Texts of Art and Craft: Redefining the Concept of “Fiction of Talent and Learnedness” and Re-evaluating its Value
Keywords:才學小説, 技藝性, 製作法, 小説藝術, 文化語境, Fiction of talent and learnedness, Method of production, Nature of art and craft, Art of fiction, Cultural context
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
This essay revisits the “Fiction of Talent and Learnedness” of the middle of the Qing dynasty (ca. 18th century). The works in this “genre” have long been criticized for showing off knowledge, learnedness, art, and skills in their content and their value has been denigrated by critics who employ one single criterion. The present study takes a perspective of “texts of art and craft” to re-evaluate the characteristics of these works. Based on a paradigm of a large number of texts, it summarizes the nature of their craftsmanship and their production procedure. By advocating the restoration of its cultural context, we aim to revise the concept of “fiction of talent and learnedness” and to re-evaluate its value.
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