Japanese

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Japanese
Hand-written leaf from Kabukigeki no hozon ni tsuite. UC Berkeley Library (accession number: JMS 1474, East Asian Rare)

Shōyō wrote the manuscript “On the Preservation of Kabuki Drama” in late March 1924 at the request of Yamamoto Yūzō, the editor of Engeki shinchō, and the essay was published in the journal in June of that year. In his essay, Shōyō addresses what had become for him, by the 1920s, a seminal problem: kabuki was treated as a single art (like nō theater) but, Shōyō felt, the dramatic form had changed significantly over time, from its origins in the early seventeenth century through the early twentieth century. Thus before one could address how to preserve kabuki one needed to determine which aspects of the dramatic art ought be persevered as most representative. Shōyō’s own stance was clear: the “zenith” of the art was in the late eighteenth century and what followed—from the early nineteenth century onward—was a gradual decay. Thus preservation was perhaps not the right word since what Shōyō sought was really to revive the form of kabuki that had disappeared already over a century earlier.

Shōyō had developed an interest in questions related to the preservation (hozon) of kabuki in the late 1880s and it would remain a concern across his career as playwright, critic, and historian of drama.  And yet the timing of “On the Preservation of Kabuki Drama” is also interesting from a historical perspective. The piece was written just six months after the Great Kantō Earthquake destroyed large sections of the city of Tokyo and many writers—Akutagawa Ryūnosuke chief among them—lamented the loss of cultural heritage that resulted from the earthquake and resulting fires. When the earthquake hit on September 1, 1923, Shōyō was at Waseda University in a meeting with Takata Sanae, the University’s president, discussing an exhibition of theater material that was to be held in October. Within days of the earthquake, Shōyō had decided to donate his own private collection of books and theater ephemera to Waseda, the university at which he had taught his entire career. In 1928, with the help of students, friends, and the university, Shōyō was able to realize his long-term goal of creating a theater museum on the campus of Waseda University. The Museum was intended “preserve, as a form of history, Japan’s theater which is incomparable in form in the world and which has developed along a unique path.” Thus while Shōyō may not have achieved his idea of preserving kabuki of the late eighteenth century as a living dramatic art, today the Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum plays a critical role in preserving the history of kabuki through an unparalleled collection of archival materials.

Contribution by Toshie Marra & Jonathan Zwicker
Librarian for Japanese Collection, C. V. Starr East Asian Library
Associate  Professor, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

 

Title: Kabukigeki no hozon ni tsuite  歌舞伎劇の保存に就いて
Title in English: On the Preservation of Kabuki Drama
Author: Tsubouchi, Shōyō 坪内逍遥, 1859-1935
Imprint: Atami, Japan, 1924. 14 leaves. Hand-written manuscript. From UC Berkeley Library (accession number: JMS 1474, East Asian Rare)
Language: Japanese
Language Family: Japonic
Source: The Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures (DH-JAC) at Ritsumeikan University
URL: http://www.dh-jac.net/db1/books/results1024.php?f1=UCB-ms1474&f12=1&enter=berkeley&max=1&skip=2&enter=berkeley

Other related print editions at Berkeley and online:

  1. Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum: https://www.waseda.jp/enpaku/en/
  2. Tsubouchi, Shōyō, 1859-1935. Tōsei shosei katagi: ichidoku santan 当世書生気質: 一読三歎 . [The Characters of Today’s Students]. Tokyo: Banseidō, 1885-1886. 17 volumes. Digital images made available by the National Diet Library: http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/887427 (v. 1)
  3. Author’s original sketch of the illustration for this work is made available by Waseda University Library:

    Note: UC Berkeley has later editions of this work for use at the East Asian Library (EAL):

  4. Tsubouchi, Shōyō, 1859-1935. Shōsetsu shinzui 小説神髄. [The Essence of the Novel]. Tokyo: Shōgetsudō, 1887. 2 volumes. Digital images made available by the National Diet Library: http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/987668
    Note:
    UC Berkeley’s copy available for use at EAL: http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b10214836~S

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Burmese

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Decorative cloth binding (left) and title page (right).

