The Story of Stone: Intertextuality, Ancient Chinese Stone Lore, and the Stone Symbolism in Dream of the Red Chamber, Water Margin, and The Journey to the West

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Duke University Press, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 347 pages
In this pathbreaking study of three of the most familiar texts in the Chinese tradition—all concerning stones endowed with magical properties—Jing Wang develops a monumental reconstruction of ancient Chinese stone lore. Wang’s thorough and systematic comparison of these classic works illuminates the various tellings of the stone story and provides new insight into major topics in traditional Chinese literature.
Bringing together Chinese myth, religion, folklore, art, and literature, this book is the first in any language to amass the sources of stone myth and stone lore in Chinese culture. Uniting classical Chinese studies with contemporary Western theoretical concerns, Wang examines these stone narratives by analyzing intertextuality within Chinese traditions. She offers revelatory interpretations to long-standing critical issues, such as the paradoxical character of the monkey in The Journey to the West, the circularity of narrative logic in The Dream of the Red Chamber, and the structural necessity of the stone tablet in Water Margin.
By both challenging and incorporating traditional sinological scholarship, Wang’s The Story of Stone reveals the ideological ramifications of these three literary works on Chinese cultural history and makes the past relevant to contemporary intellectual discourse. Specialists in Chinese literature and culture, comparative literature, literary theory, and religious studies will find much of interest in this outstanding work, which is sure to become a standard reference on the subject.
 

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Contents

Intertextual Reading
12
The Mythological Dictionary of Stone
35
Yü and the She Ritual
57
The EvilWarding Stone
71
The Enlightened CrudeUnknowing Stone
84
The Sacred Fertile Stone
99
Precious Jade
109
Chieh and Chen
122
The Stone of Divine Intelligence
193
Is There a Beginning in the Dream of the Red Chamber?
208
The Stone Monkey
221
The Trickster
234
The Inscribed Stone Tablet
251
Conclusion
269
Bibliography
319
Index
333

An Issue of Authenticity and Artificiality
155
The Problematic of Contradiction
173

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About the author (1992)

Fredric R. Jameson, Marxist theorist and professor of comparative literature at Duke University, was born in Cleveland in 1934. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught at Harvard, the University of California at San Diego, and Yale University before moving to Duke in 1985. He most famous work is Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, which won the Modern Language Association's Lowell Award. Jameson was among the first to associate a specific set of political and economic circumstances with the term postmodernism. His other books include Sartre: The Origin of a Style, The Seeds of Time, and The Cultural Turn.

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