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From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative

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From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This is the first comprehensive work in English on the complex history and theory of traditional Chinese narrative. It describes the major Chinese conventions and strategies for interpreting narrative works, both historical and fictional, from the earliest narratives through those of the Ch'ing dynasty. For most of China's recorded history, historical authenticity and factual accuracy were paramount in the production and reception of narrative texts. Fictional narratives were theorized and judged in accordance with the standards of historical narratives. In short, narrative was history, and fiction was defective history. Furthermore, the state made great efforts to control fiction by suppression (censorship) and disavowal (denigration and trivialization). It was only with the widespread popularity of novels in the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties that Chinese theorists were able to come to terms with fiction and dehistoricize the poetics of narrative by allowing and recognizing invention and fabrication in narrative texts.

At this time, the Chinese poetics of narrative moved away from the long-held centrality of historicity, and critics acknowledged that good fiction can penetrate the nature and feelings of human beings in ways that other writings cannot, and that a reader is able to discover the uttermost principles of life in fiction just as in the Confucian classics and historical writings. Narrative was no longer assigned the function it had, for some 2,000 years, of being a "factual record" or "credible history." Its existence was justified because it conjured up a world that was lifelike and credible.

In the process of tracing the long history of Chinese narrative, the author employs both Chinese and Western theoretical writings to chart convergences and differences in Chinese and Western literary theory and criticism.

Synopsis:

A comprehensive, comparative, and cross-cultural study of the poetics of the entire Chinese narrative tradition.

Synopsis:

This work analyses traditional Chinese narrative and the major conventions and strategies of reading and interpreting narrative works.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [183]-196) and indexes.

About the Author

Sheldon H. Lu is Associate Professor of Chinese, Film Studies, and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780804723190
Author:
Lu, Sheldon Hsiao-peng
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Author:
Lu, Hsiao-Peng
Author:
Sheldon, Lu
Author:
Lu, Sheldon
Author:
Lu, Sheldon Hsiao-Peng
Location:
Stanford, Calif. :
Subject:
Asian
Subject:
China
Subject:
Narration (rhetoric)
Subject:
South & Southeast Asian *
Subject:
Chinese fiction
Subject:
Narration
Subject:
Asian - General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Cultural Sitings
Series Volume:
no. 17
Publication Date:
19941031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
228

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Literary History » Asia
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative New Hardcover
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Product details 228 pages Stanford University Press - English 9780804723190 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A comprehensive, comparative, and cross-cultural study of the poetics of the entire Chinese narrative tradition.
"Synopsis" by , This work analyses traditional Chinese narrative and the major conventions and strategies of reading and interpreting narrative works.
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