Dissertation > Literature > Chinese Literature > The body of literature reviews and research > Folk literature

The Generation and Adoption of Folktales

Author ChaiZuo
Tutor WangDeSheng
School Liaoning University
Course Literature and Art
Keywords Folktale Generation Adoption
CLC I207.7
Type PhD thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 164
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As a form of oral literature, folktale is made up of text, the author (the narrator),readers (audience), narrative context, and many other elements. Represented byAmerican scholar Richard Bauman, the school of Performance Theory advocates toabandon the narrow sense of a textual research on oral literature, and to carry out a broadsense of textual research that includes folktale’s text and its narrative context, namely, toregard oral literature as a form of performance in a special situation. The school alsoadvocates to put forward a comprehensive grasp and deep sketch in the process ofnarrative performance. This paradigm for studying Chinese folktales has been widelyaccepted by the concerned researchers. Being guided by the perspective of this theory,with both the folktale-telling activities and texts to be its research data, this articleanalyzes the generation and adoption of folktales and puts emphases on discussing thegreat significance that the folktale recipients and their adoption have put on thegeneration of folktales. And then the article applies this conclusion on the interpretationof the predicament of the folktales’ heritage in contemporary China.This dissertation can be divided into three parts: introduction, body paragraphs andother relative discussions.The main body consists of three parts.The first part is about the discussion on the generation of folktales. Through threeaspects—the narrator, the narrative situation and the audience. This chapter clarifiesthe elements that influence the generation of folktales; explores the main motivation forthe folktales’ generation through people’s pursuit of beauty and the function of stories;analyzes the generating process of folktales from two aspects—individual and group.From all above, the chapter makes a deep analysis on the generation of folktalesThe second part offers the interpretation of the folktales adoption. This chapter, firstof all, the possibility of reconsideration of the folktales’ texts proceeding from theTheory of Literary Acceptance and Cognitive Development Theory in the Psychology.Based on this, the paper considers the recipient to be the main body of adoption, andbegins its analyses by both the constitution of the recipient group and the relationship between this constitution and the generation of the meaning of stories; considering text asthe object to be adopted, this paper inspects it from two dimensions–the limitation in textadoption and multi-level structure of the text; mainly discusses the readers’ horizon ofadoption and the interaction between recipient and the text during the analysis ofacceptance.The third part starts around the influence on the folktales’ generation made by thefolktales adoption. This chapter firstly analyzes the generation and adoption of folktalesthrough bringing them into Marx’s Theory of Consumption and reaches a conclusion thatthere is a great significance made by the folktale acceptance to its generation; and thenanalyzes the influence on the folktales’ generation made by the acceptor from the angleof the narrator’s follows after the recipient and the influence made by the expectation ofthe acceptor on the narrator; meanwhile, from the angle of the multi-level languagestructure of the text and Calling-Structure Theory, this paper elaborates the greatsignificance made by the folktales’ adoption to its generation.The part of other relative discussion is the interpretation of applying the conclusionof text research to the question of folktales’ adoption and generation in contemporaryChina. From the angle of generation and adoption, the paper interprets the predicamentpeople encountered during their story-telling activities, and points out three developmentapproaches for the textual materials transformation: the academic adoption, the literatureadoption and the consumptive acceptation in Chinese folktales. And all these mean tooffer the beneficial references for the development direction of the contemporary Chinesefolktales and the research on it.Making use of the interdisciplinary approach-the Marxist Consumption Theory, theAesthetics of Literary Reception, the Performance Theory of the Folklore, and theCognitive Development Theory in the Psychology, this dissertation interprets thequestions of the generation and adoption of folktales. Synthesizing the author’s grassrootsinvestigation and the surveys along with the findings of the researchers on folktales, andbasing on the intensive reading of some typical folktale texts, this essay penetrates thepresentation of folktales of great quantities and patterns, tries to excavate the questions ofthe generation and adoption of the folktales in a exact, meticulous and objective way, andtreats it to be the ways of thinking for interpreting the Chinese problems contemporarily, finally makes this study involve more realistic significance and research value.

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