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C. T. Hsia examines six landmark texts: The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Water Margin, Journey to the West, Chin P’ing Mei, The Scholars, and Dream of the Red Chamber. In addition to providing historical and bibliographical information, he critiques structure and style, as well as major characters and episodes in relation to moral and philosophical themes. C. T. Hsia cites Western classics for comparison and excerpts each novel. Hailed as a classic upon its publication in 1968, The Classic Chinese Novel has remained the best single-volume critical introduction to the subject.

Table of Contents

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  1. Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. Wm. Theodore De Bary
  3. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. I. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-32
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  1. II. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms
  2. pp. 33-70
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  1. III. The Water Margin
  2. pp. 71-106
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  1. IV. Journey to the West
  2. pp. 107-152
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  1. V. Chin P’ing Mei
  2. pp. 153-186
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  1. VI. The Scholars
  2. pp. 187-224
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  1. VII. Dream of the Red Chamber
  2. pp. 225-272
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  1. Appendix: Society and Self in the Chinese Short Story
  2. pp. 273-292
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 293-340
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 341-348
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 349-362
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 363-378
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