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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


On “Magic Crows” and Some of its implication

Vol. 28 No. 2   6/1998  


On “Magic Crows” and Some of its implication


Sherman Chu









Key words

bird, reciting, an oral performance in the prosimetric and chant fable form, vernacular like rhapsodies for the popular consumption, and oral performance in the debating form


      This paper consists of seven paragraphs, which can be grouped into three categories, to study the newly unearthed rhapsody, “Magic Crows (Shen-wu神烏)”, and its literary implications.

    At first, we try to explore the tragic topic of “Magic Crows” and one of its literary achievements that seven symbolic usages of birds as revealed in other verses of the Han Dynasty coexisted in this piece of work/

    Next, we will suggest the original characters of the rhapsody, a composition not for reading but for performing, by a totally new pe rspective of the related historical data in the light of “Magic Crows”.

     Finally, the alleged kinship between “Magic Crows” and “The Swallow (Yen-tzu 燕子 )” discovered in Tun-huan is questioned on the basis of some observations on the constructive and performing difference among the performing arts.



Author: Sherman Chu
Genre: Article
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