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«Gulliver's Travels» and «Ching-hua yuan» Revisited

A Menippean Approach

Series:

An-Chi Wang

The similarity between Gulliver's Travels and Ching-hua yuan (Flowers in the Mirror) is a popular topic of debate in Western-Chinese comparative literature. This book re-evaluates these studies and applies the newly rediscovered mode of Menippean satire to clarify their significance. The Menippean interpretation demonstrates that the resemblance of these two works is particularly meaningful; they each criticize their respective cultural traditions and the 'glorious philosophies' of their time. Furthermore, they do not attack human vices and social institutions in the manner of traditional satire. This study clarifies many of the controversial points critics have observed and argued over, and reveals the texts' typical Menippean characteristics.