Novels of the Ming and Early Ch'ing Dynasties Criticism: Genre Studies - Essay

C. T. Hsia (essay date 1974)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hsia, C. T. “The Military Romance: A Genre of Chinese Fiction.” In Studies in Chinese Literary Genres, edited by Cyril Birch, pp. 337-78. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1974.

[In this excerpt, Hsia attempts to define the genre of the military romance, distinguishing such novels from historical novels that focus on a popularized retelling of events. Hsia bases his arguments on novels from the Ming and Ching dynasties that detail, with some embellishment, the battles of the T'ang and Sung eras. Note that Chinese characters in the following essay have been silently removed.]

Students of traditional Chinese fiction have customarily divided...

(The entire section is 17864 words.)

Y. W. Ma (essay date 1975)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Ma, Y. W. “The Chinese Historical Novel: An Outline of Themes and Contexts.” Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (February, 1975): 277-93.

[In this essay, Ma examines examples of historical novels in order to determine the themes that appear most often within the genre, including dynasty building and national security. Ma also notes an emphasis on self-abnegation and on instruction in the genre.]

In China, as in the West, fiction is a late development in the literary scene and serious fiction criticism is correspondingly a recent endeavor.1 The similarity goes further in the case of the historical novel, which critics of Chinese and Western...

(The entire section is 10677 words.)

Robert Hessney (essay date 1979)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hessney, Robert. “Themes.” In Beautiful, Talented, and Brave: Seventeenth-Century Chinese Scholar-Beauty Romances,, pp. 158-96. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1979.

[In this excerpt, Hessney considers the themes of love and courtship, poetry and wine, and Confucian morality in the novel genre of scholar-beauty romances. Works studied include Western Chamber Romance, The Green Peonies, Yü chiao li, and Haoch'iu chuan. Note that Chinese characters in this essay have been silently removed.]

In this chapter I propose to discuss the themes of scholar-beauty romances. Although the following chapter is devoted to...

(The entire section is 11621 words.)