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Research Article: Fiction

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 140 pages of information about Fiction.
This section contains 5,104 words
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Fiction: Chinese Fiction and Religion

This essay examines five genres or subgenres of Chinese fiction, namely the zhiguai, chuanqi, bianwen, vernacular short story, and vernacular novel (premodern and modern). Each genre contains works that have themes or structures with religious dimensions. Readership and religious functions of later fictional works will also be mentioned, although these aspects of early works should not be neglected.

Zhiguai

The birth of what is usually rendered as Chinese prose fiction (xiaoshuo) remains a subject of debate. In defining Chinese fiction in a strict sense, most literary historians trace its origin to the zhiguai (records of anomalies), fictional narratives in classical language, in the Six Dynasties period (220–589 CE). These narratives are characterized by an outlook and context rooted in the supernatural world replete with themes such as immortality, the afterlife, the causal relation between merit and punishment, magic, shamanism, and alchemical theories and procedures...

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This section contains 5,104 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Fiction Encyclopedia Article
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