The Magic Love

The Magic Love

Fairy Tales from Twenty-First Century China


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This book presents a unique collection of fairy tales from contemporary China, translated into English for the first time. Demonstrating the continuity of oral tradition throughout Chinese history, the thirty tales are selected according to the theme of "magic love." Many readers are familiar with European tales of love and family, but these Chinese tales have a very different emphasis. The structural differences are also striking: there are more tales with tragic endings, instead of the familiar "happily ever after," and often more tale types in one tale. They are fascinating to read and challenging in terms of both morphology and cultural symbolism. Unlike many collections of fairy tales, this book provides contextual information on the tellers, collectors, and time and location of collection, along with an introduction to the Chinese social and cultural background, and folkloristic approaches to fairy tale studies.