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BY 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Examples and poetics of wordplay in Han Shaogong’s language-reflective novel A Dictionary of Maqiao

From the book Cultures and Traditions of Wordplay and Wordplay Research

  • Monika Schmitz-Emans


As a literary format, the dictionary of words and verbal phrases provides an important reflection model that points to an evidently self-referential interest on the part of literary authors in the elements and uses of language. With his lexicographic novel A Dictionary of Maqiao (originally Chinese 1996), the Chinese author Han Shaogong continues a Western literary tradition of writing alphabetically structured text sequences which are presented as a dictionary or lexicon. Wordplay here becomes an important medium of reflection, concerned with language and culture, and in this context even an indirectly used device for political criticism.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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