In his survey of paratextual elements and conventions, Genette considered ‘genre indication’ in the title as the status that author and editor want to attribute to the text. In his view, the presence of this sort of rhematic device is so powerful that “no reader can justifiably be unaware of or disregard this attribution.” (Paratexts, CUP, 1997: 94). Moving from this premise, in this paper I will focus on the uses of the term yanyi (lit. “exposition of the meaning”) in the titles of a corpus of literary sources from the Tang dynasty onward, and in particular from the late imperial period. My analysis aims at highlighting the history of the gradual conceptualization of yanyi as a literary genre, which culminated in the assimilation of the term to the category of ‘historical novel’ at the turn of the XX century. Since the beginning of modern literary criticism, however, this connection has been considered troublesome by literary critics, and it has been more a matter of convenience and necessity in comparative terms rather than an exact match. In my paper I will contend that one of the reasons for this resistance lays in the fact that the concept of yanyi as a genre indication actually highlights a dynamic model of cultural communication in changing socio-historical contexts and not – or at least only secondarily – a well-rounded and closed set of works clearly defined in terms of contents and/or style. In this perspective, the analysis of the concept of yanyi should also be significant in its relation to the category of xiaoshuo within the broader semantic network of traditional narrative.
Bisetto, B. (2014). The Cultural Model of Yanyi and its Meaning for a History of Genres in Chinese Narrative. Intervento presentato a: Conference of European Association of Chinese Studies, Braga-Coimbra, Portugal.
|Citazione:||Bisetto, B. (2014). The Cultural Model of Yanyi and its Meaning for a History of Genres in Chinese Narrative. Intervento presentato a: Conference of European Association of Chinese Studies, Braga-Coimbra, Portugal.|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Titolo:||The Cultural Model of Yanyi and its Meaning for a History of Genres in Chinese Narrative|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Nome del convegno:||Conference of European Association of Chinese Studies|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02 - Intervento a convegno|