Bandits in Print: The Water Margin and the Transformations of Vernacular Fiction


2022
Open-Access

Bandits in Print: The Water Margin and the Transformations of Vernacular Fiction

By Scott Gregory
Cornell East Asia Series, an imprint of Cornell University Press, forthcoming April 2023


Bandits in Print reexamines Ming vernacular literature and print culture through the influential Ming novelShuihu zhuan (The Water Margin). Moving away from ultimately unanswerable questions about authorship and urtext, Scott Gregory focuses on the editor-publishers who decided the shape the novel would take as they crafted their print editions. By placing each edition firmly within its own socio-historical context, Bandits in Print shows that in the Ming dynasty, a novel like The Water Margin was not so much as a single literary work but a complex family of print editions, each with its own meaning.