It has often been said that the nineteenth century was a relatively stagnant period for Chinese fiction, but preeminent scholar Patrick Hanan shows that the opposite is true: the finest novels of the nineteenth century show a constant experimentation and evolution. In this collection of detailed and insightful essays, Hanan examines Chinese fiction before and during the period in which Chinese writers first came into contact with western fiction.
Hanan explores the uses made of fiction by westerners in China; the adaptation and integration of western methods in Chinese fiction; and the continued vitality of the Chinese fictional tradition. Some western missionaries, for example, wrote religious novels in Chinese, almost always with the aid of native assistants who tended to change aspects of the work to "fit" Chinese taste. Later, such works as Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle," Jonathan Swift's "A Voyage to Lilliput," the novels of Jules Verne, and French detective stories were translated into Chinese. These interventions and their effects are explored here for virtually the first time.
About the Author
Table of Contents
1. The Narrator's Voice Before the "Fiction Revolution"
2. Illusion of Romance and the Courtesan Novel
3. The Missionary Novels of the Nineteenth Century
4. The First Novel Translated Into Chinese
5. The Translated Fiction in the Early Shen Bao
6. The New Novel Before the New Novel—John Fryer's Fiction Contest
7. The Second Stage of Vernacular Translation
8. Wu Jianren and the Narrator
9. Specific Literary Relations of Sea of Regret
10. The Autobiographical Romance of Chen Diexian
11. The Technique of Lu Xun's Fiction
What People are Saying About This
These is a magnificent collection of one of the most distinguished scholars in classical Chinese fiction. Hanan's research is both impeccable and original, as it explores a cultural terrain seldom trodden by other scholars. In so doing Hanan has established the late Qing as the most crucial period of modern Chinese literary and cultural history. The essays contain not only gems of his most recent scholarly work but some groundbreaking findings: such as the original text and author of 'Qinxi xiantan,' the first Chinese translation of a Western novel. Written in his usual succinct style these essays are must reading for all students of Chinese literature.