The prelude on the title page, written in the classic four-syllable rhyme scheme, declares the subject matter as “The royal lineage that flourished from the House of Shakya [Buddha’s ancestry], reaching Myanmar (Burma), beginning with the kingdoms of Bagan (Pagan) and Sagaing … up to the founding of the fourth capital and palace, Yadana Pura… Royal counselor and minister U Phyaw summarized it and composed it, in a verse form to please the reader’s ears.”

As the poem opens, the author says, “Starting from the 11th [in the line], King Thammata, up to the Lord and Queen who founded the fourth capital, Yadana Pura, I shall reveal [the matters of] the monarchs, queens, courtesans, sons, daughters, and kinsmen, in a poem.”

The text reflects the spelling and grammar conventions of a different era, markedly different from contemporary specimens. This feature makes the book a tangible piece of evidence for the metamorphosis of the Burmese language, a valuable source for language and literature research.

Contribution by Kenneth Wong, Lecturer
Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies

Title: Rājā vaṃsa teʺ kabyā
Title in English:
Author: edited by Ūʺ Phyoʻ
Imprint: Ranʻ Kunʻ : Haṃsāvātī Sa Taṅʻʺ Cā Tuikʻ 1899.
Edition: 1st edition
Language: Burmese
Language Family: Sino-Tibetan
Source: HathiTrust
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b4083733

Print editions of interest at Berkeley:
http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b14836033~S1

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Dutch

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Dutch
Cover of UC Berkeley’s 1881 edition of Max Havelaar.

Max Havelaar or the coffee auctions of the Dutch Trading Company is a monument of Dutch literature. Published in 1860 by Multatuli (pseud. of Eduard Dowes Dekker) it is a statement against the Dutch colonial rule in the Dutch East Indies, present-day Indonesia. This satirical novel exposes the harsh policies and abuse of Indonesians under colonial rule from the point of view of Max Havelaar, a Dutch civil servant, intertwined with the narrative of Droogstoppel the coffee merchant. Quite controversial when it came out, it was initially repressed but soon became an international sensation and was translated into more than 40 languages. The great Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer is quoted as calling it “the book that killed colonialism.”

The Dutch Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley was introduced as a permanent curriculum in the Department of German in autumn 1966. With the introduction of the Queen Beatrix Chair of Dutch Language, Literature & Culture in 1971, a degree Program in Dutch studies was launched, eventually leading to a Dutch Major. In 1982 a second endowed chair was introduced: the Peter Paul Rubens Chair for Flemish Studies. It was the first Flemish chair endowed in the United States by the government of the Flemish Community in Belgium. This enrichment of the Dutch Studies Program allowed a significant expansion of its course offerings by the annual appointment of outstanding faculty from Flemish universities as visiting professor for a semester.

UC Berkeley Libraries have been collecting Dutch language material from its earliest years, across disciplines, especially in the history of Europe, the formation of the Netherlands, socialism, Dutch East Indies, and Suriname. Berkeley then began to offer a graduate degree in Dutch Studies in 2013.

Contribution by Steve Mendoza
Selector for Dutch Studies, Doe Library

 

Title: Max Havelaar ; of, De koffiveilingen der Nederlandsche handelsmaatschappy
Title in English: Max Havelaar or the coffee auctions of the Dutch Trading Company
Author: Multatuli
Imprint: Rotterdam : Uitgevers-maatschappy “Elsevier”, 1881.
Edition: 4th edition
Language: Dutch
Language Family: Indo-European, Germanic
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006304009

Other online editions:
Project Gutenberg English edition
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11024

Print editions at Berkeley:
More than two dozen editions of Max Havelaar are available in the UC Berkeley Library in Dutch but also in Indonesian, German and English translation.

  1. Source for this digitized volume printed in 1881, http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b12227621~S1
  2. First edition published in 1860 in The Bancroft Library, http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b10342457~S1
  3. New English translation by Ina Rilke (New York: New York Review of Books, 2018), http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b24900265~S1

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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DH+Lib: Building and Preserving Collections for Digital Humanities Research

An English stage showing Sir John Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly, ca. 1662
An English stage showing Sir John Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly, ca. 1662

DH+LIB: BUILDING AND PRESERVING COLLECTIONS FOR DIGITAL HUMANITIES RESEARCH

Wednesday, April 17th, 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Doe 180

This session will feature panelists building collections and tools for local digital humanities projects. Kathryn Stine, manager for digital content development and strategy at the California Digital Library, will talk about building web archive collections through collaboration, preparing these collections for discovery and use, and tapping the research potential of the resulting captured content and data. Mary Elings, Head of Technical Services for The Bancroft Library, will talk about the role libraries can play in developing research-ready digital collections to facilitate emerging research methods. And Gisèle Tanasse, Film & Media Services Librarian at the Library, will discuss her role in Shakespeare’s Staging, a DH project to help digitize, preserve, and make accessible Shakespeare performances from UC Berkeley students.

