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Classical Chinese: The Language of Power and Poetry

Classical Chinese: The Language of Power and Poetry

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  • Thu 27 Sep ’18, 12:00pm – 1:00pm


Te Ahumairangi Ground Floor, National Library, cnr Molesworth & Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

New Zealand Chinese Language Week (23-29 September 2018) is a Kiwi-led initiative aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to discover Chinese language and culture.

History of Classical Chinese language and it's plight in modern Chinese world.

For several millennia, until the 1920s, Classical Chinese (also called Literary Chinese) was the sole accepted language of written communication throughout North Asia. It was the language of government and authority, but it was also the language of the great Chinese thinkers and poets.

Classical Chinese was, in other words, the language in which the foundations of the world’s longest continuous civilisation were first articulated.

This talk, the third event in celebration of Chinese Language Week, will consider aspects of the history of this language and its plight in the modern Chinese world.

About the speaker:
Duncan Campbell has taught Chinese language, literature, and aspects of Chinese history at universities in New Zealand and Australia.

Between 2015-16, he was the Curator of the Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library, USA. His research concentrates on the literary and material culture of late imperial China.

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