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World LiteratureAesthetic:the beautiful (appreciation of beauty)Fertile River ValleysTigris and Euphrates (Cuneiform) 3300-2990 BCENile (hieroglyphics) 2500 BCE – Sacred writingYellow River (Haung He) 1700 BCEoPictographic and Logograms: thought or extractionEarliest are lists of economic itemsBabylonians and CuneiformCuneus (a wedge)oOn clay tablets (denoted syllables)Fertile crescent (present day Iraq, part of Iran)Akkadian, Assyrian, Sumerian, MesopotamianGilgameshoEarliest literary text found (2500 BCE)Hieroglyphics and Key to TranslationHieroglyphicso“sacred to cravings”Pictographic and logogrammaticLater, logograms became consonant soundsThe Rosetta Stone (1799) a script of hieroglyphics, demotic Egyptian, and GreekoThe French Troops of NapoleonoFirst way to decipher wordsThe Phoenicians, Hebrews, and AlphabetA script of 22 signs standing for constant soundsoPhoeniciansAdopted by Hebrews and exemplified in the TorahTorah or Christian Pentateuch: first 5 books of the old testamentoGenesis,oExodus,oLeviticus,oNumbers,oDeuteronomyHadrian (Roman Emperor)oRemoves Hebrews from PalestineDiaspora or “scattering” 134 BCEFinal emendation of signs for the vowels (Greeks)Classics of Poetry
Book of Songs or Book of OdesBook of documents: laws and preceptsBook of changes: The I ching, divinationAncient Chinese TextsAre in characters rather than the alphabetoPictograms and logogramsPinyin was adopted in 1958A Romanized alphabet (25 characters)Classics of Poetry Continued…Classics of poetry originates with the Zhou Dynasty, people of the Yellow River BasinHou Chi or Lord Millet is a mythological giver of grains to Zhou peopleConfucius (or his followers) is thought to be the editor of classics of poetry during 5thcentury BCEAllusion:a reference in one text to another, usually Biblical, mythological, historicalUse of the poems as allusion or in citation to clinch a point of argumentAlso to express a view (political) which may be dangerous or unpopularTo teach about nature, the nature of human nature, or society, and to instruct as toproper behavior (“right relationship”) didacticPoems offer various voices (personas) from all in this societyApersona:a narrator who is also a character in a poem or fiction (characterized by “I”)Often poems are in 3stanzasof 4-6 lines, with 4 syllables in each line. Rhyme is used andrepetition with variationStanzasare units of poetry usually cued by white space between themImageryis a use of language which stimulates the senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, andhearing)Metaphor/Simileuses “like” or “as”Paradoxis an apparent contradiction“Plums are Falling”: themes of time, fertility“Boat of Cypress”: a conflict between heart and loyalty to family“Quince”: gesture and significance“Zhongzi, Please”: individual desire and community