READING ROMANCE: READING THE OPPOSITIONAL IN NARRATIVE

  • Xuan Wang

Resumo

Since its first extant preface signed in 1592 to the present day of the Journey to the West studies in the United States, this fantastic quest-romance has been interpreted as the Daoist manual for cultivating the internal alchemy, the Confucian allegory of controlling the mind, and above all, a masterwork in literature that is teeming with cynicism, irony, and social critique— a thorough dismissal of the theological/moral/philosophical allegoresis.

These two opposing modes in reading this 1592 Chinese fiction, I argue, recall the two ways of reading the Western romance such as the Divine Comedy, the Faerie Queene, and the Pilgrim’s Progress. While Singleton and Frye, for example, endorse the theology/ideology-oriented interpretation, critics as Bloom, Berger, Parker, Goldberg, Teskey, and Fish, have highlighted the exceptional and idiosyncratic: it is the anti-progress aspect of the text that stands out and constitutes the genre of romance.

Publicado
2019-04-29
Seção
Estudos Literários