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How to appreciate Chinese Poetry


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My professor of Chinese, Mr Archie Barnes, was a truly remarkable linguist and wordsmith, who taught for many years at Durham University in England. He has sadly passed away, but prior to his passing, he wrote, what I would consider to be, the foremost work on how to appreciate Chinese poetry.

The 350-page tome is available on the web courtesy of his family. Anyone interested in trying to get to understand this area should follow this webpage and download the book (or parts of it). You will be amazed. It is the best teaching/study material you will ever find in this area no matter what your level of Chinese is.

Enjoy: www.archiebarnes.com

Best regards - Graham

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This sounds like an interesting book. Especially interesting sounds the approach: starting with the poetry. I'm considering whether to order this book, but I'm not sure... Does it deliver on its promises? Is it also interesting enough to keep reading or does turn into a dry academic volume?.. Is is suitable for a beginner?.. Etc., etc. lots of questions that I cannon answer based on the "introduction" alone. And since this book (along with shiiping) will cost me a pretty hefty sum, considering I've ordered a lot of books on Chinese lately, I'd really hate for it to sit on a shelf and gather dust... Pity that they decided to remove the PDF files from the site. A couple of parts would be enough to make a more informed decision. Perchance, someone had downloaded them and will be willing to share?

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There is a preview available on Amazon.com, and that looks really good. But I would be interested to hear from others how they felt about this volume before buying a copy myself.

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Well, I did order it anyway. So I hope these £25 won't end up just gathering dust on my shelf ;)

Still, I'd appreciate an electronic copy too, it's always much more convenient to look up stuff on a computer.

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Got the book and started reading. It's too early to tell if it really is as good as the declared goals promise (although it does look this way:) . I'll post my impressions after reading some more.

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  • 11 years later...

I just walked past this thread and noticed there was no link to Archie Barnes' book on classical poetry. Here is one link (Amazon link because one can Look Inside for a preview)

Chinese Through Poetry: An introduction to the language and imagery of traditional verse.: Amazon.co.uk: Barnes, Archie: Books   

A very good book, and his Grammar (also linked on that page) is another gem.    

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