One was William Shakespeare, a world renown English playwright. Since his plays were introduced to China in the early 20th century. The other was Tang Xianzu, a Chinese humanity-focused playwright whose artistic achievement was comparable to that of Shakespeare. His most famous play is Peony Pavilion whose heroin Du Liniang magically returns to the earthly world after death to pursue her undying love for Liu Mengmei.
Despite in different cultural backgrounds, Tang’s Peony Pavilion and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet share a celebration of humanity that transcends life and death, winning their respective author a reputation that has continued to this day. [Details]
The attendees of the lecture discussed, on the theme of “Celebrating Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare on the 400th Anniversary of Their Deaths", the two master playwrights’works published and promoted in China and their styles as well as artistic achievements. With the lecture themed on “A 400-year Dream of Civilization in China and the West: A Theoretical Perspective”, Prof. Yu Dan illustrated Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare’s different interpretations of dreams. [Details]
Well-known culture scholar, Beijing Normal University Professor, doctoral tutor, Dean of the Beijing Institute of Culture Innovation and Communication, Vice Dean of Beijing Normal University’s Art and Communication School.Yu Dan has activated the classical spiritual gene that belongs to the Chinese nation, and has generated a wide influence in cultural and educational spheres both at home and abroad. She has conducted over 1,000 lectures on traditional culture in China’s mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and also in many countries.[Details]
They met with Richard Ovenden, Bodley's Librarian, David Helliwell, Curator of Chinese Collections at Bodleian Library, Bodleian Library.The two sides held fruitful talks on cooperation. [Details]
The CPG brought to the school more than 100 copies of books, including bilingual worksby Shakespere and by Tang Xianzan, Chinese textbooks, reference books, books for adolescents, and books on Chinese history and culture. [Details]
Tang Xianzu has left five operas: The Purple Hairpins (53 scenes), The Return to Life (or The Peony Pavilion, 55 scenes), A Dream Under the Southern Bough (44 scenes), The Handan Dream (30 scenes) and The Purple Flute (34 scenes). The first four works are collectively known as “Four Dreams of Linchuan”. Of the four, The Peony Pavilion is his representative work, which tops the list of Ming Dynasty “legends” (or chuan-qi, literary genre) in artistic attainment.
The earliest English translation of The Peony Pavilion was Chunxiang Teases Teacher, a translated abstract by Sir Harold Acton and carried in the 4th issue in the 8th volume of T’ien Hsia Monthly. The first complete English translation of The Handan Dream was produced by Prof. Cyrill Birch and published by the US University of Indiana Press. The second edition came out in 2002. Birch translated some scenes of the play in A Selection of Chinese Literature.[Details]
In 2003, the first complete English translation of The Handan Dream in the world was published and it is cloolected in the bilingual series of Great Library Works of China. Tang's Foreign-language editions include: The Peony Pavilion; The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu ; The Library of Chinese Classics; The Purple Hairpins; The Peony Pavilion; The Dream Under the Southern Bough; The Handan Dream.[Details]