Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio | How to Fall in Love with Classics

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This is the likely source of all those old Chinese ghost stories you love to watch on TV.

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Important Notice

This programme/event is open to members of the National Library Board, Singapore. Please ensure you have your myLibrary ID on hand before proceeding with the registration. If you do not have a myLibrary ID, you can create one here:

About the Programme/Event

Pu Songling’s Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (1740) – better known as Liaozhai – is an undisputed world horror classic. This posthumous publication brings together almost five hundred supernatural tales and offers some of the earliest Chinese stories on ghosts and spirits in the human world. Gwee Li Sui will discuss features in its genre and its unique style as well as how it implicitly comments on life during the Qing dynasty.

About this Series

Literary classics are classics because they have stood the test of time. They have dazzled generations of readers with their compelling writing as well as their approaches to universal themes. Each new age discovers in them not just fascinating layers of meaning but also fresh relevance. A reader is often profoundly satisfied and feels his or her life changed for the better.

How to Fall in Love with Classics is an exciting National Library Board lecture series that celebrates the classics. This series looks lovingly and thoughtfully at a few texts to understand the special pleasure we get from them. The study should help to ignite or rekindle your own passion for literature. You may grasp more firmly the importance of particular works and learn to appreciate them more.

Every lecture will explore one classic for its various forms of meaning. The text will be dissected to reveal connections it makes to ideas in history, culture, and society. We will also observe how this can enhance our reflections on ourselves and the world.

About the Speaker

Gwee Li Sui is a poet, a graphic artist, and a literary critic. His works of verse include Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems? (1998), One Thousand and One Nights (2014), The Other Merlion and Friends (2015), Haikuku (2017), and Death Wish (2017). A familiar name in Singapore’s cultural scene, Gwee Li Sui wrote our first long-form graphic novel in English Myth of the Stone back in 1993. He has edited several acclaimed literary anthologies, taught at several universities, and lectured on a vast range of subjects. He has also written FEAR NO POETRY!: An Essential Guide to Close Reading (2014) and Spiaking Singlish: A Companion to How Singaporeans Communicate (2017).

Important Notes on Registration

  • The zoom link is sent to the registration list by latest noon of event day.
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  • If you have any queries, please email 

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Online Programme/Event Administrative Information

  • This programme is conducted entirely online. You may access Zoom via the app or using a web browser
  • Please ensure that you enter a valid email address as you will receive an email with the link to the online programme/event near the day of the programme/event
  • The link of the programme should not be shared with others
  • Do ensure you have a strong internet connection. Using your mobile data is not recommended
  • The National Library Board, Singapore (NLB) reserves the right in its absolute discretion to disqualify or refuse admission to any registrant without any reason and notice
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The National Library Board (NLB) manages a network of 27 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB promotes reading, learning and information literacy by providing a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service through the National Library and a comprehensive network of Public Libraries.

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