China has a very old and rich tradition in literature.
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China is the only country in the world with a Literature written in one language for more than 3,000 consecutive years.This continuity results largely from the nature of the written language itself.
China has a very old and rich Tradition in literature. Two distinct traditions exist in Chinese literature: the literary and the vernacular, or colloquial. The latter can be traced back more than a thousand years before the Christian era and has existed almost continuously until modern times. Consisting originally of poetry and later of drama and fiction, it grew to include histories and popular stories and tales, as well. Folk, or vernacular, literature was long considered beneath the notice of members of the scholar-official class, who were the arbiters of literary taste. Their own polished and highly stylized writings set the standards for the orthodox literary Tradition that began about 2000 years ago. Not until the 20th century did colloquial Literature gain the support and esteem of the intellectual class.
Chinese Literature may be divided into three major historical periods that roughly correspond to those of Western literary history: the classical period, from the 6th century BC through the 2nd century AD; the medieval period, from the 3rd century to the late 12th century; and the modern period, from the 13th century to the present.
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- Chinese Classic Novels
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- Chinese Epics
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- Ethics and the Humanities
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