Wu Song Fights the Tiger

The Interaction of Oral and Written Traditions in the Chinese Novel, Drama and Storytelling

Vibeke Børdahl

  • Published:
  • Pages: 512 pp., 30 color illus.
  • Series number: 122
Worldwide
  •  Explores the interplay between orality and written culture.
  • Important implications for future studies in traditional Chinese literature.
  • Culminates decades of study in this field by the author.

 

The focus of Chinese literary studies has long been on the written word even though Chinese fiction and drama have strong oral roots and have been shaped by an interplay between oral and written traditions. The culmination of decades working on this issue – and using as its lens the story about how the legendary hero Wu Song killed a tiger with his bare hands – this volume explores Chinese oral professional storytelling and its relations with literary culture in the past and present.

“Her penetrating analysis will command the close attention of all scholars with an interest in the early formation of Chinese novels, the history of Chinese performance traditions, and comparative oral-literate traditions. … It opens up new horizons in the study of the dynamics of oral-literate interactions in a Chinese context … an indispensable aid to scholars in the field.” (Anne McLaren, University of Melbourne)

author image not supplied











Vibeke Børdahl, Ph. D., Dr. Phil., senior researcher at NIAS, specialises in Chinese oral literature and dialectology.  Her recent research is concerned with the interplay of oral and written traditions in Chinese popular literature and performance culture.

Her book-length studies and edited volumes include Along the Broad Road of Realism.  Qin Zhaoyang’s World of Fiction, The Oral Tradition of Yangzhou Storytelling, The Eternal Storyteller, Oral Literature in Modern China, Chinese Storytellers- Life and Art in the Yangzhou Tradition, Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling- Full Length Repertoires of Yangzhou Storytelling on Video, The Interplay of the Oral and Written in Chinese Popular Literature.


Go to author page

by XIAOHUAN ZHAO, The University of Sydney
From journal:
Asian Studies Review, June 2015 (volume 39, issue 2).

"(…) this is a very ambitious project – a daunting task that involves investigating a great variety of performed genres and analysing a wide range of theoretical (linguistic, literary and cultural) issues.

"(…) this is a very ambitious project – a daunting task that involves investigating a great variety of performed genres and analysing a wide range of theoretical (linguistic, literary and cultural) issues. Focusing on the widely circulated legendary story Wu Song Fighting the Tiger, Børdahl concentrates her attention on one single episode from the storytellers’ repertoire, and has brought the daunting task to a successful completion."

by Margaret B. Wan, University of Utah
From journal:
CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral & Performing Literature, Vol. 34, No. 1

"…the culmination of decades of research on Chinese oral and performing literature in general, and is particularly grounded in the author’s extensive fieldwork on Yangzhou storytelling…Børdahl presents compelling evidence and insights regarding questions which scholars have long wrestled, including the relationship between the novel and performance traditions.

"…the culmination of decades of research on Chinese oral and performing literature in general, and is particularly grounded in the author’s extensive fieldwork on Yangzhou storytelling…Børdahl presents compelling evidence and insights regarding questions which scholars have long wrestled, including the relationship between the novel and performance traditions. This is a brilliant approach.[…]

"Børdahl presents compelling evidence and insights regarding questions with which scholars have long wrestled, including the relationship between the novel and performance traditions.This is a brilliant approach. […]

This book succeeds handsomely in its ambitious undertaking of exploring the question of the transmission of the Wu Song story through oral and written traditions. […]

(…) full of gems of thoughtful insight. […]

With its encyclopedic range and rigorous methodology,Wu Song Fights the Tiger is a major contribution to the field that will be widely read and inspire further research."

Ordering information

Close Menu
×
×

Cart