CH'U YU'S "CHIEN-TENG HSIN-HUA": THE LITERARY TALE IN TRANSITION (CH'UAN-CH'I).
AuthorHARMON, COY LEON.
KeywordsQu, You, 1341-1427. Chien teng hsin hua.
Short stories, Chinese.
Short stories, Chinese -- History and criticism.
AdvisorSchultz, William R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe literary tale or ch'uan-ch'i, "transmission of the strange," evolved from the short fictional writings of the Six Dynasties and early T'ang periods and found full form as a short story in the classical language during the latter T'ang dynasty. Ch'uan-ch'i flourished through the Sung dynasty but fell into a period of relative inactivity during the Yuan dynasty. With the founding of the Ming in 1368 came renewed interest in the literary tale with the appearance of Ch'u Yu's collection of ch'uan-ch'i known as Chien-teng hsin-hua. Ch'u's tales became so popular that they soon inspired poet-official Li Ch'ang-ch'i to write the collection Chien-teng yu-hua in imitation of Ch'u's style. The two collections remained popular and influential through much of the Ming dynasty. The influence of both Ch'u Yu and Li Ch'ang-ch'i spread to Korea and Japan where many of their tales were rewritten and adapted to local settings. It was from Japanese editions of the Chien-teng hsin-hua that Ch'u Yu's contributions to the ch'uan-ch'i genre were rediscovered in this century. On comparison with earlier T'ang models, Ch'u Yu's tales show considerable similarity in style; however, the best of his tales show advancement in characterization, a broader range of subject matter, settings as varied as the tales themselves, and a level of society generally far removed from the scholar-official class commonly depicted in T'ang tales. It is in Ch'u Yu's thematic tales or tales of retribution that can be found the combination of elements that clearly illustrates his contributions to the ch'uan-ch'i genre. A reading of representative tales from both T'ang dynasty collec- tions and the large collection of literary tales by P'u Sung-ling in the Ch'ing dynasty illustrates the degree and nature of change in the literary tale over the centuries. The appearance of Ch'u Yu's Chien-teng hsin-hua in the early Ming dynasty not only revived interest in the genre but also contributed to the development of one of the most enduring forms of fiction in the history of China.
Degree ProgramOriental Studies