Oral Epic Traditions in China and Beyond (China Perspectives) (Hardcover)
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This volume is the masterpiece of Chao Gejin, one of the best-known Chinese scholars of epic studies, during the last several decades between the 20th and 21st centuries.
The discussion ranges from Homeric and Indo-European epics to renewed discoveries of age-old African and Asian epics. The author details developments in research from Parry and Lord's work on Homeric epics and Serbo-Croatian oral poetry to his own research on the Mongol heroic epic. The book traces the formation of theoretical systems such as Oral Formulaic Theory, Ethnopoetics, and Performance Theory, and ends with the author's explorations of the 20th-century Mongolian singer Arimpil's singing of his native epic poetry. By combining China's theoretical concerns in verbal art and Western theories in folklore, Chao illustrates the nature and feature of oral epic in many ways, and is heading for constructing an oral poetics in a broader sense.
Students and scholars of epic studies, literature, folklore, and anthropology will find this an essential reference.
About the Author
Chao Gejin is a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Being a folklorist and literary critic, he focuses on folkloristics and literature, oral traditions in particular.