Advanced

The other child : symbols of life and death in medieval China

Pissin, Annika LU (2017) In Fantômes dans l’Extrême-Orient d’hier et d’aujourd’hui 1. p.127-127
Abstract
In early medieval and medieval Chinese narratives children appear as transformed objects, divine assistants, servants or messengers of underworld administrators or medical deities. The less supervision and thus the greater independence from adults a child had, the creepier and more potentially dangerous he was. Some of these child figures were assis- tants or messengers between a person’s body and the universe, and adult men who encountered them felt the need to kill them. Such children are here called “other children”; they were uncanny boys who evoked feelings of mistrust, and even disgust or fear in adults confronted with them. This article, which is mostly based on zhiguai narratives from the third to the tenth century C.E., focuses on... (More)
In early medieval and medieval Chinese narratives children appear as transformed objects, divine assistants, servants or messengers of underworld administrators or medical deities. The less supervision and thus the greater independence from adults a child had, the creepier and more potentially dangerous he was. Some of these child figures were assis- tants or messengers between a person’s body and the universe, and adult men who encountered them felt the need to kill them. Such children are here called “other children”; they were uncanny boys who evoked feelings of mistrust, and even disgust or fear in adults confronted with them. This article, which is mostly based on zhiguai narratives from the third to the tenth century C.E., focuses on children and youth who derive from the supernatural realm. It starts out with a brief introduction about well-explored supernatural assistants, which leads into a discussion on how children are externalized and visualized coming from adult bo- dies. The article concludes by examining children who appear outside the confines of human enclosure and who share a mischievous nature. Far from promising a finished analysis about otherworldly children in medieval China, this article aims to raise awareness and curiosity about child figures in texts. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
children, Medieval China, Tang dynasty, magical medicine, mythology, popular religion, visualization, the human body, China, History
in
Fantômes dans l’Extrême-Orient d’hier et d’aujourd’hui
editor
Laureillard, Marie; Durand-Dastès, Vincent; and
volume
1
pages
147 pages
publisher
Presses de l'Inalco
ISBN
978-2-858312-610
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e0519e4f-3c70-4b22-9dca-d13a312873a9
date added to LUP
2017-11-09 10:09:45
date last changed
2017-11-10 14:04:57
@inbook{e0519e4f-3c70-4b22-9dca-d13a312873a9,
  abstract     = {In early medieval and medieval Chinese narratives children appear as transformed objects, divine assistants, servants or messengers of underworld administrators or medical deities. The less supervision and thus the greater independence from adults a child had, the creepier and more potentially dangerous he was. Some of these child figures were assis- tants or messengers between a person’s body and the universe, and adult men who encountered them felt the need to kill them. Such children are here called “other children”; they were uncanny boys who evoked feelings of mistrust, and even disgust or fear in adults confronted with them. This article, which is mostly based on zhiguai narratives from the third to the tenth century C.E., focuses on children and youth who derive from the supernatural realm. It starts out with a brief introduction about well-explored supernatural assistants, which leads into a discussion on how children are externalized and visualized coming from adult bo- dies. The article concludes by examining children who appear outside the confines of human enclosure and who share a mischievous nature. Far from promising a finished analysis about otherworldly children in medieval China, this article aims to raise awareness and curiosity about child figures in texts.},
  author       = {Pissin, Annika},
  editor       = {Laureillard, Marie and Durand-Dastès, Vincent},
  isbn         = {978-2-858312-610},
  keyword      = {children,Medieval China, Tang dynasty,magical medicine,mythology,popular religion,visualization, the human body,China,History},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {127--127},
  publisher    = {Presses de l'Inalco},
  series       = {Fantômes dans l’Extrême-Orient d’hier et d’aujourd’hui},
  title        = {The other child : symbols of life and death in medieval China},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2017},
}