Chapter

Introduction

Joshua Goldstein

in Drama Kings

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520247529
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932791 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247529.003.0001
Introduction

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Peking opera is by far the most famous of China's approximately 360 theatrical genres. It is also the only one that, despite being named after a locatable city, is not merely categorized as a regional drama but put in a category of its own, either explicitly or implicitly placed under the rubric of “national drama”. Yet, despite its valorized position, the origin of Peking opera remains controversial, because Peking opera is a composite and ever-shifting fusion of several melodic and dramatic forms. For many drama historians, this is precisely why discerning its aesthetic essence and combing its tangled past into a manageable history pose such an enticing challenge.

Keywords: Peking opera; Republican era; China; national drama; drama historians

Chapter.  5591 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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