The Chinese History: 史

Sheldon Lu’s work From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative, gives a detailed account of the notion of fiction and how full-blown fiction emerged through dynastic history and up to modern times. Although there is no exact term in the Chinese language that directly corresponds with the Western notion of fiction, Lu believes ‘history,’ shi 史, to be the closest term for the Western concept of ‘narrative.’ Historical writings in the Chinese tradition—broadly conceived to include both official and unofficial history—differ in that they are not simply based on factual events, but rather encompasses writings about events that may not be true, in a factual sense. Lu describes how Chinese notions of fiction do not imply that the author fabricated the events, and further explains how the narratives interweave fact and fantasy to present an ambiguity of the truth.


Meade, S. A. (2014). Uncovering editorial voices : an analysis of the dog stories in the Taiping guangji (T). University of British Columbia. Retrieved from (Original work published 2014)