Spirit and Self in Medieval China

( The Shih-shuo hsin-yu and Its Legacy )

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This title offers a thorough study of the origins and evolution of the "Shih-shuo t'i" based on a comprehensive literary analysis of the "Shih-shuo hsin-yu" and a systematic documentation and examination of more than 30 imitations. The "Shih-shuo hsin-yu", conventionally translated as "A New Account of Tales of the World", is one of the most significant works in the entire Chinese literary tradition. It established a genre (the "Shih-shuo t'i") and inspired dozens of imitations from the later part of the Tang dynasty (618-907) to the early Republican era of the 20th century. The "Shih-shuo hsin-yu" consists of more than a thousand historical anecdotes about elite life in the late Han dynasty and the Wei-Chin period (about AD 150-420). Despite a general recognition of the place of the 2Shih-shuo hsin-yu" in China's literary history (and to a lesser extent that of Japan), the genre itself has never been adequately defined or thoroughly studied. "Spirit and Self in Medieval China" offers a thorough study of the origins and evolution of the "Shih-shuo t'i" based on a comprehensive literary analysis of the "Shih-shuo hsin-yu" and a systematic documentation and examination of more than 30 imitations. The study also contributes to the growing interest in the Chinese idea of individual identity. By focusing on the "Shin-shuo" genre, which provides the starting point in China for a systematic literary construction of the self, it demonstrates that, contrary to Western assertions of a timeless Chinese "tradition," an authentic understanding of personhood in China changed continually and often significantly in response to changing historical and cultural circumstances.

  • New Paperback 15*23 cm, 520 pp.

$28.80

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Condition: New
ISBN: 0824823974
Shipping Weight: 1.9lbs
Published: 2001
ISBN-13: 9780824823979


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