DH Fair 2019
http://ucberk.li/dhfair

 

2019 DH Fair Library Committee
Stacy Reardon, Chair
Lynn Cunningham
Mary Elings
Jeremy Ott
Liladhar Pendse
Claude Potts


Swahili

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Swahili

Swahili, a Bantu language in the Niger-Congo, is the lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and southern Africa. According to the most recent 2015 Ethnologue estimates, there are just over 98 million speakers – 16 million first language speakers; 82 million second language speakers.  It is the official language of Tanzania and one of at least two official languages in Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. Swahili is also listed as an official language of the African Union. Originally, Swahili was written in Arabic script and borrows many words from the language, a result of strong regional ties to the Arab world via trade and religion.

The earliest known Swahili documents were discovered on the Indian Ocean island of Kilwa along the Swahili Coast, which consists of the coastlines and nearby islands of present day Kenya, Tanzania and northern Mozambique. The island of Pemba is also located within the Swahili Coast, which was the home of Kamange and Sarahani, the authors of the poetry found in Kale ya Wahairi wa Pemba: Kamange na Sarahani (The Past of Pemba Poets: Kamange and Sarahani).  Kamange and Sarahani were contemporaries and fierce rivals during the latter-half of the nineteenth century until their deaths in the early twentieth century. Both were well regarded along the Swahili Coast. Kamange often took up subjects like love and bravery while Sarahani chose religious topics and moral instruction.   Among their influences were the culture and environment of the region.  Since both were Muslim, they were also influenced by Islamic literature and the Arabic language, all of which comes out in their writings.

Recognizing the cultural significance of the collection of poetry, Abdurrahman Saggaf Alawy (author of the preface, Shukurani) and Ali Abdala El-Maawy (author, along with Alawy, of the forward, Dibaji)  kept the poems safe during the turbulent period during and immediately following the 1964 revolution in Zanzibar. They safely stored the collection for more than 40 years before presenting them to Abdilatif Abdala, editor of this volume, for publication.

Swahili was first offered at UC Berkeley in 1979.  Today, elementary through advanced Swahili is offered each semester by Professor David Kyeu. Over the last several years, Swahili enrollment on campus has remained steady with an average of 42 students enrolled each academic term. To support Swahili language use and practice, the Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley hosts a weekly Swahili Language table where Berkeley students as well as members of the larger community can practice and improve their language skills.

Contribution by Adam Clemons
Librarian for African and African American Studies, Doe Library

Title: Kale ya Washairi wa Pemba: Kamange na Sarahani
Title in English: The Past of Pemba Poets: Kamange and Sarahani
Author: Abdilatif Abdalla
Imprint: Oxford: African Books Collective, 2012.
Edition: 1st edition
Language: Swahili
Language Family: Niger-Congo
Source: Project Muse
URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/book/22594/

Print editions in Library:

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Ana Hatherly Bibliography + Conference/Symposium + Talk

Poeta chama poeta I, 1989
Ana Hatherly, Poeta chama poeta I, 1989, Col. Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto.

In anticipation of  the conference/symposium on Portuguese visual artist/poet/scholar/filmmaker Ana Hatherly (1929-2015), we’ve assembled a bibliography of works authored by and about her in the Berkeley Library. Hatherly was one of the pioneers of the experimental poetry and literature movement in Portugal and already well-known in Europe before earning her PhD at Berkeley in 1986. Many of the books in the collection came to the Library through her dissertation advisor Arthur Askins who maintained close contact with her after she returned to Portugal. Other books were acquired more recently through the support of the Portuguese Studies Program in the Institute of European Studies (IES) and from donors such as retired Berkeley librarian AnneMarie Mitchell.

