Main : Chinese
Chinese Fox Stories
Stories from Ji Yun
Matter or Spirit?
Dealbreaking; or, The
Nature of Deceit
Male or Female?
The richest source of Chinese fox stories on
the web. I have given up listing them here because the webmaster
adds to them so rapidly.
from Pu Songling's Liaozhai Zhiyi
of the Nine Mountains
the Fox Fairy
Ying-ning, the Laughing Girl
Man Wu-cheng (Taiwanese)
Collection of Kitsune Lore
Story: The Farmer
Fabulous Foxes: Fox Lover
Walthall, Anne. Peasant Uprisings: A Critical Anthology of Peasant
Histories. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. [find
Foxes are connected with late Edo peasant uprisings
as a symbol of social change, as in "A Tale of a Dream from
the Fox Woman Plain," pp. 169-92.
Chinese novels bear the same relation to Chinese folklore as Victorian
fantasy novels bear to English fairy lore: The folklore is the raw
material, to be embroidered and embellished as the writer pleases.
Folklore tends to view foxes (or fairies) from the outside; the
fox is clearly the Other, understood only through what it does and
says in front of humans. The folklorist's understanding of the fox
is shaped by common beliefs about what foxes are really like, and
the story is often meant to teach its listeners what to do when
they meet a real fox spirit.The novelist, on the other hand, is
free to veer away from the strict, "realistic" interpretation
of the fox and to reshape his or her interpretation of the fox to
fit the theme of the novel. Novels often give the fox's side of
the story. And, just as in Victorian fantastic literature, the novelist's
conception of the fox may bear no resemblance at all to the "real"
foxes which peasants fear to meet in the field. However, one generation's
embellished fantasy is the next generation's canon, making Chinese
novels about foxes a rich source of foxlore.
Feng Menglong. Ping
Yao Zhuan: The Sorcerors' Revolt. Translated by Nathan Sturman.
A 17th-century Chinese novel chronicling, among
other things, the adventures of the fox Holy Auntie and her foolish
children Hu Chu and Hu Mei (or Hu Mei'r). The stories of several
other foxes are woven into the story, along with a great deal of
information about foxlore in general. Ping Yao Zhuan is remarkable
because unlike folk stories about foxes, the novel is told from
the foxes' point of view; we see them in their den, laying plans,
traveling cross-country in search of enlightenment (or drink, or
a rich marriage), weighing their choices, and becoming characters
as fully-fleshed as the humans around them. A quick, entertaining,
and most enlightening read.