This course aims to achieve two goals. First, it will introduce students to essential authors, texts, and genres in premodern Chinese literature, with attention to questions such as, What counts as literature? What makes these works and writers canonical? How do genre, gender, and class affect the production, distribution, and consumption of these texts? Second, it will trace how later writers circulated, appropriated, and regenerated the classics via adaptations, imitations, parodies, pastiches, and sequels. Some cinematic or dramatic adaptations of the canon in the 20th century will also be included in discussions. In doing so we hope to complicate and destabilize the familiar dichotomy of canonical versus marginal, original versus derivative, elitist versus popular.