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The frustrations of heaven's fragrance: an analysis and translation of Guan Hanqing's Qian dayin zhichong xie tianxiang

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This thesis examines the play Qian Dayin zhichong Xie Tianxiang, written by the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) playwright Guan Hanqing (c.1225-1302). The first chapter of this paper provides brief background information about northern style Yuan drama (zaju) as well as a

This thesis examines the play Qian Dayin zhichong Xie Tianxiang, written by the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) playwright Guan Hanqing (c.1225-1302). The first chapter of this paper provides brief background information about northern style Yuan drama (zaju) as well as a plot summary and notes about the analysis and translation. Through a close reading of the play, I hope to illustrate how the play's complicated ending and lack of complete resolution reveals why it has received relatively little attention from scholars who have previously discussed other strong, intelligent female characters in Guan Hanqing's plays. The second chapter of this thesis includes translation of the play that is comprised of a wedge preceding the four acts. Before each act of the play is a critical introduction and analysis of the act to follow. Although many of Guan Hanqing's plays have been translated into English, this play has never been translated.

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2011

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The problematic nature of Song literati's penchant for xiaohuan

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This thesis examines poems and anecdotes about xiaohuan 小鬟 (little chignon) written by literati of the Song宋 (960-1279). The first chapter of this paper provides a brief history of household courtesans and the popularity of xiaohuan. The second chapter includes

This thesis examines poems and anecdotes about xiaohuan 小鬟 (little chignon) written by literati of the Song宋 (960-1279). The first chapter of this paper provides a brief history of household courtesans and the popularity of xiaohuan. The second chapter includes eleven poems and one anecdote on xiaohuan. All works are translated and followed by a critical analysis. Through a close reading of these works, I will examine the imagery of xiaohuan in the Song literary context, bring to light the major motif of the works, and reveal the reasons that contribute to literati's penchant for xiaohuan. The imagery of xiaohuan is based on their tender age. Poets use flowers to metaphorize xiaohuan's lithe, slim, short, and delicate figures. A major characteristic of the xiaohuan's youth is their inability to understand qing情 (affection) and this relative innocence and absence of desire becomes a major part of their representation. Consequently, their youth and virginity rather than their beauty are strongly stressed in the poems. This may be explained by poets' desire for longevity, pursued through the "Techniques of the Bedchamber," or fangzhong shu房中術, which suggests intercourse with pre-pubescent girls would bring men longevity or even transmutation.

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2012