The Chinese novel can be divided into the two categories of classical and colloquial. In the material they deal with the two have much in common, but in the aspects of concept, origin, language, thought, fields of interest and author and reader, they represent two different novel traditions. The classical novel has its origin in ancient legends, expressed in classical language. In general, it represents the thoughts and interests of the upper-class literati. Both author and reader were comparatively well educated. The colloquial novel, on the other hand, had its origin in the public market performances of the mid-Tang Dynasty, and was expressed in down-to-earth language. In general, it reflects the thoughts and interests of the common townspeople. The authors of the early colloquial novels were intellectuals who had roamed about the alleys and markets of the towns, and their novels were entertainments which catered to the tastes of the common people.