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Abstract: Proverbs have been widely used as a formalized genre in the
literature since the eighth century BCE in China, and there has appeared
a great number of proverb collections in the past centuries. However, the
proverb studies in China have not been given relevant attention, and the
deficiency of focusing only on the proverb texts out of context in those
existing studies is obvious. Proverbs are a form of literature as well as a
comprehensive practice of life and culture, whose integrity of meaning
and function can only be presented and realized in context. Therefore, a
better collection or investigation of proverbs must be combined with the
perspective of context. The ongoing national project the “Treasury of
Chinese Folk Literature: Proverbs” is expected to not only make up for
the deficiency of previous investigations of proverbs in China, providing
a more comprehensive and integrated collection of Chinese proverbs, but
also further advance proverb studies in China.
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