2017-2018 Catalog

CHIN 272 The Rise of the Martial Arts Novel

This seminar course will examine the rise of the martial arts novel (wuxia xiaoshuo) in the context of its historical and literary roots. We will focus on how the figure and chivalric code of the martial hero and heroine have persisted in the historical, literary, and popular imagination - through such works as Sima Qian's historical biographies, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms Outlaws of the Marsh; Tang dynasty classical tales; Ming dynasty court-case fiction in the vernacular language; and Pu Songling's classical strange tales written in the Qing period. We will also explore how the 20th century master of the martial arts novel, Jin Yong (Louis Cha), a journalist writing in exile in colonial Hong Kong, has captured the imagination of Chinese diasporic communities throughout the world and contributed to the rise of the transnational Chinese martial arts film. All readings and discussions will be in English. Given in alternate years.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus
  • Pre-1800