HARVARD-YENCHING INSTITUTE MONOGRAPH SERIES
Cover: <i>Rulin waishi</i> and Cultural Transformation in Late Imperial China, from Harvard University PressCover: <i>Rulin waishi</i> and Cultural Transformation in Late Imperial China in HARDCOVER

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 59

Rulin waishi and Cultural Transformation in Late Imperial China

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674010956

Publication Date: 06/30/2003

Short

Rulin waishi (The Unofficial History of the Scholars) is more than a landmark in the history of the Chinese novel. This eighteenth-century work, which was deeply embedded in the intellectual and literary discourses of its time, challenges the reader to come to grips with the mid-Qing debates over ritual and ritualism, and the construction of history, narrative, and lyricism. Wu Jingzi’s (1701–54) ironic portrait of literati life was unprecedented in its comprehensive treatment of the degeneration of mores, the predicaments of official institutions, and the Confucian elite’s futile struggle to reassert moral and cultural authority. Like many of his fellow literati, Wu found the vernacular novel an expressive and malleable medium for discussing elite concerns.

Through a close reading of Rulin waishi, Shang Wei seeks to answer such questions as What accounts for the literati’s enthusiasm for writing and reading novels? Does this enthusiasm bespeak a conscious effort to develop a community of critical discourse outside the official world? Why did literati authors eschew publication? What are the bases for their social and cultural criticisms? How far do their criticisms go, given the authors’ alleged Confucianism? And if literati authors were interested solely in recovering moral and cultural hegemony for their class, how can we explain the irony found in their works?

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.