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Choi, "Recasting Vladimir Propp's formalist method through traditional Asian narratives," 2004

USC thesis in Literature.
August 24, 2009
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Myung Hui Choi, M.A.

Abstract (Summary)
Vladimir Propp's formula used in identifying the structure of the Russian fairytale is a profitable proposition in the studies of narratology and East Asian culture in that it is applicable to a structural analysis of traditional Asian narratives. Proppian analysis showed that in the Russian folktale there are identifiable basic components whose combination into complex wholes is governed by equally identifiable rules. While it is necessary to modify the catalog of Propp's functions in analyzing Korean folktales and Chinese tales, a formal narrative structure will not change. An identification of common characteristics in narratives and the variations of structural components in a given culture predicate important cultural difference. The compositional commonalities identified by the Proppian method allow us to overcome the boundaries of cultures and narrative genre. Cultural characteristics identified in the Asian narratives help us to exemplify the cultural distinctiveness. As a result, a fuller understanding of Korean and Chinese culture is possible.

Advisor: Kim, Jinhee

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