Between the lines: Tradition and Plasticity in Ana Hathery | Entrelinhas: tradição e plasticidade em Ana Hatherly, which will take place this Friday, March 22 in Stephens Hall, is the third conference/symposium since IES and the Camões Institute in Lisbon inaugurated the Catédra Ana Hatherly, or Chair, in Portuguese Studies in 2017. Tomorrow morning, Patrícia Lino who is currently a Camões lecturer at UC Santa Barbara will give a talk in English on the poetry of Ana Hatherly in Barrows Hall that is free and open to the public.

Ana Hatherly

https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/ana-hatherly


Tamil

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Title page of the 1885 bilingual Madras edition

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Tirukkural holds the same status in Tamil culture that Confucius’s Analects hold in the Chinese and Sadi’s Gulistan holds in the Persian cultures respectively. Not only is the Tirukkural considered a masterpiece of literature but is also seen to embody the essence of Tamil ethics, virtue, and morality. A copy of the text can be found in nearly every Tamil home and verses from it are frequently quoted. In fact, it is so revered that one can take an oath on it in Tamil courts of law.

Despite such reverence, very little is definitively known either about the work’s author or the context of its production. Traditionally, it is attributed to Tiruvalluvar. The prefix tiru in both Tiruvalluvar and Tirukkural is the Tamil equivalent of the Sanskrit sri and roughly means holy or sacred. Hence, the name of the reputed author is Valluvar. It is said that Tiruvalluvar, or Holy Valluvar, was a humble weaver who, despite his humble origins and implied lack of formal education, was so sagacious, pious, and holy that he perfectly captured the very essence of ethics, virtue, and morality, in fact the very essence of dharma, in short pithy poetic couplets that remain unsurpassed to this day.

Tiruvalluvar is generally believed to have lived in the 2nd century BCE, although there is no hard historical evidence for this and he might have lived any time between the 2nd century BCE and the 7th century CE. There is also no agreement on the place of his birth and exact religious affiliation. Nearly every major religion and sect in Tamil society has laid claim on him. Buddhists and Jains point to the similarity of Tiruvalluvar’s ethical teaching and the ethics of their respective traditions. Some Christians claim to see a Christian influence on him and declare him to be a disciple of St. Thomas the Apostle, who is traditionally held to be buried in Tamil Nadu. Even among Hindus there is no agreement on whether Tiruvalluvar was a Shaivite or Vaishnavite. Yet all appreciate his insights and their literary style.

The title of the work, Tirukkural, refers to this pithiness of the poetic couplets as kural literally means short, brief, concise or abbreviated. The work can thus be described as a set of poetic aphorisms. The meter used for the couplets is venpa, which is a very short meter. The text covers 133 topics each with 10 couplets dedicated to it giving a total of 1330 couplets. The topics are broadly related to three themes and thus divided into three sections. The first covers aram (virtue or dharma), the second deals with porul (wealth) and the last section is about inbam (love and enjoyment). These three sections cover the four main aims of human life as understood by Hindu sages. In Sanskrit they are called dharma (virtue, religious ethics), artha (wealth), kama (physical enjoyment), and moksha (salvation). The section on aram deals with both dharma and moksha, while the section on porul deals with artha, both at the individual and at the social and political level, and the section on inbam deals with kama.

In the traditions and legends related to Tiruvalluvar, another important person connected with his work is his wife Vasuki. Not only was she an ideal wife but was also wise and holy like her husband. She became a means and medium for many of the teachings about an ideal married life, relations between spouses, patience, and  forbearance. It is through her that Tiruvalluvar was able to give the answer to the question of whether salvation can be achieved while being a married member of society or does one have to renounce all social, especially marital, relations.

Tirukkural was first translated into Latin by the Italian Jesuit missionary Constanzo Beschi in 1699. As interest in Tamil culture and the Tamil language grew, it was subsequently translated into a number of European languages including English. Among these is the translation featured here that includes commentaries by respected Brahim scholars.

