Book — viii, 340 p., 10 p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
In 1867 some Chinese texts were found in a tomb outside Shanghai. They contained examples of an oral genre from the 15th century called "chantefables". These texts occupy an important place in Chinese vernacular literature. In an examination from an anthropological viewpoint, the author of this study points out that these "oral traditional texts" can only be appreciated in the the festival, ritual and performative context of their derivation and reception. Topics dealt with in this work include the popular interpretation of Confucian orthodoxies, the literary recycling of the oral tradition, and the influence of chantefables on the development of Chinese vernacular fiction. The author also offers a comparative perspective on the different social consequences of print technology in China and the West. Illustrations of 10 chantefable woodblocks are included. (source: Nielsen Book Data)