The figure of the Monkey King shifts from a trickster, a rebel, and a demon to a revolutionary and, later, postsocialist hero. Monkey King has a major impact on the formation of Chinese identity across borders. This book opens and closes with the author’s comparison of the ways in which the trickster figure is associated with Chineseness and how Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s “signifying monkey” operates in a similar fashion in its power of representation of ethnic cultures. Both the Monkey King and “signifying monkey” are translators of cultures and are deployed as cultural tropes for their respective cultural milieu.
Chinese Literature Today is a peer-reviewed journal edited by the University of Oklahoma and published by Routledge. Its mission is to provide the finest English translations of and fresh critical essays about contemporary Chinese literature and culture.