Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(3,838 words)

1. The Classic Novel and its Precursors

The first great, "classic" novels of China, whose origins go back to the time around 1400, but which are known only from editions from the 16th and 17th centuries, mirror the special circumstances of that epoch. A new element was that the novels dealt with the traditional storytelling material in a distanced and partially ironic way. The novels Sanguozhi[tongsu] yanyi (TheThree Kingdoms History [with Popular Explan…

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Schmidt-Glintzer, Helwig, Hockx, Michel and Louie, Kam, “Fiction”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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