A Brief History of Chinese Fiction

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The Minerva Group, Inc., 2000 - Literary Criticism - 452 pages
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Lu Hsun, pioneer and standard-bearer of modern Chinese literature, wrote this book during the early twenties. It is a study of the historical development of Chinese fiction from early myths and legends down to well-developed long novels written at the end of the Ching Dynasty.The characteristics of various forms of fiction through the centuries, the development of these forms and their influence on each other are lucidly presented, while such major works as the novels Hung Lou Meng (A Dream of Red Mansions) and Shue Hu Chuan (Water Margin) are reviewed in detail.Chinese fiction had its roots in story telling, and the feudal ruling class despised folk literature of this kind. The May 4th Movement of 1919 dealt a mortal blow to the feudal forces in Chinese culture. Then the study of this form of literature began to make headway, Lu Hsun being one of the first to carry out research in this field.This book, the earliest systematic study of the history of Chinese fiction by a Chinese writer, still exercises a great influence among Chinese scholars.This English translation is illustrated with reproductions of early Chinese woodcuts.
 

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Contents

The Historians Accounts and Evaluations of Fiction
1
Myths and Legends
9
Works of Fiction Mentioned in the Han Dynasty History
21
Fiction Attributed to Han Dynasty Writers
27
Tales of the Supernatural in the Six Dynasties
42
Tales of the Supernatural in the Six Dynasties Continued
57
Social Talk and Other Works
66
The Tang Dynasty Prose Romances
80
Ming Dynasty Novels About Gods and Devils Continued
208
J9 Novels of Manners in the Ming Dynasty
220
Novels of Manners in the Ming Dynasty Continued
232
Ming Dynasty Imitations of Sung Stories in the Vernacular
242
Imitations of Classical Tales in the Ching Dynasty
254
Novels of Social Satire in the Ching Dynasty
272
Novels of Manners in the Ching Dynasty
282
Novels of Erudition in the Ching Dynasty
300

The Tang Dynasty Prose Romances Continued
94
Collections of Tang Dynasty Tales
106
Supernatural Tales and Prose Romances in the Sung Dynasty
116
StoryTellers PromptBooks of the Sung Dynasty
131
Imitations of PromptBooks in the Sung and Yuan Dynasties
143
Historical Romances of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties
154
Historical Romances of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties Continued
170
Ming Dynasty Novels About Gods and Devils
187
Ming Dynasty Novels About Gods and Devils Continued
198
Novels About Prostitution in the Ching Dynasty
319
Novels of Adventure and Detection in the Ching Dynasty
336
Novels of Exposure at the End of the Ching Dynasty
352
Postscript
369
The Historical Development of Chinese Fiction
373
Preface to the Japanese Edition
421
Index
423
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About the author (2000)

Lu Hsun was born in 1881 and died in 1936. Besides writing fiction, he wrote essays and a classic work on Chinese literature.

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