Spirit and self in medieval China : the Shih-shuo hsin-yü and its legacy


Spirit and self in medieval China : the Shih-shuo hsin-yü and its legacy

Nanxiu Qian

University of Hawaiʿi Press, c2001

  • : pbk



大学図書館所蔵 件 / 5



Includes bibliographical references (p. [475]-504) and index



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.

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