December 11, 2014
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$50.00 USD, £33.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
February 14, 2017
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.8 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Scholar and the State

Fiction as Political Discourse in Late Imperial China

In imperial China, intellectuals devoted years of their lives to passing rigorous examinations in order to obtain a civil service position in the state bureaucracy. This traditional employment of the literati class conferred social power and moral legitimacy, but changing social and political circumstances in the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) periods forced many to seek alternative careers. Politically engaged but excluded from their traditional bureaucratic roles, creative writers authored critiques of state power in the form of fiction written in the vernacular language.

In this study, Liangyan Ge examines the novels Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Scholars, Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as Story of the Stone), and a number of erotic pieces, showing that as the literati class grappled with its own increasing marginalization, its fiction reassessed the assumption that intellectuals’ proper role was to serve state interests and began to imagine possibilities for a new political order.

About the Author

Liangyan Ge is associate professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Notre Dame.


"A significant contribution to our understanding of late imperial Chinese culture. This is the first book to put the individual novels [discussed here] into a very specific political context."—Margaret Wan, University of Utah
University of Washington Press

9780295994178 : the-scholar-and-the-state-ge
256 Pages
$50.00 USD
9780295994185 : the-scholar-and-the-state-ge
Paperback / softback
292 Pages
$30.00 USD

Other Titles in HISTORY / Asia / China

Slapping the Table in Amazement

Mengchu Ling
Feb 2018 - University of Washington Press
$100.00 USD - Hardback
$50.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Down with Traitors

Yun Xia
Jan 2018 - University of Washington Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The Art of Resistance

Shelley Drake Hawks
Dec 2017 - University of Washington Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback