This course introduces the origin, development and the basic features of traditional Chinese short stories from Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods to the 18th century. Texts include historical writings, supernatural and fantastic tales, Tang-Song romance, Buddhist bian-wen and Ming-Qing vernacular stories. The course will focus on the basics of literary and cultural history, with attention given to narrative structure, popular character types and themes in traditional Chinese short fictions, as well as adaptation of traditional short fiction in contemporary Chinese cinema.
All readings are in English translation. No previous knowledge of Chinese literature or the Chinese language is required.