Xiaohuan Zhao is lecturer at the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has published more than twenty articles and co-authored/compiled four books. He writes in both Chinese and English. Dr. Zhao obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and his B.A. and M.A. from Central China Normal University.
2005 0-7734-6097-7 Winner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship
The present research is the first attempt ever made at a systematic analysis of classical Chinese supernatural fiction known as zhiguai under the morphological framework designed by Vladimir Propp (1928) and later developed by Alan Dundes (1964). Zhiguai has long been a focus of Chinese studies, but the studies have been generally confined either to exploration into the geographical-historical sources of zhiguai tales or to the recognition and reconstruction of society in ancient China through zhiguai literature. A systematic study of this genre from a structural-functional perspective will shed light on the rules governing the textual organisation of classical Chinese fiction of the supernatural and strange. While the focus of this work is on a synchronic presentation of textual features and structural patterns of zhiguai fiction, a general review of zhiguai literature is conducted before a morphological analysis is made of this genre. The main purpose for this diachronic exploration is to complement the synchronic analysis of tale texts so as to present a panoramic view of classical Chinese fiction of the supernatural and strange.