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An Analysis of the Biographical Story of “River Float” in the 100-Chapter Journey to the West

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2020, (48), pp.143-163
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2020..48.006
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Received : April 10, 2020
  • Accepted : May 12, 2020
  • Published : May 30, 2020

Min Hsun;Hsieh 1

1(臺灣)國立中正大學

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article looks into the related controversial issues around the story of “River Float” (Jiangliuer江流兒) in the 100-chapter Journey to the West. It will approach these issues mainly from three aspects: ① The process how stories from previous historical documents formed and how fetching Buddhist scripts from India stories have been transformed and deified. ② How literary treatments of the events of “Taizong of Tang descending into the Hades” (太宗入冥記) and “the biographical background of Tripitaka(Xuan Zang)” (唐僧出身來歷) have been employed by the author(s). ③ Analyzing how the stories of “River Float” and “10-generations reincarnation” intermingled and merged. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the possible biographical background of Tripitaka and see how it is so different from the biographical stories of other characters in the novel. Regarding the controversial old problem of the “Jiangliuer” story, if it can be approached from the perspective of the origin of the novel, the literary creator and the narrative structure of the novel, it may be a research strategy to unravel this “Journey to the West” literary case.

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