A Stinger in the Tale the "Sudden Awakening" Ending in East Asian Folktales
Posted on 25. May, 2009 by James Miller in Compensatory fantasy
|Title||A Stinger in the Tale the "Sudden Awakening" Ending in East Asian Folktales|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1999|
|Journal||Asian Folklore Studies|
This study explores category-formation in narrative analysis of folktales by arguing that a new motif be recognized in what it calls the "sudden awakening" episode found in a number of tales from China and Japan. It summarizes a number of apparently related tales, makes some comparisons among them, and argues that Ch'an/Zen Buddhism probably has had a good deal to do with the invention or reinforcement of this "sudden awakening" motif. It further argues that the motif also comes characteristically embedded in a larger narrative unit, or tale type, and seeks to establish this by means of motifeme analysis. Finally, it suggests that this tale type has frequently functioned to express and palliate the tension between a cultural and religious orthodoxy on the one hand, and popular, sometimes heterodox, protests or criticisms of that orthodoxy on the other.