Chinese Vernacular Stories

This is an in-depth evaluation of vernacular stories of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Special attention will be given to different vernacular stories. Examples may include the three large collections of Chinese vernacular stories, Common Words to Warn the World (Jingshi tongyan), Constant Words to Awaken the World (Xingshi hengyan) and Clear Words to Inform the World (yushi mingyan), collected or written by Feng Menglong (1574-1646). Significant chapters from the three collections will be selected for intensive reading and close analysis. The reason for the rise of the vernacular story as well as the relationship between the author/editor and the stories will be discussed in the course. Some cases of the evolution from earlier versions to those collected in later periods will be explored. The narrative characteristics applied in the collections will be explained. Several thematic designs in the texts will also be interpreted.

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