Selected works from 14th to Early 20th Century
During the Ming (1368-1683) and the Qing (1683-1911) dynasties, Nanjing became an important cultural center in China. As a gathering place of literary masters, it was an important birthplace of literary masterpieces and a creative showcase for various kinds of opera.
The Yongle Encylopedia
In the early Ming Dynasty, the Yongle Encyclopedia, was compiled in Nanjing under the guidance of the royal court. It is China's most famous encyclopedic collection of books. It includes 22,937 volumes (60 volumes for the catalog), totaling about 370 million words. It's described as "the biggest encyclopedia in the world history" by Encyclopedia Britannica.
Oral and Intangible Heritage-Kun Opera
It was in Nanjing that Kun Opera had its heyday. Tang Xianzu, author of Peony Pavilion, visited Qinliang Mountain and Porcelain Tower and conceived the prototype of a drama script set in Nanjing. Kong Shangren, author of Peach Blossom Fan, made a special trip to Nanjing. Thus, most characters and places in this opera are related to the city of Nanjing.
The Scholars represents the pinnacle of ancient Chinese satirical novels, and presents an example of a novel directly evaluating real life. So far, it has been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish. Its author, Wu Jingzi, is known as "a guest in Qinhuai". He bought a Qinhuai waterside pavilion and settled in Nanjing at the age of 33, which is where he wrote his masterpiece.