A Brief History of Chinese Fiction

A Brief History of Chinese Fiction

A Brief History of Chinese Fiction

A Brief History of Chinese Fiction

Excerpt

Nearly ten years have passed since I began to lecture on the history of Chinese fiction, and this brief outline was first printed seven years ago. Since then much re- search has been done in this field and new discoveries have cleared up certain points which were obscure. For example, the discovery by Professor Shionoya Akushi of the mutilated Yuan dynasty edition of Illustrated Ver- nacular Tales and Feng Meng-lung's three collections of popular stories, as well as his researches on these, are of major significance in the history of Chinese fiction; and the contention of some Chinese scholars that there should be separate histories for the fiction of different periods is a sound one. All this means that my brief outline should now be outdated; but since no new his- tories have yet been written, there are still readers for these notes. For a new edition, this book should by rights be revised, but since I started moving from place to place I have given up literary studies, and have nothing but a vague recollection of what I wrote in the past. So I simply made a few changes in Chapters 14, 15 and 21, keeping the other chapters unchanged as I have no new theories regarding them. Since great vessels take years to produce, this earthenware pot of mine still serves some purpose; but though this fact has prolonged the life of my book, I am disheartened by this dearth of new writing.

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