Novels of the Ming and Early Ch'ing Dynasties Criticism: Overviews And Historical Development - Essay

Ch'en Shou-Yi (essay date 1961)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Ch'en Shou-Yi. “Hua-Pen to Novel.” In Chinese Literature: A Historical Introduction, pp. 479-497. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1961.

[In this essay, Ch'en outlines the historical development of the Chinese novel, beginning with the prose fiction and romances of the Sung and T'ang Dynasties. Ch'en discusses early novelists' use of legend, history, and everyday diction to create a popular, if not highly regarded, literary style.]

The evolution of p'ing hua seems to have paralleled the development of southern drama. Both types of literature appealing to the populace began making their appearance during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279). Both...

(The entire section is 8790 words.)

John L. Bishop (essay date 1965)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Bishop, John L. “Some Limitations of Chinese Fiction.” In Studies in Chinese Literature, pp. 237-47. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1965.

[In this essay, Bishop discusses the difficulty of understanding and enjoying Chinese fiction from a Western perspective. Using the masterworks of the Western literary tradition as a standard, Bishop finds early Chinese fiction deficient in characterization, morality, and rationality.]

One wonders what the general reading public has made of the translations of traditional Chinese fiction which have recently appeared in bookstores, in several instances in paper-bound series usually devoted to up-to-date novels...

(The entire section is 4565 words.)

Robert E. Hegel (essay date 1980)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hegel, Robert E. “Maturation and Conflicting Values: Two Novelists' Portraits of the Chinese Hero Ch'in Shu-pao.” In Critical Essays on Chinese Fiction,, edited by Winston L. Y. Yang and Curtis P. Adkins, pp.115-150. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1980.

[In this essay, Hegel focuses on the frequently appearing character of Ch'in Shu-pao, also known as Ch'in Ch'iung, a military hero of the seventh century. Hegel examines depictions of this historical figure in novels from both the Ming and Ch'ing eras to demonstrate key philosophical changes reflected in the development of the novel. Note that in the following essay, Chinese characters have been silently removed.]...

(The entire section is 18261 words.)