Although the interrelationship between oral (or performing) and written traditions in Chinese popular literature is an issue that concerns practically everybody who reads or teaches Chinese literature, surprisingly it has never been properly treated in a scholarly forum before. For that reason alone, this volume is especially important and deserves serious consideration from scholars and students in the field. With subjects ranging from Ming vernacular fiction to popular prints and contemporary storytelling and folk ballads, this volume examines the interplay of oral and written traditions in China from interdisciplinary perspectives. Literary criticism, linguistic analysis, fieldwork, folklore studies, and the exploration of visual sources all bring out vital
perspectives on central questions. Exploring the traditions of professional storytelling and popular entertainment literature in China, they offer enquiries into new material and give astonishing responses to old controversies. In going beyond the simple binary oral versus written, the essays in this volume ask not whether a text bears a relationship to the oral tradition, but how and to what extent.
The Interplay of the Oral and the Written in Chinese Popular Literature
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