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Functions of an inserted poetry in the speak-and sing text of Dunhang

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2010, (22), pp.148-163
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2010..22.009
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Published : February 28, 2010

HONG CHUL CHUN 1

1우석대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Looking at the internal evidences of speak-and sing text manuscripts that have been discovered in Dunhuang, it appears as the simulated text or meta-text that came into existence out of the evolution process of traditional folklore into the literature texts. In other words, Dunhuang speak-and sing literature scrolls were documents that left for the ancient audience with specific purpose to show the role playing of that time. In present times, the exact reason why those scrolls were hidden inside the Dunhuang Mogao cave is totally unknown. Those scrolls could have been written for different purposes. They could have been documented according to the tradition that considered making copies of Buddhist scriptures as a merit and virtue, or to serve as a copy of performance to be sometimes sold for money to those audience who didn’t have chance to view that performance. No matter what reasons could be, there is no doubt that left documents of Dunhuang speak-and sing literature manuscripts are the role playing described in the text form. For example in Bian-wen that represents Dunhang speak-and sing texts, a play is performed in court, Buddhist temple, public market and other places of China in dramatic form by a professional actor standing before a huge picture, speaking and pointing at different parts of that picture or unrolling a small scroll picture and performing with song, musical instruments, volubility and gestures. Therefore there are several genre features identified in Bian-wen:poetry (singing statement), novel (narration), drama (performance presentation). All these styles are liberally put together and formed the ‘mixed genre’ or the ‘integrated art’. An inserted poetry in the middle of speak-and sing literature text goes over the simple supporting function and plays very original role. Here is the reason why we should pay attention to the inserted poetry’s function in order to explain performance principles of the speak-and sing literature. There is a need to constantly keep in mind the interrelation between speaking ( ) and singing ( ) to deeply examine the essential character of functions of the inserted poetry in speak-and sing literature. If we take a closer look at functions of the inserted poetry in Dunhuang speak-and sing text, we will find that it is made-up with four types: 1) academic(didactic) statement(narrative), 2) lyrical statement(narrative), 3)descriptive statement (narrative), 4) dramatic statement (narrative).

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