Recently, I suddenly had the urge of learning Chinese Literature. Since elementary school, Chinese (國語) and Writing (作文) have been my 2 favorite subjects. Whenever there was a writing competition, I was always the one being sent as the class representative to compete and came back with a couple of writing awards. I always thought if I hadn’t move to US, I would most likely major in Chinese at college and went on becoming a Chinese teacher.
Unfortunately I only received 8 years of Chinese education in Taiwan, which was not enough for understanding the advance level of Chinese traditional literature. Over the years, my Chinese deteriorated due to lack of practices and usage. Often times I would forget how to write certain characters or how to use certain phrases. But my interest in the vast world of Chinese literature did not diminish, but instead growing as time went on. Whenever I have a chance, I would try to read the most current Chinese novels to refresh my knowledge.
For a period of time at UCLA, I considered the option of double majoring International Econ and East Asian Studies. It happened that I only need to stay one extra quarter in order to finish both requirements. However, my parents refused my request, thinking it was useless to spend more time to study an unnecessary major. I had to admit there were some truths in their concerns. Having a totally unrelated major in my diplomat probably wouldn’t help me much for my future. Therefore, I did not persist, but it has been my biggest regret for not staying firm with my interests.
Today, I’m very fortunate to be able to work at one of the most prestigious East Asian Library in the country. Everyday I get to learn more and more about Chinese literature as I process the newly received books and got to be more familiar with the works of some famous Chinese writers. Without any proper education, I know it’s very difficult to learn everything by myself. But life is a never ending of learning process. I wish I can take the advantage of working in the library and be able to read as much and gain as much knowledge as possible.
Here are some great websites I found that contains good information about Chinese literature:
This website is more academically related but written in easy-to-understand language. http://www.literature.idv.tw
This website includes more literature works by Chinese writers around the globe http://www.wenxue.com