Journal article

The Origins of Prejudice: The Malintegration of Subei in Late Imperial China

A Finnane

Comparative Studies in Society and History | Published : 1993


The convention for introducing biography in the Chinese textual tradition is to identify the subject not only by his name but also by his native place. The classic formula used for this purpose is set out in the preface to “The True Story of Ah Q,” in which Lu Xun remarks that “when writing biography, it is the usual practice to begin ‘so-and-so, from such-and-such place’ ” (Lu 1959 [1921]: 93). This formula was adopted in official documents, popular stories, obituaries and tomb epitaphs as well as in formal biographies or biographical notices. There were variations in its form, in which the person was identified as being “native of this place, living in that place” or “originally of this pl..

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