ISBN: 9788791114649

Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling: Full-length Repertoires of Yangzhou Storytelling on Video


Edited by Vibeke Børdahl, Fei Li & Huang Ying

2004, 415 pp, 15x23 cm., Hardback & VCD

This volume has its origins in the project 'Large-scale Registration of Chinese Storytelling', which involved the recording on film of 360 hours of performances by the four masters of Yangzhou storytelling, Dai Buzhang, Fei Zhengliang, Gao Zaihua and Ren Jitang. Four sets of these films have been deposited (in Washington D.C., Taipei, Beijing and Copenhagen) so that future generations of scholars will have access to this unique material.

The purpose of Four Masters is two-fold: first, it functions as a guide to the collections in situ (and one, moreover, that by its availability in libraries worldwide will promote further research into this material); second, with its introductory chapters, teller autobiographies, performances and catalogue entries (plus the audio-visual material), it stands as an independent and valuable contribution to research in Asian oral traditions. With all text appearing in both English and Chinese and with its subject matter brought alive by a wealth of photographs plus 60-minute film on VCD, this volume promises to be a classic work in its field.


  • Offers access to and brings alive unique materials on the Chinese storytelling traditions.
  • First time that storytellers' repertoires are registered in their entirety.
  • Useful for students of Chinese culture by serving as a bilingual guide to the great masterworks of the Chinese novel (Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Journey to the West).

About the Editor

Vibeke Børdahl, Ph. D., Dr. Phil., senior researcher at NIAS, specialises in Chinese oral literature and dialectology.  Her recent research is concerned with the interplay of oral and written traditions in Chinese popular literature and performance culture.

Her book-length studies and edited volumes include Along the Broad Road of Realism:  Qin Zhaoyang's World of Fiction, The Oral Tradition of Yangzhou Storytelling, The Eternal Storyteller: Oral Literature in Modern China, Chinese Storytellers—Life and Art in the Yangzhou Tradition, and The Interplay of the Oral and Written in Chinese Popular Literature.

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