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
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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ambiguity ancient Buddhist Ch'an ch'u-pan ch'uan-ch'i chapter character chen Chia chieh chih Chih-yen Chai Chin Sheng-t'an Chinese Ching Chou concept Confucian consciousness context critical cultural discourse divine Dream Dynasty earth emerges episode feng-shan fertility fictional folkloric stone goddess Heaven hero Hu Shih human Hung-lou Meng identity ideological inscribed stone interpretation intertextual isotopy jade Journey Kung Kung Kung legends lexeme liminal literary logic Mandate of Heaven meaning metaphor monk Monkey's moral vision myth mythical mythological narrative narrator narrator's nature Nū-kua Nü-kua Stone original Pao-ch'ai Pao-yū paradox purity Rāmāyana Red Chamber reveals ritual san-sheng shih seems seen semantic serves shu-chü significance spiritual stone and jade stone imagery stone lore stone monkey stone tablet story structural symbolism T'ang T'u-shan Tai-yū Taipei talking stone Taoist textual tien-t'ou tion tradition transformation trickster Tripitaka Ts'ao Hsüeh-ch'in's unconscious underlying wan shih Wang Wang Pi Water Margin Wu-k'ung