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The Role of the Chou ("Clown") in Traditional Chinese Drama: Comedy, Criticism, and Cosmology on the Chinese Stage (review)

The Role of the Chou ("Clown") in Traditional Chinese Drama: Comedy, Criticism, and Cosmology on... THE ROLE OF THE CHOU ("CLOWN") IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE DRAMA: COMEDY, CRITICISM, AND COSMOLOGY ON THE CHINESE STAGE. By Ashley Thorpe. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2007. 396 pp. Cloth $119.95. Perhaps riding the wave of China-related books timed to exploit interest generated by the Beijing Olympics, good books about Chinese theatre in English are on the rise, yet many gaping holes about even fundamental performance elements remain. Ashley Thorpe's survey of the chou role ( , "clown") in xiqu ( , "Chinese opera") makes an important contribution, offering the first English-language analysis of one of the four main xiqu role-type categories. In this expansive work, Thorpe provides effective analysis of chou and chourelated characters in leading plays, translations of seminal theoretical writings, and wide-ranging contextual discussion helping the reader to understand why the chou, though usually listed last of the four main jingju ( , "Beijing opera") role types, is also the subject of the adage that opens and closes the study: "Without the chou, there would not be drama" (p. 284). The book offers an introduction to the chou for Western readers and opens with a helpful foreword by John McCormick that aligns the chou with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

The Role of the Chou ("Clown") in Traditional Chinese Drama: Comedy, Criticism, and Cosmology on the Chinese Stage (review)

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 26 (2) – Feb 6, 2009

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1527-2109
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Abstract

THE ROLE OF THE CHOU ("CLOWN") IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE DRAMA: COMEDY, CRITICISM, AND COSMOLOGY ON THE CHINESE STAGE. By Ashley Thorpe. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2007. 396 pp. Cloth $119.95. Perhaps riding the wave of China-related books timed to exploit interest generated by the Beijing Olympics, good books about Chinese theatre in English are on the rise, yet many gaping holes about even fundamental performance elements remain. Ashley Thorpe's survey of the chou role ( , "clown") in xiqu ( , "Chinese opera") makes an important contribution, offering the first English-language analysis of one of the four main xiqu role-type categories. In this expansive work, Thorpe provides effective analysis of chou and chourelated characters in leading plays, translations of seminal theoretical writings, and wide-ranging contextual discussion helping the reader to understand why the chou, though usually listed last of the four main jingju ( , "Beijing opera") role types, is also the subject of the adage that opens and closes the study: "Without the chou, there would not be drama" (p. 284). The book offers an introduction to the chou for Western readers and opens with a helpful foreword by John McCormick that aligns the chou with

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 6, 2009

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