Poetry is the most concise and precise expression of a culture. A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture is therefore your smartest start to learn everything deep down inside of the world's most populated country with the longest continuous history on earth.
Each chapter of the book features four or five classical Chinese poems along with elegant English translations to portray a particular theme of Chinese culture. With 12 chapters named after the months of the year, this book takes the reader through an imaginary calendar year to experience one Chinese festival after another. It will familiarize the reader with all the Chinese holidays and seasonal customs through the year while presenting breathtaking photos as illustrations. It's definitely a delightful and insightful read!
Crystal Tai ( 盧琪韶）was born in Taipei and moved to San Francisco with her family as a teenager. She earned a Master's degree in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies with coursework in Journalism from Stanford University in 2007. Since then, she has worked as a full-time news reporter for the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers and the Los Altos Town Crier. She has also been a regular contributor to Patch.com and the Palo Alto Weekly. Currently, she works as a communications specialist in the high tech sector, a bilingual talk show host for Chinese TV North America, and a freelance translator. She has translated former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee's and former Taipei Mayor San-Lien Wu's biographies as well as her own maternal grandfather Yu-Ting Chi's memoirs from Chinese into English. Among these translations, the family memoir book, Nine Memorable Decades, serves as research material in the archives of the Hoover Institution.
It's rare indeed to find a book that positions and explains Chinese culture to Westerners as well as "A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture" does. I particularly love the way that Crystal Tai has described many aspects of Chinese culture by linking them to poetry, and to months of the year.
This is a truly unique and valuable book. In its 172 pages, Tai does what many authors of tomes over 500 pages fail to do - construct an introductory expose of the fundamentals of Chinese poetics, all the while linking the poetry to essential elements of Chinese culture. The organization of the book works extremely well. Each month is presented alongside a thematic element contained in classical Chinese poetry. The poem is addressed along with its significance to the larger culture.
A pioneer in the study of Chinese Visual Poetry---which has never been recognized as a poetic genre yet remain dynamic and active up to now, Dr. Tan explores the chronological development of Chinese visual poetry in all its forms, chiefly including the earliest inscription fossils in prehistoric times, various types of Chinese calligraphy, hidden verse as displayed in the headwords of a common poem or doggerel, Chinese couplets, paper-cutting, Peking Opera masks, and poetic designs in advertisements and public posters in the present age. This book deserved to be considered an encyclopedic of Chinese visual poetry. At the same time, Dr. Tan also provides a convincing interpretation of Chinese mindset, world view, culture, philosophy and psychology as embodied in the visual poetry.
Hanwei Tan received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 2009. His major publications on word-image relations include, "Image and the Poetic: Micro-poetics of Chinese Characters" (2008), "Visual Poetry : A Typological Approach" (2006), "Concrete Poetry and the Literary Inheritance"(2006). He has co-authored three books, A Course in American Literature(1995), Intermediate English Composition(1994), Proper Names of Chinese-English Dictionary (1996).
A ground-breaking study of Chinese visual poetry from the perspective of comparative literature.
A well-planned comparative research layout which is helpful to explore and shape a clear and engaging picture of Chinese visual poetry in terms of its historical development, graphic and rhythmic features, and interactive relations with visual verses in other languages, especially those recently emerging visual verses in the present age of globalization, multiculturalism and cyber technology.
A milestone in studying Chinese visual poetry.
---- Professor Liu Shusen, Peking University
As one of the most ambitious and toughest efforts Dr. Hanwei Tan endeavors to make in this study, this book intends to explore Chinese visual poetry, including its history of evolution as represented by the typical poems of distinguished poets and the core values and nature of its visual poetics, by contextualizing it in the realm of world literature and comparing it with its counterparts in the tradition of Western poetry, instead of looking into it as a separate kind of visual poetry that has little to do with visual poetry in other languages. It is generally agreed that different from phonological languages of various families, all the major ancient pictographic languages in the world such as Egyptian, Sumerian, Indian and Chinese are universally characterized by some kind of visual arts that dramatically represent the sense and emotions of the words in those earliest human languages.
Jack Chieh-Sheng Ling was one of the earliest staff serving the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). He weaves a vivid memoir of his experiences and achievements with colleagues at UNICEF during its formative years.
Founded right after WWII in 1946, UNICEF wasted little time or expense in contributing to the humanitarian needs of the post-WWII international community, such that in 1965 it became one of the first UN organizations to win a Nobel Prize. Jack Ling shares about his intensive field work, detailing how he won donations from Japanese enterprises which had recovered from the war but still lacked self-confidence, and how he helped promote UNICEF's programs collaborating with Marlon Brando, Liv Ullmann, and other such superstars, etc. He recounts successes as well as mistakes learned from his years of experience with the international community. Anyone interested in the United Nations, its inner workings and what a career with the UN involves, will find this an invaluable resource and a captivating read.
Born in a bourgeois family in Shanghai, China in 1930, Jack Chieh-Sheng Ling grew up in the city’s French concession. In 1949, with the raging civil war interrupting his studies, he moved to Hong Kong where he met his future wife, and secured the opportunity to join the UN. He then embarked on a 30+ year career devoted to the UN. In his last years in the UN, he served as high-ranked directorate of WHO. He joined Tulane University's faculty after retiring from UN and helped establish the department of public health, and remained active in the UN's consultant commission for many years. He currently lives in New York with his wife.
A fascinating book both about the authors early years in China where he was born and his many years in UNICEF and WHO and other development organizations.
Excellent for those might want to know something more about the Pate and Labouisse days (The United Nations Children’s Fund first executive directors). What did James Grant, Carol Bellamy and more recent Exec.Dirs of UNICEF have to build on? One of the first UN organizations to win a Nobel prize (1965), it was recognized for local country offices and innovative programmes around the world to reach the most destitute...read more