Poem library

The entire project I want to achieve is a library of traditional Chinese poems.  The project contains several levels of contents:

1. Poems

2. Translations to both modern vernacular Chinese and English

3. Related history of Chinese characters, from oracle bone inscriptions to nowadays traditional Chinese character (Since simplified Chinese ignored quite a lot from the original features

4. Data visualization of the poem library

5. Presentations of the poems themselves

 

However, since the project is too large to be completed within one semester, I would like to focus on some poems from a certain period. Namely, I would like to build a database of poems from 1100BC to 600BC from the Book of Songs with contents, translations, related Character history and then visualize it.

There are some databases of the poems on the Internet and on traditional printed books.

http://so.gushiwen.org/gushi/shijing.aspx?WebShieldDRSessionVerify=DVuuDtxmk1A7slIVY6G1 Here is an example of Internet version of the book.  It already contains translation to modern vernacular Chinese and some notes.  However, I would like to make reference to the book published in 1991 by 中华书局 written by Cheng Junying.  The reason why I want to do that is that the translations can be quite different, especially after the Confucianists give a highly idealised idea to the songs, basically known as 思无邪 in Chinese ( pure and innocent).  This makes the comprehension quite different from what it was, and the scholar Cheng Junying tries to find the original meaning of the poems.  However, to add the Confucianism translation of the poems is also interesting, since these different versions of comprehensions already form a kind of network.

Next thing to do is to find history of the key words in the poem.  甲骨文编 published by 中华书局 in 1965 can be a good reference for this part.

And another important part of the project is to visualise the database. I have looked at several projects at softwarestudies.com, and I’ve found out that the most important part to do the visualisation is to design a virtual space and the corresponding axises of the space, and after that, the data can be shown in the space as spots or other forms in that space.  Usually people will put the poems into a database based on Time and genre, however, I would like to take the contents into count that the database can also shown the proximity of contents between different poems.

About the form to present the visualisation, I would say that the database may become larger and larger as the project goes on, so points and lines can be quite good form.  And in the future, when the audience click on a point, the poem will be shown to the audience in a different way, maybe interactive?

An example is Beyond Pages by Masaki Fujihata.


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