Liangyan Ge, "Out of the Margins: The Rise of Chinese Vernacular Fiction".
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press | ISBN: 0824823702 | 2001 edition | PDF | 293 Pages | 2.60 MB
The novel "Water Margin" ("Shuihu zhuan"), China's earliest full-length narrative in vernacular prose, first appeared in print in the 16th century. The tale of 108 bandit heroes evolved from a long oral tradition; in its novelized form, it played a pivotal role in the rise of Chinese vernacular fiction, which flourished during the late Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) periods. Liangyan Ge's multidimensional study considers the evolution of "Water Margin" and the rise of vernacular fiction against the background of the vernacularization of premodern Chinese literature as a whole. This gradual and arduous process, as the book shows, was driven by sustained contact and interaction between written culture and popular orality.