Delight in One Thousand Characters
A beautifully curated presentation of the Thousand Character Essay, a masterpiece of Chinese calligraphy that has served as the art form’s classic manual for over 1,400 years.
The Thousand Character Essay is China’s most widely used and beloved calligraphy textbook—sung to infants as a lullaby, used to teach reading and writing, employed as library index codes, and more. Composed by the literary giant Zhou Xingsi and handwritten by sixth-century Buddhist monk Zhiyong, this masterful work has endured for centuries as the standard guide for brush writing both in formal and cursive scripts. Delight in One Thousand Characters brings this sublime body of art-as-text to English-speaking readers, detailing the fascinating history, geographic range, and aesthetic nuance of the essay. Preserving the renowned beauty of Zhiyong’s only extant handwriting, the book includes a full one-hundred-strip edition of his calligraphy and offers corresponding commentary explaining the meaning of each character.