I-Yüan: the garden of marvels : a collection of Chinese stories of the supernatural from the fifth century A.D

Date

1974

Authors

Straughair, Anna

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Abstract

One of the most difficult tasks which faces the historian of any age and culture is to rid himself of the layers of unconscious assumptions and hindsights which time has placed between him and the people whom he wishes to understand. This problem is undoubtedly as much an emotional and intuitive as an intellectual one. The world picture of the people of the past may often be comprehended intellectually through direct statements by the writers and philosophers of the period, but even in these conditions such direct statements may not always be completely satisfactory when those who make them leave their most basic assumptions unstated, feeling them to be self-evident. As an aid to emotional and intuitive understanding , direct philosophical statements may be even less valuable, and, the best and most unbiased tools are often to be found in the field of the drama and fiction. By means of this sort of literature, the student of the past can cleanse himself from his preconceptions and see the world of the past, so far as possible , through the eyes of its long-dead inhabitants.

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Type

Thesis (Masters)

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DOI

10.25911/5d723a6ea3013

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