A Flower in a Pile of Cow Dung - Yang Yi's Chinese Narratology and Narrative Structure in Jia Pingwa

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A Flower in a Pile of Cow Dung - Yang Yi's Chinese Narratology and Narrative Structure in Jia Pingwa

Type: Research master thesis
Title: A Flower in a Pile of Cow Dung - Yang Yi's Chinese Narratology and Narrative Structure in Jia Pingwa
Author: Wijker, Stijn Thomas
Issue Date: 2018-11
Keywords: Chinese literature
Jia Pingwa
Yang Yi
narratology
Chinese narratology
narrative structure
Daideng
the lantern bearer
Abstract: In 1997, Yang Yi杨义(b. 1946) published his groundbreaking Chinese Narratology (中国叙事学, 1998), in which he expounded his ideas about a Chinese narratology that developed and manifests itself separately from Western narratology. I will take Yang’s narratology framework as a starting point, with a focus on Yang’s understanding of narrative structure, and do a close reading of the novel The Lantern Bearer (带灯, 2013) by Chinese author Jia Pingwa 贾平凹(b. 1952) (the English translation by Carlos Rojas was published in 2017). I do this in order to answer the following research question: How does Yang Yi’s narratological approach of narrative structure compare to a “Western”-narratological approach of narrative structure? In my analysis, for Western narratology, I will focus on Mieke Bal’s (1997) Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. I will argue that Yang’s idea of narrative structure allows for a reading that would not be possible by using only Bal’s theory of narrative structure. As a case study, I will investigate how the narrative structure of Jia Pingwa’s novel The Lantern Bearer relates to narrative structures found in traditional Chinese fiction from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) period.
Description: This thesis will help present Yang Yi’s “Chinese” narratology to an Anglophone audience, and advance our understanding of Jia’s fiction and its place in Chinese culture. This project was undertaken at an institution of higher education located outside China that is part of “Western” systems of knowledge production. Hence, especially since the thesis engages with Chinese literary theory as well as with Chinese fiction, it is safe to say (without wishing to essentialize) that the thesis may also contribute to our understanding of Chinese literature as part of world literature—here simply taken to mean literary production throughout the world, with its various relations between the global and the local and between the universal and the particular.
Supervisor: Crevel, Maghiel van
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (Research master)
Specialisation: Chinese language, literature and politics
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/66407
 

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