30 October

The third edition of A Guide to Oriental Classics [1989], edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary, Ainslie Embree, and Amy Vladeck Heinrich, and "prepared by the staff of the Committee on Oriental Studies, Columbia University," offers another Columbia-related list of classics, except in this case Eastern classics. Indeed, the Guide to Oriental Classics grew out of a counterpart to the "great books" classes: namely, the Oriental Humanities course; according to the book's Introduction, "the assumptions of this course, inherited from the parent Humanities course in the Western tradition, have been basically two: that there were certain great works of intellectual and artistic achievement in the Oriental world which any educated person, whatever his own field of specialization, ought to have read; and that these books could be understood and appreciated without prior initiation into the complexities of scholarly research in each field." That is, the same approach used in the "great books" courses and reading plans—scholars from different disciplines making literature accessible to a general public not devoted to those disciplinesapplies here, except of course that the East doesn't diametrically correspond to the West'. Ideally, over time, the Islamic Tradition ('Near East' perhaps) will be understood better as the link between the Orient and the Occident, while the Buddhist, Hindu, and Chinese realms can be given their proper, distinct place, interacting of course with other Indian as well as Korean and Japanese (and Indonesian, and other Asian/ Pacific) traditions.

The Guide provides lists of complete and partial translations of each work, and secondary readings on the work, as well as some Topics for Discussion. Each of the four traditions begins with a General Works section listing bibliographies and secondary works about the tradition generally. A few chapters deal with areas of literature so broad that they cannot even count as indeterminate selections for our project. They tend to list secondary works first, followed by the literary works, usually anthologies. Those chapters are: 'Supplementary Readings on Indian Buddhism'; 'Sanskrit Lyric Poetry'; 'Indian Devotional Poetry'; 'Indo-Islamic Poetry'; 'Supplementary Readings on Chinese Buddhism'; 'Chinese Drama'; 'Chinese Poets and Poetry' and 'Supplementary Readings on Japanese Buddhism'. 'Three Hundred Tang Poems' from the Chinese poetry chapter has been included; this is just one example of how this list could expand in the future. The 'Chinese Drama' chapter includes several anthologies that obviously consist of monographical works.


Classics of the Islamic Tradition:
The Seven Odes (Al-Muʼallaqāt)

The Quʼrān (Al-Quʼrān)

The Ring of the Dove (Ṭawq al-amāma), by Ibn azm (994-1064)

The Maqāmāt of al-Hamadhānī (Maqāmāt al-Hamadhān) (968-1008)

The Assemblies of al-arīrī (Maqāmāt al-Ḥarr) (1054-1122)

The Thousand and One Nights (Alf Layla wa-Layla)

Deliverance From Error (Al-Munqidh min al-Ḍalāl), by al-Ghazālī (1058-1111)

On the Harmony of Religoin and Philosophy (Kitāb faṣl al-Maqāl), by Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (1126-1198)

The Conference of the Birds, by Fard al-DʿAṭār (ca. 1142-ca. 1220)

The Mystical Poetry of Jalāl al-Dn Rm (1207-1273)

The Prolegomena (Al-Muqaddima) of Ibn Khaldūn (1332-1406)

The Shāhnāma

The Rubāʼiyyāt of ʻUmar Khayyām (eleventh century)

The Book of Dede Korkut (Kitab-i Dede Korkut)

The Mystical Poetry of Yunus Emre (d. ca. 1320)

Leylā and Mejnn, by Fuzūl (ca. 1495-1556)


Classics of the Indian Tradition:
The Vedas

Upanishads (ca. 900-500 B C)

Mahābhārata (ca. fifth century B C-fourth century C E)

Bhagavadgtā (ca. 100 B C-A D 100)

Rāmāyana of Vālmki (ca. 200 B C)

Yoga Stras of Patañjali (ca. A D 300)

The Vedānta Stra with the Commentary of Shankārāchārya (ca. 780-820)

Theravāda Buddhism: The Tipiṭaka

Theravāda Buddhism: The Dhammapada (ca. 300 B C)

Theravāda Buddhism: The Milindapañhā (ca. first century C E)

Theravāda Buddhism: The Mahāsatipahana Sutta

Mahāyāna Buddhism: Prajñāpāramitā (ca. 100 B C-A D 400)

Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Śrmālādevisimhanāda Stra

Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Laṅkāvatāra Stra

Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Sukhavativyha Stras [Infinite Life Sutra and Amitābha Sutra]

Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Bodhicaryāvatāra of Shāntideva

Shakuntalā (Abhijñānaśakuntalā) of Kālidāsa (ca. 400)

The Little Clay Cart (Mrcchakaika) of Shdraka (ca. 400)

Pañcatantra (ca. 200 B C) According to Prṇabhadra (ca. 1199)

Gtagovinda of Jayadeva (ca. twelfth century)

Kālidāsa's Meghadta (The Cloud Messenger)

