Panorami dello Yunnan nella prosa di viaggio di epoca Ming
Cigliano, Maria (2001) Panorami dello Yunnan nella prosa di viaggio di epoca Ming. Annali dell’Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Rivista del Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici e del Dipartimento di Studi e Ricerche su Africa e Paesi Arabi, 1999 (59). pp. 211-250. ISSN 0393-3180
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From the ancient times Chinese literati devoted many of their writings to the description in verse and prose of famous landscapes and the recording in diary form of long travels and short excursions. In consequence of Ming’s new territorial conquests and the strengthening of Chinese imperial rule in peripheral, the new lands (Yunnan province in particular, with its tablelands, mountains and grottoes) became new sources of inspiration and contributed to enlarge the frontiers of Chinese travel writing genre. The authors increased in number, and even if they are not all equally notable, their works represent a new important literary trend. Central government’s officials, transferred to working in far-away regions, educated non-Chinese literati, anxious to make a name for themselves and their lands, exiled officials spending their time to explore unknown territories, travellers going around the country for different purposes or only for pleasure, were shocked by new and intense experiences. They describe, through painting or literature, the splendid peculiarities of new territories. In this paper the author translates three examples of travel writings, two being short trip accounts written by two literati of the first half of the sixteenth century, Young Shen and Li Yuanyang, and the third a passage from the long diary of Xu Xiake’s travel in Yunnan dating back to the first half of the seventeenth century. By reading these works, each characterized by a personal mark, it is possible to appreciate the different interests, experiences and culturally education of their authors. These works are valuable sources for different kinds of research as well.
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