Celebrating Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare on the 400th Anniversary of Their Death
Four hundred years ago, the West and the East were immersed in deep grief mourning the loss of two great playwrights.

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]
Celebration
A Lecture by Prof. Yu Dan at Goldsmiths University of London
Yu Dan attended the activities at London Book Fair
A Lecture by Prof. Yu Dan at Goldsmiths University of London
On April 12, 2016, Prof. Yu Dan, Chinese contemporary renowned scholar, headed to Goldsmiths University of London, to give a lecture celebrating Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of their deaths.

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]
  • About Yu Dan

    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]

CPG Book Exhibition at Library, Oxford
On April 13, 2016, the delegation of China Publishing Group Corp. (CPG) headed by CPG president Tan Yue paid a visit to Universtiy of Oxford.  

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]
CPG’s First Book Granting to British Secondary School
On April 12, 2016, the delegation of China Publishing Group Corp. (CPG) visited Bohunt School.

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 In The World
About Tang Xiazu
Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) was a playwright and literary giant in the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). His courtesy name was Yireng, but he styled himself as Hairuo, Ruoshi and “Taoist of Purity and Distance”. A Han by ethnic origin, he was a native of Linchuan, Jiangxi. With their ancestral hometown being Yunshan Township, Linchuan County, the Tangs migrated to Tangjiashan (now Fuzhou City). Born to a scholarly family, he had risen to fame for his talent when young. He was not only versed in ancient-style poetry, but also read books on astronomy, geography, medicine, divination, etc.

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.

  • Overseas Publication of The Peony Pavilion

    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]

  • The Handan Dream

    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]

Shakespeare In China
Translator Liang Shiqiu and his translation
The 1930s marked a climax in the translation of Shakespeare works with Liang Shiqiu and zhu Shenghao as representives. Liang Shiqiu translated all Shakespeare's works by himself. He started to translate Shakeapeare's drama in 1930 and all 40 volumes were published by 1968.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare's Drama
Zhu Shenghao is the best Chinese translator of Shakespeare's works. Committed to this cause, he has never deviated from his aspirations despite extreme poverty and constant displacementfrom on place to another. His translation "strives to keep the flavor and charm of the original version to the largest extent". In 1947, The Complete Works of Shakespeare's Drama translated by Zhu Shenghao was published by World Journal Book Store in three volumes (comedy, tragdy and poetic drama), including 27 plays.
Tian Han And Hamlet
The first full-length translation of Hamlet into Chinese was by Tian Han (pen name of Tian Shouchang, 1898-1968) while he was a student in Tokyo on a pre-session course before entering university. Tian’s studies in Japan from 1916 to 1922 were originally aimed toward a prospective career in the Chinese military or politics but, being exceedingly fond of drama, he abandoned such plans and turned instead to the theater. Tian was motivated to translate Hamlet by the greatness of the play’s reputation and, more importantly, by his strong personal empathy with the protagonist which enabled Tian to use the work of translation to vent his own emotions.