Fictions of Enlightenment

Fictions of Enlightenment

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Fictions of Enlightenment is the first book to examine the fascinating and intricate relationship between Buddhism and the development of Chinese vernacular fiction. Qiancheng Li brings Buddhist models to bear on the vision, structure, and narrative form of three classics of late imperial literature - Journey to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors, and Dream of the Red Chamber - arguing that by fashioning their plots after the narratives of certain Mahayana sutras, the novelists transformed Buddhist concepts into narrative structures. Within the traditional Chinese novel Li even defines a new genre: the fiction of enlightenment. Following a discussion of the often neglected Buddhist milieu in the literary landscape of the late Ming to the mid-Qing period, Li sets the context for the study of the novels. The Buddhist soteriological model was first established by the religion's founder and reenacted in sutras, such as the pilgrimages of Sadaprarudita and Sudhana. In the search for enlightenment, however, another pattern develops, a significant variation that appears to be a subversion of the Buddhist quest. This is characterized by an embrace of the phenomenal world as a result of theSee aiso her essay in Chinese: Li Huiyi. ... Dallenbach, The Mirror in the Text, 173, quotes M.-J. Lefebve, who in turn quotes Roger Caillois concerning Baoyua#39;s dream. Lefebve regards it as an example of aquot;self-embedding to infinite regression aquot;: aquot;the same thing happens in the classic Chinese dream, . . . where we see Paoanbsp;...

Title:Fictions of Enlightenment
Author: Qiancheng Li
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press - 2004-01

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