Reconstructing the Historical Discourse of Traditional Chinese Fiction

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This study excavates and studies a lost perspective that will enhance the understanding of Chinese narrative tradition. It defines some of the terms that were central in the vocabulary of fiction criticism during the pre-modern period, such as Tao, wen, xiao shuo, you xi, and qi.

“This book examines Western epistemology and literary theory from the time of Plato and Aristotle to the present as well as investigates thousands of years of important Chinese theories from Confucius, Zhuang Xi, Liu Zhiji, Yijing, and Wenxin dialong to the end of the imperial era. . . . While well-informed by Western theories about language, philosophy, and literature, Shi searches deeply into the roots of Chinese literary ideas. He goes to ancient texts and early sources in order to elucidate issues in contemporary literary criticism. The book presents the original contexts and contours of the discourse of pre-modern Chinese fiction for the modern reader. Scholars in the field of Chinese literary studies and comparative literature will benefit from reading this carefully prepared and insightful new study.” – Sheldon H. Lu

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Introduction
1. The Leopardskin of Dao and the Icon of Truth: Natural Birth vs. Mimesis in Chinese and Western Literary Theories
2. Small Talk and Weeds: the Genealogy of Xiao Shuo (Pre-Han Period; Han Dynasty; Post-Han Period)
3. Pearl Ships and Qi: A Central Generic Feature of Xiao Shuo (Pre-Six Dynasties; The Six Dynasties; Tang; Song; Ming-Qing Period)
4. Cuisine and Seafood: Xiao Shuo as You Xi
5. Fifty Feet and One Hundred Feet: Confucianist Discourse vs. Xiao Shuo ( Guai, Yin, Luan in the Confucian Canon; Yijing; Shijing: Chunqiu)
6. Confucianist discourse: Three in the Morning and Four in the Afternoon (Confucius and the Six Classics; Making of the Orthodox Discourse; Jing; Confucianism)
Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

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