Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Traditional Chinese Fiction and Fiction Commentary: Reading and Writing between the Lines

By David L. Rolston | Go to book overview

11
Auto-commentary: The "Xiyou bu" and the "Shuihu houzhuan"

Some Chinese novelists apparently felt the anxiety attributed by Jin Shengtan and Zhang Zhupo to their authors that later generations might not understand their works, for they took the practical step of providing their own commentaries for their novels and short stories. In this chapter we will examine several examples of this, paying particular attention to the integral role of the commentary in the author's artistic conception of the fictional works.

Provision by creative writers of supplementary information as an aid to the reader's understanding has a long tradition in Chinese literature. Much Chinese poetry is of the occasional variety, and poets would often specify the occasion through long, detailed titles or prefaces, or identify places or persons in interlineal notes (for examples, see Dudbridge, p. 21; and Waley, Yüan Met, p. 171). Western scholars who deplore the lack of footnotes in modern Chinese scholarly works and applaud recent improvements in this area should not forget that the tradition of providing annotations to one's historical works dates back to the Shiji and the Hanshu.1 These annotations generally provided supplementary information, but material bearing on the author's life and the interpretation of his work was often included in the last chapter of a historical or philosophical work. The Shiji and the Lunheng (Balanced disquisitions) by Wang Chong (27-97?) are examples of this in a historical and a philosophical work, respectively. None of these cases, however, involves interpretive commentaries of the pingdian type.

In literary-language fiction, especially in chuanqi tales, it was common to append an epilogue in which the author commented on the tale, explained the origin of the story, and/or introduced himself. Although these passages almost always appeared at the end of the tales, they fulfilled some of the

____________________
1
Zhang Xuecheng saw Sima Qian as the first historian to annotate himself (zizhu; Zhang Xuecheng , Wenshi tongyi, "Shizhu," p. 238; for examples in the Sbiji and later, see ibid., p. 243n24). See also L. Yang, p. 52, on self-annotation in Ouyang Xiu Xin Wudai shi (New history of the five dynasties).

-269-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Traditional Chinese Fiction and Fiction Commentary: Reading and Writing between the Lines
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 434

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.