Xiaohuan Zhao is lecturer at the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has published more than twenty articles and co-authored/compiled four books. He writes in both Chinese and English. Dr. Zhao obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and his B.A. and M.A. from Central China Normal University.2005 0-7734-6097-7Winner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship
The present research is the first attempt ever made at a systematic analysis of classical Chinese supernatural fiction known as zhiguai
under the morphological framework designed by Vladimir Propp (1928) and later developed by Alan Dundes (1964). Zhiguai
has long been a focus of Chinese studies, but the studies have been generally confined either to exploration into the geographical-historical sources of zhiguai tales or to the recognition and reconstruction of society in ancient China through zhiguai literature. A systematic study of this genre from a structural-functional perspective will shed light on the rules governing the textual organisation of classical Chinese fiction of the supernatural and strange. While the focus of this work is on a synchronic presentation of textual features and structural patterns of zhiguai
fiction, a general review of zhiguai
literature is conducted before a morphological analysis is made of this genre. The main purpose for this diachronic exploration is to complement the synchronic analysis of tale texts so as to present a panoramic view of classical Chinese fiction of the supernatural and strange.