Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Strategies of Fantasy in E.T.A. Hoffmann and Pu Songling
by Fan, Jiacheng, M.A., Purdue University, 2017, 65; 10268186
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis deals with the strategies in the works of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Pu Songling that are used to arrange the fantasy elements. It examines the basic settings of the environments and social backgrounds as presented in several works by Hoffmann and by Pu Songling. It also investigates and compares the various modes of presentation considering the adventures of the protagonists in these selected works by a German and by a Chinese author. It demonstrates that, although both authors tend to use fantasy elements as an important part in their narration each, they organize them differently. Hoffmann first puts his characters into a daily life background and then constantly brings fantasy events to them in order to arouse the feeling of amazement and to romanticize the world. Pu Songling uses elements of fantasy power to create a paradise that is like an idealized version of the human world. By juxtaposing the two authors, this thesis argues that both Hoffmann and Pu Songling play significant but also quite different roles in the transition process from traditional tales with fantasy elements to modern fantasy fictions in their own traditions. Hoffmann inherits but also makes some unique and remarkable innovations to the literary heritage of German Romanticism; Pu Songling modifies the usual pattern of zhiguai and chuanqi to achieve better art effect. Hoffmann’s unique style of intertwining reality with fantasy has influenced many modern writers, including Herman Hesse. Pu Songling’s creation of a secular paradise and the promotion of qing (a Chinese notion that represents emotion and love) may also be seen as the precursor for later works such as Dream of the Red Chamber.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Allert, Beate
Commitee: Allert, Beate, Hsieh, Daniel, Ross, Charles
School: Purdue University
Department: Comparative Literature
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: MAI 56/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature
Keywords: Chuanqi, Fairy tale, Fantasy, Hoffmann, E. T. A., Songling, Pu
Publication Number: 10268186
ISBN: 978-0-355-15688-1
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