Shijia Kang


Shuobu (fiction, sketches and miscellanies) was a common bibliographical term in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Its content mainly covered the categories of fiction and miscellanies, as well as biographies in the category of history and essays in the category of literature. On the level of bibliographical classification and stylistic discrimination, shuobu was related to miscellaneous books and fiction, outlining its basic landscape within the context of traditional scholarship and allowing potential space for the development of zixue (the learning of philosophers). However, due to the academic transformation and the rise of literary discipline since modern times, fiction has become a literary category and the tradition of shuobu has been gradually weakened and even overshadowed. From the perspectives of bibliographical classification and stylistic discrimination, this article revisits the transformation of the theoretical boundary of shuobu, discovers the inconsistency in its stylistic discrimination, and discloses its variegated features and marginal position in traditional literary styles, in order to clarify the difference of shuobu in traditional and modern contexts. This article then bases on bibliography to construct shuobu and the genealogy of zixue, bringing traditional shuobu and the shuobu tradition back to the study of fiction.


genealogy of zixue; shuobu; the category of fiction; the category of miscellanies; stylistic discrimination

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