Until recently, the University of California, Berkeley was the only university in the United States to have a chair in Tamil Studies. From the very beginning of the Department for South & Southeast Asian Studies Tamil was one of the primary languages offered by it. World-renowned scholars, like Murray Barnson Emeneau, made Cal famous for the study of Dravidian and Indian linguistics. In 1975 Prof. George Hart joined as the Professor of Tamil and remained the holder of the Tamil Chair until his retirement a few years ago. His wife Kausalya Hart was the Tamil language instructor on campus and together they wrote Tamil textbooks that are still widely used. Prof. George played a key role in having the Indian government formally declare Tamil to be a classical language in 2004. Prof. Hart’s scholarly research on Tamil and Tamil literature earned him many awards and accolades including the Padma Shri, India’s third highest honor. Berkeley is set to continue its fine scholarly tradition in Tamil Studies as it looks forward to welcoming a new Tamil professor in a few months’ time. At the same time, Tamil language instruction continues to be provided by Dr. Bharathy Sankara Rajulu.

Contribution by Adnan Malik
Curator and Cataloger for the South Asia Collection
South/Southeast Asia Library

Title: திருக்குறள்
Title in English: The Kural of Tiruvalluvar
Authors: Tiruvalluvar; John Lazarus (trans.)
Imprint: Madras: W.P. Chettiar, 1885.
Edition: Unknown
Language: Tamil
Language Family: Dravidian
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b3903253

Other digital editions:  English translation from Project Madurai, Side-by-side Tamil/English translation from 
http://thirukkural.gokulnath.com

Print editions at Berkeley:  Tiruvalluvar, John Lazarus  (trans.). The Kural of Tiruvalluvar. Madras: W.P. Chettiar, 1885.

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Persian (Farsi)

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

The battle scene of Rustam and AfrasiyabShāhnāmah, translated as The Book of Kings, is the world’s longest epic poem and the most important national book of Persia, written by Abu’l-Qasim Mansur (later known as Ferdowsi Tusi). Shāhnāmah took over a period of thirty years, under the patronage of the Samanid dynasty, to get complete (in 940-1019 or 1025 CE). It resurrected Persian language, history, pre-Islamic beliefs, traditions, and culture almost 400 years after the Arab invasion of the Persian Empire. Being composed of approximately 50,000 couplets (two-line verses), Shāhnāmah chronicles histories, legends, and myths of Iranian (Aryan) kings from the primordial and pre-Islamic era to the 7th-century Arab conquest of Persia. As a “source of popular narratives” and a collection of interrelated dāstāns (mythical prose narratives rooted in the tradition of oral storytelling) the book spans the history of fifty generations of kings and rulers with an emphasis on justice, humanity, faith, and peacefulness.[1] All 62 stories told in 990 chapters vividly illustrate scenes of war to imply heroism and wisdom, but also peace, compassion, and reconciliation. These mythic stories define life as a process of living in between light and darkness, as well as between justice and injustice. In describing the stories of Shāhnāmah, Hamid Dabashi, a well-known Iranian scholar, states:

“Ferdowsi’s epic narrative describes the heroic deeds of Rostam, the treacheries of Zahhak, the innocence of Seyavash, the bedeviling attraction of Sudabeh, the tragedies of Sohrab and Esfandiar, the love stories of Bizhan and Manizheh, Zal and Rudabeh. What holds these stories together is Ferdowsi’s self-conscious presence. His periodic interruptions of the epic narrative to dwell on the nature of human beings and their destiny, his unfailing moral gaze at the glories and atrocities of human existence.”[2]

Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmah employs the least Arabic loanwords, despite the fact that during the time of its composition, a considerable number of Arabic terminologies were adopted by the Persian language and used in the ordinary language. Many commentators including Mohammad Djafar Moïnfar, claim that Ferdowsi consciously and intentionally avoided using Arabi terms due to existing hostile political circumstances. According to Moïnfar, Shāhnāmah “contains 706 words of Arabic origin occurring a total of 8,938 times”.[3] In fact, the emphasis of Shāhnāmah on the Persian language listed the book among the greatest nationalist books of Persian classic literature.

Contribution by Shahrzad Shirvani
PhD Student in Architecture, College of Environmental Design

Sources consulted:

[1] Encyclopedia Iranica, retrieved from http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/shah-nama-06-dastan.

[2] Hamid Dabashi, The World of Persian Literary Humanism (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2012), 91.

[3] Encyclopedia Iranica, retrieved from http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/sah-nama-v-arabic-words.

