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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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Space of Imagination, Beauty, and Romance: Yuan Sanqu’s Representation of Female Imagery of the Pleasure Quarters

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This dissertation explores the representation of female imagery associated with the Yuan pleasure quarters by examining a reservoir of Yuan sanqu. Previous scholarship has studied this topic using either historical material or zaju drama texts but has more or less

This dissertation explores the representation of female imagery associated with the Yuan pleasure quarters by examining a reservoir of Yuan sanqu. Previous scholarship has studied this topic using either historical material or zaju drama texts but has more or less ignored the voluminous corpus of sanqu. Furthermore, scholarly inquiries of Yuan sanqu either have emphasized its development from the Song ci lyrical tradition or its colloquial features. In consequence, the complexity of sanqu as an independent literary genre has been neglected. Using the representation of female imagery of the pleasure quarters in Yuan sanqu as an entry point, on one hand, this dissertation examines the dynamics of this urban and textual space. On the other, it focuses on rarely-studied sanqu pieces and analyzes them in a new light. The pleasure quarters and the production of Yuan sanqu are closely related to each other. In particular, the pleasure quarters are both revealed through the creative process of sanqu and have established sanqu as a distinctive aesthetic experience. The first chapter will focus on women of the pleasure quarters from the perspective of their hierarchical distinctions in terms of beauty, performative nature, and desirability as companions. Chapter two discusses the representation of women of the pleasure quarters in Yuan sanqu. Distinctive from the exclusive focus on privileged outstanding courtesans in poetic and lyrical tradition, Yuan sanqu depicted women from different registers of pleasure quarters. Thus, the genre formulated a diverse picture of images, rhetoric, and modalities. Chapter three examines a major literary tradition mainly sustained by the Yuan sanqu tradition, which is the story of Shuang Jian and Su Xiaoqing. As one of the most important and widespread literary traditions at play during the Yuan, Yuan sanqu writers’ representation of this pleasure-quarters-based story manifests the fulness and diversity of Yuan sanqu as a distinctive literary genre. In the epilogue, I focus on a zaju script by Ma Zhiyuan and an anonymous song suite in relation to this story. By so doing, I intend to show how Yuan qu lyrics incorporated the poetic, lyrical, and dramatic traditions in a somewhat promiscuous way.

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2021

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Neither dust nor gold: a comprehensive study of the Dadao School from 1115-1398

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During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly attention, the others have been largely ignored. By focusing on

During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly attention, the others have been largely ignored. By focusing on just one school--Dadao--as in depth as possible and within the historical context, I hope to elucidate the flourishing state of Daoism in North China during the twelfth through fourteenth centuries beyond just the activity of the Quanzhen school. To that end, I have amassed sixteen inscriptions and records, as well as reconstructed one inscription previously incomplete, and added them to the eleven inscriptions and records published in the Daojia jinshi lüe and the three pieces of Yuan-dynasty poetry and prose contained in the Nan Song chu Hebei xin Daojiao kao. This has doubled the available source material. Most of these have been previously published individually, but have never been studied in conjunction with the other known Dadao texts. The result is the most comprehensive study of the school in over seventy-five years, in which I also present a new understanding of the school’s founder, how the lineages developed, and the school’s ultimate fate. The portrait of the school which emerges from this dissertation challenges the notion that Dadao was nothing more than a minor variation of the Quanzhen school or is otherwise unworthy of scholarly attention.

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2017