Unmasking a "sitting ghost" : a cross-generic exploration of the Chinese heroine in stories told by Chinese in Newfoundland

Kozar, Seana (1993) Unmasking a "sitting ghost" : a cross-generic exploration of the Chinese heroine in stories told by Chinese in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis is a cross-generic examination of the heroine in Chinese folklore and how the narrative tradition surrounding that figure is symbolic of the traditional roles and expectations placed upon Chinese women both from past and present generations. The heroine's existence and actions are defined by the parameters of her cultural context, and her final placement or displacement with respect to her society is at least partially predicated upon her decision to either stay within or to transcend her boundaries. This dilemma appears to be not unknown to many contemporary Chinese women and the narratives have survived and are transmitted today, though sometimes as part of a private, or "underground" tradition. -- Chinese folklore has had a longstanding reciprocal exchange with manuscript and print forms, and therefore none of the narratives discussed in this thesis can be said to come from a "purely" oral tradition. As the martial heroine comprises an extremely small part of a much more extensive body of heroic narratives, the scope of this thesis was widened to include amazons, scholars and transformed female animal and celestial spirits. The majority of informants interviewed during the course of this research are residents of Newfoundland, and are either emigrants, their children or graduate students from Mainland China who, like the heroine, can be seen as liminal or transitional with respect to the larger societies in which they live. -- This thesis explores the nature of the heroine figure and her narratives through a variety of analytical approaches. The researcher's experiences as a fieldworker balancing cross-cultural methodological concerns are critically examined. Issues relating to the dynamics of Chinese storytelling and the presentation of second language oral texts, as well as the academic interpretation of genre and function are also discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9625
Item ID: 9625
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 264-278.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Chinese--Newfoundland and Labrador--Folklore; Folk literature, Chinese--Newfoundland and Labrador; Heroines--Folklore; Women--China--Socialization

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