Yaping Cai


Ocean culture had a broad and profound influence on the creation of fictional stories in the late Qing Dynasty, leading to the emergence of many maritime-themed works during this period. At least 81 novels or stories about the sea were written by late-Qing literati. From an examination of the artistic aspects of these works, it is clear that they exhibited significant breakthroughs and innovations while also informed by the traditional maritime literature. Such features are manifested in three aspects: the temporal and spatial setting that reflects ocean culture and the contemporary psyche, the late Qing writing of island (exotic) adventures, and the narrative techniques that shifts from imagination and fantasy to a focus on realism. Examining the artistic expression of the late-Qing maritime-themed novels and stories can help us understand and study the creation of fictional stories in the late Qing Dynasty.


late Qing Dynasty;maritime-themed fiction;artistic expression

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