Chen Pingyuan is one of the leading scholars of modern Chinese literature, known particularly for his work on wuxia, a popular and influential genre of historical martial arts fiction still celebrated around the world today. This work, presented here in English translation for the first time, is considered to be the seminal work on the evolution, aesthetics and politics of the modern Chinese wuxia novel in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, tracing the resurgence of interest in classical chivalric tales in China.
Introduction: Wuxia novels and me; 1. The Xiake dream of the literati through the ages; 2. Haoxia stories of the Tang and Song dynasties; 3. Xiayi novels of the Qing dynasty; 4. Twentieth-century Wuxia novels; 5. Carrying a sword and doing Xiake deeds; 6. Sweet revenge; 7. The smiling proud Xiake; 8. Roving to the ends of the world; 9. Wuxia novels as a literary genre; Appendices; Select bibliography; Index.