Den daoistiske ædedolk: Daoisme og spisning i Ah Chengs novelle 'Kongen af skak'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many critics have noted Ah Cheng’s extensive use of Daoist imagery and symbolism in his novella King of Chess from 1984. The story refers directly to Daoist discourse of non-action (无为wuwei) and the power of yielding/softness in its treatment of the Chinese Way (道dao) of chess, and thus readings have focused on the metaphysical aspects of Daoism. Chess, however, is only one of the two great passions of the story’s protagonist Wang Yisheng: The other is food. This very material aspect of life and its relation to Daoist thought is the subject of this paper. By comparing the attitude towards eating in The King of Chess with material aspects of Daoism as found in the Zhuangzi, this paper presents an analysis of how Ah Cheng uses food as a theme to communicate cultural values of early rustic Daoism outside the discourse of traditionalism.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • Ah Cheng, Zhuangzi, Chinese literature, food and drink, chess, Daoism
Translated title of the contributionThe Daoist Glutton: Daoism and Eating in Ah Cheng’s 'The King of Chess’
Original languageDanish
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages13
JournalChaos. Dansk-norsk tidsskrift for religionhistoriske studier
Issue number59
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch