Carnival in China: A Reading of the <i>Xingshi Yinyuan Zhuan</i>

Series: China Studies (1)
As if under the satirical magnifying glass, the Xingshi Yinyuan Zhuan, an anonymous traditional Chinese novel, portrays local society and provincial life in seventeenth-century China in comic and grotesque close-up. A dystopian satire, the novel provides fascinating insights into the popular culture and wild imagination of men and women in late imperial China. Using an array of sources-fiction, poetry, texts on medical ethics, religious thought, political and philosophical treatises, morality books and local gazetteers-Carnival in China develops a style of reading that explores how seventeenth-century Chinese citizens perceived their world. Through their eyes, we gain access to their desires, dreams, fears and nightmares.