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Question: Who was the first writer in Chinese to win the Nobel Prize for Literature?
Answer: Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic Gao Xingjian was the first Chinese writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was awarded the prize in 2000 for “an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights, and linguistic ingenuity.” In 1987 he had settled in France as a political refugee and subsequently became a French citizen. Chinese authorities banned Gao’s works and declared him persona non grata after his publication of a play about the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Question: The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival originated as a search for which poet’s body?
Answer: Qu Yuan was one of the greatest poets of ancient China and the earliest known by name. He drowned himself in 278 BCE in the Miluo River, a tributary of the Yangtze River. The Dragon Boat Festival, held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar year, originated as a search for the poet’s body.
Question: Who is commonly considered the greatest Chinese writer of the 20th century?
Answer: Lu Xun is commonly considered the greatest Chinese writer of the 20th century. He became associated with the nascent Chinese literary movement in 1918 when, at the urging of friends, he published the short story “Diary of a Madman.” Modeled after Nikolay Gogol's tale of the same title, the tale is a condemnation of traditional Confucian culture, which the madman-narrator sees as a “man-eating” society.
Question: Which is the first anthology of Chinese poetry?
Answer: Shijingis the first anthology of Chinese poetry. It consists of temple, court, and folk songs and was given a definitive form about the time of Confucius (551–479 BCE), who is credited with compiling it. Its 305 songs are believed to range in date from the beginning of the Chou dynasty (11th century BCE) to the time of their compiling.
Question: When did Chinese literature originate?
Answer: Chinese literature is one of the major literary heritages of the world. It has an uninterrupted history of more than 3,000 years, dating back at least to the 14th century BCE.
Handscroll is one of a set that illustrates the 305 poems in the Shijing (The Book of Odes), a work traditionally believed to have been compiled by Confucius, by Ma Hezhi and assistants, Southern Song dynasty, mid-12th century.

Chinese Literature Quiz

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; C. C. Wang Family, Purchase, Ex.coll.: gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1973 (accession no. 1973.121.3)
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