1st Edition

The Eternal Storyteller Oral Literature in Modern China

By Vibeke Boerdahl Copyright 1999
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    Chinese storytelling has survived through more than a millennium into our own time, while similar oral arts have fallen into oblivion in the West. Under the main heading of 'The Eternal Storyteller', in August 1996 the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies hosted an International Workshop on Oral Literature in Modern China. To this meeting, the first of its kind in Europe, five special guests were invited - master tellers from Yangzhou: Wang Xizotang, Li Xintang, Fei Zhengliang, Dai Buzhang and Hui Zhaolong.
    The volume derived from this meeting includes an introductory article written by John Miles Foley entitled 'A Comparative View on Oral Traditions'. Thereafter, a wide range of topics relating to Chinese oral literature is covered under the headings: 'Historical Lines', 'A Spectrium of Genres', 'Studies of Yangzhou and Suzhou Story- telling' and 'Performances of Yangzhou Storytelling'.
    However, the present volume does more than include papers derived from the meeting. It is also lavishly illustrated in word and picture from performances by the guest-storytellers. In so doing, the world of Chinese story telling is not just described and analysed - it is also brought to life.

    Preface, The Eternal Storyteller 1 Introduction 2 A Comparative View of Oral Traditions, Historical Lines 3 About the Chinese Storyteller's Change of Name 4 Narrators of Buddhist Scriptures and Religious Tales in China 5 Old Depictions of Chinese Storytellers 6 The History and Prospects of Folk Tales and Storytelling in China 7 Quyi: Will It Survive? A Spectrum of Genres 8 Lianhua lao and Its Traditions 9 Unfinished Symphonies: The Formulaic Structure of Folk-Songs in Southern Jiangsu 10 Psychological Aspects of the Perception of Quyi Arts in the Chinese Audience 11 Changben Texts in the Nilshu Repertoire of Southern Hunan 12 The Oral Marxian Message 13 Interactions of the Media: Storytelling, Puppet Opera, Human Opera and Film Studies of Yangzhou and Suzhou Storytelling 14 'Three Kingdoms' in Chinese Storytelling: A Comparative Study 15 Oral Narrative and Its Transformation into Print: The Case of Bai Yutang 16 Shifting and Performance in Suzhou Chantefable 17 Storytelling in Yangzhou in the Eighteenth Century: Yangzhou huafang lu 18 Some Topics in My Study of Yangzhou Storytelling 19 How We Edited Song Jiang, Shi Xiu and Lu Iunyi of Yangzhou Storytelling 20 A 'Poetics' of Chinese Storytelling: The System of Terms Used among Yangzhou Storytellers, Performances of Yangzhou Storytelling: Water Margin: 'Wu Song Fights the Tiger, Water Margin: 'Wu Song Fights the Tiger', Three Kingdoms: 'Beheading Yan Liang' Journey to the West: 'The River to Heaven', 'Chen Yi Crosses the Yangtze', Photos of performances


    Vibeke Boerdahl University of Oslo, Norway, Institute of East European and Oriental Studies

    'It is without doubt that this book represents, within a single set of covers, the best introduction yet to appear in English to the world of the professional Chinese storyteller. The editor is to be greatly commended for the conception of the conference and this volume which it produced, and the care with which the latter has been prepared.' - David Rolston, Revue Bibliographique de Sinologie