Comparative Literiture

Topics: God, Chinese dragon, China Pages: 8 (2951 words) Published: June 4, 2011
Comparative Literature
——The differences of supernatural beings

Key Words:

Definition, Dragons, Devils, Gods, Conclusion

What is comparative literature, literally speaking, it is some kind of study to find out the differences between eastern and western literature. Well, that is right, but it’s only one aspect of comparative literature. Comparative literature is a branch of the art theory which compares and studies the process of interaction between two or more different national literature, and between literature and other discipline of arts or ideology. Comparative literature may also performed on works of the same language if the works originate from different languages and cultures among which that language is spoken. Including Influence study, Parallel study and Interdisciplinary study. As a subject, comparative literature came into being during late 19th century and early 20th century. In 1970s, comparative literature was greatly developed among European and American countries, its research centre is France. In the year of 1931, “The Theory of Comparative Literature” written by Paul Van Vieghem summed up the theory and history of comparative literature development at the first time. After the Second World War, America took the place of France with its “Yearbook of comparative literature and general literature”which summarize the achievements and problems during the development of comparative literature annually. The study of comparative literature, comparatists from different countries focus on different aspects. For example, French comparatists represented by Vieghem lay stress on the Influence study among different national literature, while American comparatists represented by Wellek lay stress on the Parallel study. And also in China, there has been a long history of literary differences. Dated back to Tang dynasty, there has been someone who compared the differences between the works of Wu Jun in Southern Dynasties and the Indian Buddhist sutras “Apadana”. Although the development of Chinese comparative literature is largely effected by different cultures, it still has its particular origin and developing process. Nowadays, the literary study of the similarities and differences between eastern and western novels has become a hot subject in the field of comparative literature. For example, a lot of western comparatists study the Chinese works of “Liao Zhai Zhi Yi” , “ShanHai Jing” and “The Journey to the west” etc. comparing with some legendary works in the west. There is different description of ghosts, animals, gods and illusions which attract a lot of scholars’ attention. Next, I will give some of my own opinions of the differences between the Chinese and western supernatural beings. Dragon

Dragon, as some kind of symbol, is widely used in both eastern and western novels. But its appearance, action and implied meaning are sometimes absolutely opposite. Then, what is the difference between the eastern and western dragon? And what is the reason of those differences? Let’s have a look at the different dragons in Chinese and western literature. Dragons in China

If you are asked to name some national emblems of China, the dragon will probably be one of the famous images that pop into your head. We Chinese often consider ourselves "the descendants of the dragon." As a mythical creature, the dragon is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. Traditionally, dragons are considered to govern rainfall. They have the power to decide where and when the rain falls. In addition, the dragon is a symbol of imperial power. The emperors thought they were real dragons and the sons of the heaven. Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and folklore, with mythic counterparts among Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Western and Turkic dragons. In Chinese art, dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs....
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