Wilt L Idema

Passion, Poverty and Travel

Translations from Chinese popular literature of the late-imperial and early republican periods are still very rare, and selections that are devoted to a specific genre or dialect rarer still. These translations of traditional Hakka popular literature are not only a contribution to a broader knowledge of traditional Chinese folk literature, but also contribute to the study of Hakka culture as reflected in these racy songs and exciting narratives.
This book is the first extensive selection in English of traditional Hakka mountain songs (shange) and long narrative ballads in various genres. One chapter is devoted to songs and ballads on Hakka migration to Taiwan and Southeast Asia in 18th to 20th centuries. The selection of mountain songs is primarily based on a collection compiled before 1949. The ballads selected focus on texts that were widely popular in late-Qing and early Republican times, but post-Liberation performances and new compositions have been included for contrast. All translations are provided with an introduction and annotations.
Contents:Mountain Songs:Mountain Songs collected by Huang ZunxianMountain Songs collected by Zhong JingwenMountain Songs collected by Luo XianglinMountain Songs collected by Li JinfaMore Declarations of Love and of DespairNarrative Ballads:Ten-Mile PavilionThe Tale of Tang XianSelling LanternsBamboo-Clappers Songs:Gao WenjuLiang Sizhen and Zhao YulinSecond-Hand Zhang Rents out his WifeMorals and MoreMigration and Emigration:Push and PullDestination TaiwanDestination Singapore and BeyondAppendices:An Old and a New Ten-Mile PavilionAn Alternative Gao WenjuThe Slave Girl's Lament: A Revolutionary Bamboo-Clappers SongThe Lost Romance of the Career of Yap Ah LoyReadership: Students and general public who are interested in understanding traditional Chinese folk literature and Hakka culture.
1,111 printed pages
Original publication


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