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Manchu-Chinese Bilingual Compositions and Their Verse-Technique

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In regions where two cultures became enmeshed over a longer period of time, the concurrent use of two languages in poetical compositions is not uncommon as a literary phenomenon. In Qing China, the insertion of Manchu words into Chinese poems is often found in the so-called zidi shu (“youth books”). Manchu words are inserted in the Chinese text “spontaneously”, not following any poetical principle or rule. These words can be written in Manchu script, but also transcribed with Chinese characters. In more recent times, other forms of “mixed” Manchu-Chinese poems have been discovered. In these compositions the use of both languages follows very strict rules according to the characteristics of the two languages. This amalgam bears witness to the perfect command of the poet and to an extraordinary poetical sensibility.

世界上任何多民族性的社會經常會發生文化綜合的現象。清代中國的中文詩作 有時表達穿插滿文詞,特別在說為【子弟書】內。此類滿漢穿插方法的突然性 很強,徐不順語法或詩作法的規則,經常以滿文詞用漢字拼寫起來。最近順著 中國的詩傳統的融合作品也被發現。詩人的能力以及語言感覺無疑十分高。

Venetiarum Universitas in Domo Foscari / University of Venice (Ca' Foscari)

1 Prof. Stary is referring to the Research Colloquium ‘Religion and Manchu Society, 1600–2009’, which took place at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, 15–17 February 2010. [LL]

2 Mark C. Elliott, “The ‘Eating Crabs’ Youth Book”, in: Susan Mann and Yu-yin Cheng, Under Confucian Eyes. University of California Press: Berkeley – Los Angeles – London, 2001, pp. 262–281. Stephen A. Wadley, The mixed-language verses from the Manchu Dynasty in China. Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies: Bloomington, Indiana, 1991, pp. 8–59.

3 Wadley, pp. 60–112. A. Tulli, “Due esempi di zidishu sino-mancesi”, in: Aetas Manjurica 3 (1992), pp. 290–306.

4 James Bosson and Hoong Teik Toh: “Jakdan and His Manchu Poetry”, in Proceedings of the First North American Conference on Manchu Studies (Portland, OR, May 9–10, 2003), vol. 1: Studies in Manchu Literature and History. Edited by Stephen Wadley and Carsten Naeher in Collaboration with Keith Dede. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2006, pp. 13–25.

5 Zhuo Hongze 卓鴻澤, “Xin faxian Zhakedan Man Han hunhe shige er shou 新發現札克丹滿漢混合詩歌二首”, in Manyu yanjiu 滿語研究 1 (2005), pp. 131–137.

6 See also Martin Gimm, “Shengguan tu („Tafel der Beamtenkarriere‟), eine makkaronische Volksballade aus der mittleren Qing-Zeit”, in: Oriens Extremus 44 (2003/04), pp. 211–252.

7 Giovanni Stary, “Neues Material zur mandschurischen Literaturgeschichte: Mandschurisch-chinesische ‚Mischgedichte‛”, in: Zentralasiatische Studien 18 (1985), pp. 90–164. [H. Walravens,] Mandjurische Gedichte. Nach einer Handschrift der Sammlung Erich Haenisch reproduziert. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, 2005. (Neuerwerbungen der Ostasienabteilung, Sonderheft 6).


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