Title: Shāhnāmah [شاهنامه]
Title in English: The Book of Kings
Author: Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsī
Imprint: India?, 1575-1625?
“As for the place of origin, the scribe was evidently of Iranian background and training, even if living in India, while the paintings are clearly to be distinguished as Indian. It seems that the calligrapher and painter (there were at least two of them) did not work in the same period” – from description of F. Abdullaeva.
Edition: Origin: As appears in colophon on p.1236/fol.615b, copied by ʻAbd al-Qādir Sāvajī al-Qazvīnī with transcription completed 7 Jumādá II in an unspecified year. F. Abdullaeva, Oleg Akimushkin, and Philippa Vaughan refer the manuscript’s production to the latter 16th or early 17th century.
Language: Persian (Farsi)
Language Family: Indo-European Indo-Iranian
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015079127547

Other digital editions: 

  1. A manuscript copied in Herat (c. 1444) for the Timurid Prince Muhammad Juki (1402-1445) has been digitized by the University of Cambridge.
  2. A manuscript Copied by Qiwām ibn Muḥammad Shīrāzī in 998 H [1589 or 90], likely produced in Shīrāz, has been digitized by Princeton University Digital Library.
  3. A collection of thirteen extremely rare illustrated lithographed digital editions of Ferdowsi’s Shahnamah are available through the Library’s access to Brill Online Primary Sources. In this collection, the oldest copy is imprinted by Muḥammad Mahdī Iṣfahānī, in Bombay, India(1262 [1846]).
  4. A manuscript imprinted in Iran (1430) and calligraphed by Ja’far has been digitized by the Library of Congress.
  5. Digitized Illustrations of Shāhnāmah, British Library.
  6. Shahnama: 1000 Years of the Persian Book of Kings by The Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art

Print editions at Berkeley: 

Many editions and translations can be found through OskiCat. The most precious is an abridged manuscript of Shāhnāmah in prose believed to be created in India in the early 17th century and is housed in The Bancroft Library.

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Chinese

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Authors: Lewis Carroll; Yuen Ren Chao 趙元任 (trans.) Imprint: Shanghai: Shanghai yin shu guan, 1939.
Title page (left) and illustrated page (right) from the Library’s 1939 Shanghai edition.

The concept of “children’s literature” was virtually foreign when Chao’s translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first appeared in China. Traditionally, children of the literate classes learned to read by memorizing and copying out primers, like the Three Character Classic 三字, gradually moving on to the Confucian canon, dynastic histories, and standard compendia of classical literature. What fiction they read was written for adults.

This changed with the May Fourth Movement of 1919, which called for a number of reforms, including the use of vernacular, rather than classical, Chinese in all forms of writing. Some of the movement’s leaders further called for the development of a literature written for children, whether to free them of the intellectual constraints of traditional education, or to give them a psychological space of their own. First published in 1922, Chao’s translation of Alice can be viewed as an answer to both calls.

Alisi is not simply an historical artifact, however. As a linguist (albeit one who took degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Cornell and Harvard), Chao understood well the challenge of Carroll’s language—the puns, jingles, nonsense words of inexhaustible significance. How were these to be rendered in a written vernacular associated with any number of dialects, all abounding in homophones, linguistically and culturally unrelated to Victorian English? It is Chao’s solution to this challenge that continues to impress scholars and tickle readers almost a century after the book’s publication.

Chao joined the Berkeley faculty in 1947. Among academics, he is best remembered for his Grammar of Spoken Chinese, but it is only one in a long string of scholarly achievements that earned him two honorary doctorates in addition to other distinctions. Outside academia, he is also remembered as the translator and unnamed co-author of his wife Yang Buwei’s How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, and as the man who wrote music for Liu Bannong’s verse “Tell Me How to Stop Thinking of Her” 教我如何不想她. His papers are housed in the University Archives at the Bancroft Library.

Contribution by Deborah Rudolph
Curator, C. V. Starr East Asian Library

Title: Alisi man you qi jing ji(Search title 阿丽思漫游奇境记)
Title in English: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Authors: Lewis Carroll; Yuen Ren Chao 趙元 (trans.)
Imprint: Shanghai: Shanghai yin shu guan, 1939.
Edition: 4th
Language: Chinese
Language Family: Sino-Tibetan
Source: English-Chinese edition published in 1988 through the Library’s subscription to Chinamaxx (requires Adobe Flash).
URL: http://www.chinamaxx.net

Other digital editions: Through Library’s subscription to Chinese Academic Digital Associate Library (CADAL) but requires free account creation and Flash).

