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-  2014 


Keywords: 《中国小说史略》, “以小说见才学者”, “才学小说”
Zhonguo xiaoshuo shilue
, showing caixue through fiction writing, caixue novels

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In his Zhonguo xiaoshuo shilue中国小说史略, Lu Xun 鲁迅 devotes a special chapter to these four novels: Yesou puyan野叟曝言, Jinghua yuan镜花缘, Yanshan waishi燕山外史, and Yinshi?r史, and identifies them as novels “showing caixue才学[academic and artistic achievements] through fiction writing”. Although this identification is not based on generic and stylistic criteria and those novels are still classified into the types of Shenmo神魔novels and Shiqing世情 novels respectively, what Lu Xun really wants to do here is to highlight the commonality in the creative motivation shared by their authors who manage to get their own aspirations and feelings expressed between the lines in their novels; and is to explore the significance of these novels for constructing a history of Chinese fiction. This is the direct result from his construction of the law governing the evolution of Chinese fiction: “novels, which were started as a by-product of literary creation, become one of the professional literary pursuits.” There is, however, some tension between the rationale behind and the exemplification for Lu Xun’s identification of novels “showing caixue through fiction writing”, which is inevitably skewed towards focusing on the novelists’ writing intentions. Researchers misunderstood Lu Xun’s concept of “showing caixue through fiction writing” merely as “caixue novels”


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