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Comprehensive Collection of Chinese Folk Literature

A mammoth project involving the publication of a multi-volume collection of Chinese folk literature has got off to a good start, with the exhibition of a first batch of books at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last Sunday.

The multi-volume collection of folk literature, Anthology of Chinese Folk Literature, is a project of the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Society.

The anthology consists of four categories: Anthology of Chinese Folk Stories, Anthology of Chinese Folk Ballads, Anthology of Chinese Proverbs and Folk Adages, and Anthology of Chinese Folk Epics and Narrative Poems.

Material for the Anthology of Chinese Folk Stories, for example, was obtained from a National Social Science Fund special program, which aims to preserve China's folk legacies. When completed, it will be comprised of over 2,800 volumes, each one bearing the name of a county (or city) for a title. According to the plan, each of China's 2,800 odd counties and cities will have a volume of its own. Each volume will contain folk fairy tales, legends, stories and jokes peculiar to the county or city. The average length of a volume is around 300,000 Chinese characters.

At present, 12 volumes of the anthology have been published by the Intellectual Property Publishing House. These volumes are entitled after the 12 counties and cities in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture and contain more than four million Chinese characters and 400 pictures. The complete Anthology of Chinese Folk Stories is expected to be published by 2010.

Compilation work on the other three anthologies is underway.

(China.org.cn by Wind Gu November 18, 2005)

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