The Scholar and the State: Fiction as Political Discourse in Late Imperial China

Hardcover | December 11, 2014

byLiangyan Ge

not yet rated|write a review

In imperial China, intellectuals devoted years of their lives to passing rigorous examinations in order to obtain a civil service position in the state bureaucracy. This traditional employment of the literati class conferred social power and moral legitimacy, but changing social and political circumstances in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) periods forced many to seek alternative careers. Politically engaged but excluded from their traditional bureaucratic roles, creative writers authored critiques of state power in the form of fiction written in the vernacular language.

In this study, Liangyan Ge examines the novels Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Scholars, Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as Story of the Stone), and a number of erotic pieces, showing that as the literati class grappled with its own increasing marginalization, its fiction reassessed the assumption that intellectuals' proper role was to serve state interests and began to imagine possibilities for a new political order.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$57.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

In imperial China, intellectuals devoted years of their lives to passing rigorous examinations in order to obtain a civil service position in the state bureaucracy. This traditional employment of the literati class conferred social power and moral legitimacy, but changing social and political circumstances in the Ming (1368-1644) and Q...

Liangyan Ge is associate professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Notre Dame.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:292 pages, 9.28 × 6.25 × 1 inPublished:December 11, 2014Publisher:University of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295994177

ISBN - 13:9780295994178

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Scholar and the State: Fiction as Political Discourse in Late Imperial China

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

In imperial China, intellectuals devoted years of their lives to passing rigorous examinations in order to obtain a civil service position in the state bureaucracy. This traditional employment of the literati class conferred social power and moral legitimacy, but changing social and political circumstances in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) periods forced many to seek alternative careers. Politically engaged but excluded from their traditional bureaucratic roles, creative writers authored critiques of state power in the form of fiction written in the vernacular language.In this study, Liangyan Ge examines the novels Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Scholars, Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as Story of the Stone), and a number of erotic pieces, showing that as the literati class grappled with its own increasing marginalization, its fiction reassessed the assumption that intellectuals' proper role was to serve state interests and began to imagine possibilities for a new political order.A significant contribution to our understanding of late imperial Chinese culture. This is the first book to put the individual novels [discussed here] into a very specific political context. - Margaret Wan, University of Utah