Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Folk Literature
(2,652 words)

The oral folk literature (minjian wenxue) of the Han Chinese (hereafter simply: Chinese) can be subdivided into non-professional (following R. Jacobson's and P. Bogatyrev's terminology: active-collective) and professional (passive-collective) oral folk literary creations. Among the non-professional works are myths (shenhua), folk songs (min'ge), fairytales/folktales (minjian gushi), sagas/legends (chuanshuo), anecdotes/jok…

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Riftin, Boris, “Folk Literature”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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