Research Project


Oneiric Predictions Questioned in Mid-Qing Fictional Literature

Dr. Aude Lucas-Lesain

I intend to conduct a postdoctoral project that consists in studying dream narratives in classical tales (wenyan xiaoshuo 文言小說) of the Qing [1644-1912]. Chinese dream records were always linked to the questions of prognostication and fate, and so were oneiric narratives in xiaoshuo 小說 (“minor talks”) literature. My aim is to depict how dream motifs of premodern xiaoshuo literature depart from traditional conceptions, and especially how they transgress and reinvent oneiric predictions. I wish to investigate various 18th-century classical tale collections, such as: Yetan suilu 夜譚隨録 (Casual Records of Night Talks) by He Bang’e 和邦額 [1736- ?], Xieduo 諧鐸 (Harmonious Ancient Bells) by Shen Qifeng 沈起鳳 [1741-1802], Yingchuang yicao 螢窗異草 (Strange Grasses of the Firefly Window) by Qing Lan 慶蘭 [ 1746?-1788?], Ershi lu 耳食録 (Records of Hearsay) by Yue Jun 樂鈞 (published in 1792), Xiao doupeng 小豆棚 (Little Beans Trellis) by Zeng Yandong 曾衍東 [1751-1830?], Qiudeng conghua 秋燈叢話 (Collected Talks of the Autumn Lamp) by Wang Xian 王椷 (published in 1791), Liuya waipian 柳崖外編 (Unofficial Compilation of the Willow Cliff) by Xu Kun 徐昆 (published in 1792).

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