Description - Oral Epic Traditions in China and Beyond by Chao Gejin

1. This study gives book readers a broader understanding of what engagement with a literary text historically is, not just a private reading experience, but a living, every changing communal oral experience.
2. The book shifts the basic focus of epic studies from the codified texts of standard Western epics to the living tradition of generally unknown Mongol oral heroic epics and from isolated textual analysis to investigations of the creative interaction of singer and audience in a live performance.
3. It provides literature students with reference material about modern oral poetic research as focused on a work's content, narrative scale, social dimensions, cultural significance, performance strategies and modes of transmission.
4. It provides researchers of oral poetry and communication with theoretical approaches and practical guidelines for field and textual investigations based on relationships between inherited text and performance, performer and audience.
5. It provides seasoned epic scholars with first-hand information on Mongol oral epic, especially on lengthy epics' structures and incorporation of smaller poems, on singers' innovative use of traditional material, and on the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese oral epic research.

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