foreign readers. In 1976, Moss Roberts published an abridged translation containing one fourth of the novel including maps and more than 40 woodblock illustrations from three Chinese versions of the novel. Roberts' abridgement is reader-friendly, being written for use in colleges and to be read by the general public. After decades of work, Roberts published a full translation in 1991 complete with an afterword, eleven maps, a list of characters, titles, terms, and offices, and almost 100 pages of notes from Mao Zonggang's commentaries and other scholarly sources. Roberts' complete translation remains faithful to the original; it is reliable yet still matches the tone and style of the classic text. Yang Ye, a professor in Chinese Literature at the UC Riverside, wrote in Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English (1998) that Roberts' translation "supersedes Brewitt-Taylor's translation and will no doubt remain the definitive English version for many years to come." Roberts' translation was republished in 1995 by the Foreign Languages Press without the illustrations.
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Re: 三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Postby SunflowerJessica » Wed May 14, 2014 7:28 am

How do they translate the book name into Romance of the three Kingdoms?
It is not romantic at all :o
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Re: 三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Postby jjjd » Fri May 16, 2014 2:21 pm

From a historic view, it is a romance...

SunflowerJessica wrote:How do they translate the book name into Romance of the three Kingdoms?
It is not romantic at all :o
爱是一颗幸福的子弹
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Re: 三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Postby SunflowerJessica » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:52 am

I bet we have totally different understandings on Romance :lol:
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