Pienwen

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pienwen

 

a genre of sung narrative Chinese literature that emerged and developed during the T’ang period (seventh to tenth centuries). It was initially dominated by Buddhist themes, but later its subjects came from Chinese folklore (the stories of the hero Wu Tzu-hsüeh, the mythological emperor Shunieh, the loyal wife Meng Chiang-nü, and others). Pienwen is marked by the alternation of prose text and sung poetry. Pienwen literature was not discovered until the 20th century, among the manuscripts found in the Tunhuang caves (Kansu Province).

REFERENCES

Riftin, B. L. Skazanie o Velikoi stene i problema zhanra v kitaiskom folklore. Moscow, 1961.
Tunhuang pienwen chi, vols. 1-2. Peking, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.