This study presents an overview of attempts by Chinese literati during the twentieth century to articulate a coherent Chinese mythology, primarily based on ancient texts but eventually to some extent drawing from ethnographic materials and folklore as well, and all much beholden to Western examples such as Greek and Norse mythology. This examination of text-based activities sets the stage for an inquiry into a wave of monument building during the Reform Era, much of which has celebrated China's ancient myth, history, and legend. A recent park in Wuhan dedicated to the legendary sage ruler and conqueror of floods, Yu the Great, serves as a case study of how, over the last three decades, old Chinese myths have been inscribed on the new Chinese landscape, and allows exploration of this phenomenon in relation to deeper issues concerning the role of myth in Chinese society, particularly its unexpected marriage with modernity.

You do not currently have access to this content.