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The Manchu ethnic minority (7)

(People's Daily)

09:57, August 11, 2011

While the Manchu language was enriched in vocabulary, efforts were made by the Manchus to translate important works of the Han people into their own language. Along with government documents, such great works as The Three Kingdoms, The Western Chamber, A Dream of Red Mansions, Flowering Plum in the Vase and Strange Tales from a Lonely Studio all had their Manchu versions.

Notable achievements were made by the Manchu people in writing books in the Han language. Typical of these were the poems of classical styles written in the seventeenth century by the Manchu poet Nalanxingde who became known for his vivid description of the landscapes of Inner Mongolia and northeast China.

A Dream of Red Mansions written in the 18th century by the Manchu writer Cao Xueqin is a classic that occupies a prominent place in the history of world literature. With its story drawn from the life of a Manchu noble family, the novel gives incisive analysis and exposure of all the decadence of the Manchu ruling class. By dissecting China's feudal society, the author brought the country's literary expression to an unprecedented height.

Zhao Lian's Xiao Ting Za Lu (Random Notes at Xiaoting), a true account of the events, rites, personalities and institutions of the early Qing Dynasty, was a work of academic value for the study of the history of the Manchus and Mongols.

Also outstanding among the Manchus were many works by women writers. These include Qin Pu (Music Score) by Ke De, Hua Ke Xian Yin (Leisurely Recitation of Poems by the Flower Beds) by Wanyan Yuegu, Xiang Yin Guan Xiao Cao (Poems from Xiangyin Pavilion) by Kuliya Lingwen, and Tian You Ge Ji (Poems Written in Tianyou Pavilion) by Xilin Taiqing (Gu Taiqing). Her Dong Hai Yu Ge (Song of East Sea Fishermen) won her reputation as the greatest poetess of the Qing Dynasty.

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