Traditional Chinese Stories: Themes and Variations
Author: Y.W. Ma, Joseph S.M. Lau
Publisher: Cheng & Tsui
Release Date: June 01, 2008
For centuries the Chinese referred to their fiction as hsiao-shuo, etymologically meaning "roadside gossip" or "small talk," and held it in low regard compared to classical poetry and drama. Not until the 20th century was the Chinese story internationally recognized as a beautiful and vital expression of the Chinese spirit. Spanning the former Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 8) to the early Republican years, these 61 selected stories represent the five major forms of Chinese fiction: pi-chi, ch'uan-ch'i, pien-wen, hua-pen and kung-an. With tables listing each selection in its proper chronological sequence and with extensive notes explaining difficult allusions and the placement of each story in the development of Chinese literature, this collection provides an excellent text for students of comparative literature and Chinese fiction.