Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend, with Related Texts

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Shiamin Kwa, Wilt L. Idema
Hackett Publishing Company, Aug 13, 2010 - Folklore - 170 pages
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The legend of Mulan--the daughter who disguises herself as a man, dons her father's armor, and heads off to war in his place--remains one of the most popular Chinese folktales despite (or because of) its lack of supernatural demonstrations or interventions.

This volume offers lively translations of the earliest recorded version of the legend and several later iterations of the tale (including the screenplay of the hugely successful 1939 Chinese film Mulan Joins the Army), illustrating the many ways that reinterpretations of this basic story reflect centuries of changes in Chinese cultural, political, and sexual attitudes.

An Introduction traces the evolution of the Mulan legend and its significance in the history of Chinese popular culture. Annotation explaining terms and references unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a comprehensive bibliography further enhance the value of this volume for both scholars and students.

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About the author (2010)

Shiamin Kwa received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.

Wilt L. Idema is Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University.

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