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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2021): 0.467
PDF | 10.3176/tr.2022.2.03

Tianyu Lei

The cult of the ‘Great Canon’ penetrates many aspects of Chinese culture. However, compared to its great importance, we actually know very little about this cult, especially how ordinary people perceived the ‘Great Canon’ in ancient times. To address this topic, the study focuses on the tales (plots) of the ‘Great Canon’ in the novels produced in late imperial China. First, I examine the literary discourse on the formation of the ‘Great Canon’ in the Ming-Qing (1368–1911) novels. Second, by studying the tales (plots) related to the efficacy of the ‘Great Canon’, I uncover the shared imagination on its function during the Ming-Qing periods. Third, I narrow down the scope of the investigation to Chapter 98 of The Journey to the West and reinterpret the plot of the ‘wordless scriptures’.


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