East Asian Languages and Cultures | Readings in Chinese Literature I
C521 | 1528 | Bokenkamp

Topic:  Medieval Biographical Literature and the Role of the *Zhengao

The *Zhengao [Declarations of the Perfected], assembled and
annotated by Tao Hongjing (456-536), contains a number of
biographical notices transmitted by various deities to the Daoist
medium Yang Xi (330-?).   Modern scholars have tended to follow Tao
in reading these as factual records that might contribute to a
history of Daoism.  In this course, we will approach these texts as
works of literature, analyzing them in terms of the literary and
social milieu in which they were produced.  Material for comparison
will be drawn from both secular writings such as the *Shishuo xinyu
and from "Daoist" works such as the early *zhiguai collections. A
final research paper is required.

Prerequisites:  Consent of the instructor is mandatory for all
students desiring to enroll in this course.  Students are requested
to complete a series of preliminary readings before the beginning of
the term.