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A Dictionary of Chinese Literature

Taiping Chang

chuanqi 传奇‎ (傳奇‎, Wade–Giles: ch’uan-ch’i, tales of the marvellous, tales of the fabulous, novella and southern drama) 

The term refers to two literary genres: a general term for tales or stories written in classical Chinese during the Tang, Song, and Qing dynasties; and southern drama of the Ming dynasty. The term chuanqi first appears as the name of a Tang story collection compiled by Pei Xing 裴鉶‎ (825–80) in the late Tang dynasty. By the Song dynasty, chuanqi became a designation for tales in the classical language. The authors of the Tang chuanqi stories were highly educated men of letters, and the stories were intended for other literati to read. The themes include love affairs between scholars and courtesans, dream adventures in an imaginary world, and encounters between humans and supernatural beings. Chuanqi, as the southern drama, developed from the nanxi tradition during the Ming dynasty.

Further Reading

William H. Nienhauser Jr, Tang Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader (Singapore, 2010)Find this resource: