Chinese Mythology: An Introduction

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JHU Press, Apr 26, 1999 - History - 322 pages

In Chinese Mythology, Anne Birrell provides English translations of some 300 representative myth narratives selected from over 100 classical texts, many of which have never before been translated into any Western language. Organizing the narratives according to themes and motifs common to world mythology, Birrell addresses issues of source, dating, attribution, textural variants, multiforms, and context. Drawing on exhaustive work in comparative mythology, she surveys the development of Chinese myth studies, summarizes the contribution of Chinese and Japanese scholars to the study of Chinese myth since the 1920s, and examines special aspects of traditional approaches to Chinese myth. The result is an unprecedented guide to the study of Chinese myth for specialists and nonspecialists alike.

 

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Contents

Definitions of Myth 2 Approaches to Chinese Myth s The Comparative
21
The Origin of the World 26 The Goddess Nü Kua Creates Human
35
The River God Chü Ling 41 The Fire Driller 42 Fu Hsis Inventions
58
Master Yen Presents His Invention 63 Minor Culture Bearer Traditions
65
Chu Lung Torch Dragon 68 Nü Kua Mends the Sky 69 Hou Chi Saves
87
Crimes of the Gods 90 The Links between Earth and Heaven
110
Ti Ku 114 Chiang Yuan Gives Birth to Hou Chi 116 Pan Hu 118
118
Po Yi 120 Kun and Yü 121 Yü the Tushan Girl and Chi 122
128
Chang O 176 Jasper Lady 176 The Goddess of Salt River
178
The Mountain Paradise of Kunlun 183 The Island Paradises in
187
Pan Ku Is Transformed into the Universe 190 The Monster Fish Changes
199
Nü Kua Marries Her Brother in the First Marriage 203 The Lord of the Gra
207
Heroes
213
Ching Wei Dams the Sea 214 Kuafu Races the Sun 215 Hsing Tien
221
Eyebrows Twelve Inches Apart 224 The Five Brothers 227 Li Ping Fights
228
The Giant Peach Tree 233 Leaning Mulberry 234 The Vastness of Kun
240

The Battle between the Yellow Emperor and the Flame Emperor 131 Chih
137
Yi Shoots the Ten Suns to Avert Disaster 139 The Rock of the Nine
143
Yü Controls the Flood 146 The Signs of Yüs Divine Favor 148 Yüs Func
157
Nü Kua 163 Draught Ox and Weaver Maid 165 The Hsiang
171
PiercedChest Country 245 OddArm Country 247 The Country
250
The Founding Myth of the Shang 255 Tang the Conqueror Attacks
259
King Wu of the Chou 261 The Beginning of the Yao People 264
267
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About the author (1999)

Anne M. Birrell, whose previous books include Popular Songs and Ballads of Han China and New Songs from a Jade Terrace, has taught Chinese literature at the City University of New York and the University of Cambridge.

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