Books on Wenyan

I’ve been approached by a few people in the last week asking about the books I’m using. I said I’d do a quick post to list the ones I’ve got once I was back from the spring festival break. Well I’m back, so here are the books. Note a number of them may be philosophical in focus.

 ISBN: 978-7-540-31066-0

古文语法 - 史存直
 ISBN: 978-7-101-04585-7

古代汉语 - 王力
 ISBN: 978-7-101-00082-5

文言文启蒙读书 - 杨振中
 ISBN: 978-7-532-62950-3

Classical Chinese Reader, Book I
 No ISBN. Too old.

A New Practical Primer of Literary Chinese
 ISBN: 978-0-673-02270-6

Those are the main ones, though I end up buying another about once a week. I also have a couple copies of the 古文观止, plenty of copies of 老子,孔子,孟子 et cetera.

There are also a few dictionaries around that aren’t mine but that I use. So no information on them in this post.

Suggestions? I’m open to other texts.

3 responses to “Books on Wenyan”

  1. Daan says:

    Thanks for sharing this list. As I wrote to you in an e-mail, study guides exist for 王力’s 古代漢語. The official study guide is called 同步輔導與練習 (2 vols). Its main value lies in the exercises which are included. I didn’t find it as useful as the unofficial 古代漢語輔導及習題集 (4 vols), which contains translations into Mandarin, notes on obsolete characters, quite good vocabulary explanations and some important grammar points.

    Some other works I’ve been using:
    Yuan Naiying et al. Classical Chinese: A Basic Reader in Three Volumes and supplements.
    Ling et al. Literary Chinese for Advanced Beginners.
    Van Els, Paul. Lesboek Premodern Chinees. 2 vols. Dutch, not available on the market yet.

    My dictionaries include:
    古代漢語詞典 (very good, I’d recommend it highly – contains words, not characters)

    I also have a number of reference works:
    Edwin Pulleyblank. Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar.
    王力. 漢語史稿.
    周大璞. 訓詁學.
    濮之珍. 中國語言學史.
    李佐豐. 古代漢語語法學.
    and a number of books on 古音學 and 文字學.

    Then, finally, 三民書局’s annotated editions of ancient texts are most excellent. I’ve bought quite a few already.

  2. Jeff says:

    For some reason 古代漢語詞典 never seems to have the words I’m looking for. I have tried giving it the benefit of the doubt several times, but I’ve pretty much given up on it now. I can see it being helpful for individual character definitions, but once you start looking up two-character words, I have had about a 25% success rate with it I’d say. I think the only way to be sure you’ll find the words you’re looking for is to use the 汉语大词典, but since that’s kind of impractical I just end up going to, and haven’t found anything that beats is yet.

  3. Kellen says:

    In fact I’ve hardly cracked 古代漢語詞典 since I bought it months back. When I don’t have an actual scholar with which to discuss terms, I also tend to use the internet.

    Pulleyblank is definitely on my list, as are a number of others from the above mentioned texts. I’m hoping to find an affordable 二手 copy here in China.

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