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March 12, 2013

Confucius Institute Lecture - Martial Arts and Arts of Explication: Jin Shengtan commentary to the Shuihu Zhuan

Friday, March 15, 4 - 5:30 pm (Lecture)
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union

Guest Speaker: Robert Ashmore, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley

This is a Pre-performance lecture for Beijing Drum Songs: Heroes and Heroines.

Nothing draws a crowd like a fight: among all the classics of large-scale narrative in late imperial China, the Shuihu Zhuan is likely the one that draws the greatest proportion of its allure from individual episodes where basic conflicts based on loyalty, revenge, or a sense of justice break out into kinetic scenes of spectacular and often virtuosic violence. It is no accident that the Shuihu heroes and their exploits were favorites not only for narrative elaboration on the page, but also particularly for reenactment on the stage. This presentation will explore the process whereby this intrinsically spectacular material, in its novelistic form, became canonized as a masterwork of writing in particular, worthy of a place alongside more austere and highbrow classics. The critical vocabulary, and the exegetical strategies, of the renowned commentator Jin Shengtan (1608-1661), provide an ideal window for us to begin examining these issues.

Posted by zzhu at March 12, 2013 07:42 PM