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The description concerning foreign affairs and exotic imagination in the fiction of the Ming and Qing dynasties

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

The description concerning the foreign affairs and exotic imagination in the vernacular fiction of the Ming and Qing dynasties, in a way, reveal the Chinese people’s vision of the world, which does not only lend a vivid note on the contemporaneous Sino-foreign relationship and its challenge to the traditional society, but also provides an interesting proof for attesting the “others’ perspective” found at the core of contemporary culture theory. This text expounds the historical and cultural contexts of such description and imagination, especially those of Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand. It makes clear that the exotic areas described in fiction do not necessarily equal to those of real countries existing now. Only after the Qing dynasty, did Chinese fiction begin to give clear features of foreign countries and fully exhibit their literary values. So the change of exotic imagination is the landmark between ancient and modern fictions.


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