Print editions at Berkeley: Shanghai: Shang wu yin shu guan, Minguo 28 [1939]  and Beijing: Shang wu yin shu guan, 2002.

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Spanish (Latin America)

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

 Fama, y obras póstumas (Madrid: Manuel Ruiz de Murga, 1700) from Universität Bielefeld

Nun, rebel, genius, poet, persecuted intellectual, and proto-feminist, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Nepantla 1648-Mexico City 1695) was the most distinguished intellectual in the pre-Independence American colonies of Spain. She was called “Tenth Muse” in her own time and continues to inspire the popular and scholarly imagination. Generations of Mexican schoolchildren have memorized her satirical ballad “Hombres necios que acusáis / a la mujer sin razón… “ (You foolish men who cast all blame on women), and her portrait appears on the 200-peso note. Despite her status as an icon of Mexican culture, an annotated edition of her complete works was not published until the tercentenary of her birth in the mid-1950s, and the complexity of her poetry, prose, and theater was known only by reputation until the second wave of feminism brought scholarly attention to her work in the 1970s. Octavio Paz’s monumental study, Sor Juana, o, Las trampas de la fe (Sor Juana, or The Traps of Faith) appeared in 1982.

An intellectual prodigy brought to the viceregal court of New Spain in her teens, Sor Juana was largely self-taught. In 1669, she entered the convent of San Jerónimo in order to continue her studies. Although women were excluded from the study of theology and rhetoric, she wrote a brilliant critique of a renowned Portuguese cleric’s sermon, and was reprimanded by the Bishop of Puebla, who wrote under a female pseudonym. Sor Juana’s “Respuesta a sor Filotea” (1691, “Reply to Sister Philothea”) displayed her erudition in defense of her intellectual passion, arguing that St. Paul’s often-quoted admonition that women should keep silent in church (mulieres in ecclesia taceant), should not prohibit women’s pursuit of knowledge and instruction of young girls. Other significant works include secular and religious theater; philosophical poetry; passionate poems to the noblewomen who were her patrons; and villancicos, sets of songs she was commissioned to write for religious celebrations.

Sor Juana’s long epistemological poem, Primero sueño (First Dream) epitomizes the Creole appropriation of the Baroque and yet she weaves into her poetry and theater a recognition of the humanity of indigenous peoples. While her literary models were European and her poetry was first published in Spain, her works evince an American consciousness in the representation of the violence of the conquest in the loa to El divino Narciso (Divine Narcissus) and her use of Nahuatl in the villancicos.

Contribution by Emilie Bergmann
Professor,  Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Title: Fama, y obras póstumas
Title in English: Homage and posthumous works
Author: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695)
Imprint: Madrid: Manuel Ruiz de Murga, 1700.
Edition: 1st
Language: Spanish (Latin America)
Language Family: Indo-European, Romance
Source: Universitätsbibliothek, Universität Bielefeld
URL: http://ds.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/viewer/image/1592397/1

Other digital editions: Inundación castálida, de la única poetisa, musa décima, soror Juana Inés de la Cruz (Madrid: Juan García Infanzón, 1689) and the first edition of Segundo volumen de las obras de soror Juana Inés de la Cruz (Sevilla: Tomás López de Haro, 1692).

Print editions at Berkeley: Critical and annotated editions of the first two volumes of Sor Juana’s work, Inundación Castálida (1689) and Segundo tomo (1693), as well as Fama, y obras póstumas and editions of complete and selected works are available in printed form in The Bancroft Library and the Main Stacks.

Sor Juana’s complete works were published in four volumes: Obras completas, Alfonso Méndez Plancarte and Alberto G. Salcedo. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1951-57. Many English translations of selected works of Sor Juana’s works are also in OskiCat including those of Alan S. Trueblood, Margaret Sayers Peden, Amanda Powell, and Edith Grossman.

The Languages of Berkeley [fan]
previous | about | next

The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

Follow The Languages of Berkeley!
Subscribe by email
www.ucblib.link/languages