Bhartihari's Śatakatraya: Nti, Śrñgāra, Vairāgya

Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) [incl. Collected Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore [incl. The Crescent Moon; The Gardener; Sacrifice; The Post Office [1912]; Chitra [1913]; Fruit-Gathering; Stray Birds; The Cycle of Spring; The Fugitive among other works]]

Autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)


Classics of the Chinese Tradition:
The Analects (Lun-yü) of Confucius (551-479 B C)

Mo Tzu, or Mo Ti

Lao Tzu, or Tao-te Ching

Chuang Tzu

Mencius (Meng Tzu, 372-289 B C)

The Great Learning (Ta-hsüeh)

The Mean (Chung-yung)

Hsün Tzu, or Hsün Ch'ing

Han Fei Tzu

Records of the Historian: The Shih chi of Ssu-ma Chʼien (ca. 145-ca. 90 B C)

Texts of Chinese Buddhism:
The Lotus Sūtra (Saddharma Pundarka Sutra, or Miao-fa Lien-hua Ching)

The Vimalakrtinirdeśa Sūtra (Wei-mo-chieh so-shuo ching)

The Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna (Ta-chʼeng chʼin-hsin lun)

Platform Sūtra of the Sixth Patriarch (Liu-tsu tʼan ching)

The Record of Lin-chi (d. 866)

Works of Chu Hsi (1130-1200)

Works of Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529) [incl. Instructions for Practical Living; Inquiry on the Great Learning]
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The Water Margin, or All Men Are Brothers (Shui-hu chuan)

Journey to the West, or Monkey (Hsi-yu Chi) by Wu Chʼeng-en (ca. 1506-1581)

The Golden Lotus (Chin Pʼing Mei)

Dream of the Red Chamber (Hung-lou meng), by Tsʼao Hsüeh-ch'in (Tsʼao Chan, d. 1763)

The Book of Songs (Shih ching)

The Songs of the South (Chʼu Tzʼu) by Chʼu Yuan and Other Poets

Three Hundred Tang Poems


Classics of the Japanese Tradition:
Man'yōshū

Court Poetry: The Kokinshū and other Imperial Anthologies

The Pillow Book (Makura no sōshi) of Sei Shōnagon

The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) by Murasaki Shikibu

Poetic Diaries and Poem Tales [incl. The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu; The Confessions of Lady Nijo; The Emperor Horikawa Diary; Izumi Shikibu Diary; Tosa Diary; Sarashina Nikki (As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams); Kagero Nikki; Yamato Monogatori]

Texts of Japanese Buddhism:
Writings of Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi, 774-835) [incl The Buddhist Tradition in India, China, and Japan, edited by Wm. de Bary; Kūkai: Major Works, translated with an Account of His Life and a Study of His Thought, edited, translated, and written by Yoshito Hakeda]

Writings of Buddhist Masters of the Kamakura Period [incl. Genshin - Ōjōyōsh; Shinran - Tannishō; The Buddhist Tradition in India, China, and Japan, edited by Wm. de Bary; The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishōnin, by the Gosho Translation Committee; Dōgen - Shobōgenzō zuimonki]

Writings of the Zen Master Hakuin (1686-1769) [incl. Orategama; Wild Ivy (Itsumadegusa)]
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An Account of My Hut (Hōjōki) by Kamo no Chōmei (1153-1236)

Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) by Yoshida Kenkō (1283-1350)

The Tale of the Heike (Heiki monogatari)

The Nō Plays [incl. Twenty Plays of the Nō Theatre, edited by Donald Keene; Japanese Noh Dramas, edited by Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkōkai; Le Nō, translated by Noël Peri; The Old Pine Tree and Other Noh Plays, translated by Ueda Makoto; The Nō Plays of Japan, translated by Arthur Waley]

The Fiction of Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693) [incl. Kōshoku gonin onna (Five Women Who Loved Love); Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century; 'Saikaku's Parting Gift: Translations From Saikaku Okimiyage', by Robert Leutner, Monumenta Nipponica; The Life of an Amorous Woman and Other Writings, translated by Ivan Morris; Some Final Words of Advice; The Japanese Family Storehouse (Nihon Eitagura); or, The Millionaries' Gospel Modernised; This Scheming World]

The Poetry and Prose of Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694) [incl. An Introduction to Haiku: An Anthology of Poems and Poets From Bashō to Shiki; Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century; Oku no hosomichi (Narrow Road Through the Provinces)]

The Plays of Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725) [incl. Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century; Major Plays of Chikamatsu; 'A Chronicle of Great Peace Played Out on a Chessboard: Goban Taiheiki', by Jacqueline Mueller, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies; The Love Suicide at Amijima, translated by Donald H Shively]

The Treasure of Loyal Retainers (Chūshingura, ca. 1748), by Takeda Izumo, Miyoshi Shōraku, and Namiki Senryū

Kokoro, by Natsume Sōseki (1867-1914)