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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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Playing Roles: Literati, Playwrights, and Female Performers in Yuan Theater

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This dissertation investigates how Yuan zaju drama reshaped Chinese culture by bridging the gap between an inherently oral tradition of popular performance and the written tradition of literati, when traditional Chinese political, social, cultural structures underwent remarkable transformation under alien

This dissertation investigates how Yuan zaju drama reshaped Chinese culture by bridging the gap between an inherently oral tradition of popular performance and the written tradition of literati, when traditional Chinese political, social, cultural structures underwent remarkable transformation under alien rule in the Yuan. It focuses on texts dated from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century by literati writers about playwrights and performers that have been treated by most scholars merely as sources of bio-bibliographical information. I interpret them, however, as cultural artifacts that reveal how Yuan drama caused a shift in the mentality of the elite. My study demonstrates that Yuan drama stimulated literati thought, redefined literati self-identity, and introduced a new significance to the act of writing and the function of text. Moreover, the emergence of a great number of successful female performers challenged the gendered roles of women that had been standardized by the traditional Confucian patriarchal system. This careful uncovering of overlooked materials contributes to a better understanding of the social and cultural world of early modern China.

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2019

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The Social Life of Texts: Reading Zhuang Chuo’s 莊綽 (fl. 1126) Jilei bian 雞肋編 (Chicken Rib Chronicles)

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This dissertation argues that scholars need to re-evaluate the place of miscellany in the textual tradition. Through a dynamic close-reading of Zhuang Chuo’s 莊綽 (fl. 1126) Jilei bian 雞肋編 (Chicken Rib Chronicles), using its preface as a guide, this project

This dissertation argues that scholars need to re-evaluate the place of miscellany in the textual tradition. Through a dynamic close-reading of Zhuang Chuo’s 莊綽 (fl. 1126) Jilei bian 雞肋編 (Chicken Rib Chronicles), using its preface as a guide, this project demonstrates that the value of this text lies not in its historical truth, but in the author’s analyses of historical themes, spoken word, and personal experiences alongside his engagement with the textual tradition and intellectual discourses in the wider scholarly community. Rethinking the way that Song dynasty authors of miscellany create meaning and also the purpose of this corpus allows readers to approach them holistically and creates the potential for multiple readings.

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2016