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Week 9 Study Guide.docx

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McGill University
Asian Language & Literature
EAST 211
Rebecca Doran

WEEK 9 STUDY GUIDE The Emergence of the Novel and Vernacular Literature during the Ming  Roots in oral storytelling: historical sagas, romances, reworking of classical literature  Flourishing commercial market in books  The Water Margin (水滸傳): about a band of righteous outlaws living during the Song dynasty  Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國之演義), about the swashbuckling heroes vying for power in the aftermath of the Han dynasty  Plum in the Golden Vase (金瓶梅), an erotic novel about the rise and fall of a wealthy merchant and his various wives  Journey to the West (西遊記), about the pilgrimage of Tripitaka (Xuanzang) and his memorable disciples to obtain Buddhist scriptures from India  Traditional low evaluation of the novel as a “frivolous” genre (versus “serious” genres such as the classical poem, or shi)  “Vernacular” versus “Classical” o Vernacular: spoken language; Classical: written language o 20 century valorization of vernacular literature as the living language of the people o “Vernacular” is not synonymous with “low-brow” and “classical” is not synonymous with “high- brow”; the best vernacular novels are sophisticated and well-written, geared towards a highly educated reader/consumer Journey to the West, attributed to Wu Cheng’en 吳承恩 (ca. 1500-1582) Chapters 1-7: self-contained history of the Monkey King  Miraculous birth from a stone egg  Pursuit of immortality under Patriarch Subodhi  Monkey as subversive trickster capable of great deeds and great violence: battle against the Monstrous King of Havoc: Monkey as the ultimate underdog; wins by turning his hairs into tiny monkeys:  Monkey’s rebellion against Heaven: 1. Summons to the Underworld: o intimidation of the Ten Kings of the underworld; erasure of all monkeys from the registers of birth and death 2. Jade Emperor’s two attempts to appease Monkey and integrate him into the heavenly bureaucracy o as a groomsman: he becomes angry when he discovers his low status, quits, and rebels o as the “Great Sage, Equal to Heaven” and Guardian of the Immortal Peaches - infiltration of the banquet; harassment of the immortal maidens; stealing Laozi’s elixir >>> full-scale rebellion 3. Monkey as a challenge to the celestial hierarchy because he does not respect authority for authority’s sake; final subjugation by Buddha Chapters 8-12: introduction of the monk Tripitaka’s back story and the gods’ involvement in his western journey for sutras 1. Tripitaka is nominally based on the historical monk Xuanzang 玄奘 (602-664), who left to journey west to study with Buddhist masters and obtain scripture in 629 after dream vision; snuck out due to proscription on travel; west across the Gobi Desert, welcomed by the leaders of Buddhist kingdoms; study with Indian masters; triumphant return in 1645; translation of many new scriptures 1 Chapters 13-99: pilgrimage narrative: Tripitaka and his disciples 2. Tripitaka of the novel: assigned four magical disciples by Buddhist deities, including Guanyin: they have all committed a transgression in the heavenly realm and must complete the pilgrimage to atone for their sins a. Monkey King: (Sun Wukong 孫悟空): brave, violent, talented, heroic; banished for launching a massive rebellion against heaven b. Zhu Bajie (豬八戒; “Eight-precepts Pig” or Pigsy): formerly a heavenly general; banished for flirting with the moon goddess, gluttonous and lazy c. Sha Wujing (沙悟淨; Friar Sand or Sandy): river ogre; also formerly a heavenly general, banished for breaking a celestial vase, stoic d. Third prince of the Dragon-King, Yulong Santaizi (玉龍三太子): transformed into Tripitaka’s horse; originally banished from heaven for setting fire to his father’s pearl  The pilgrimage narrative: allegory for Buddhist enlightenment; episodic  Tripitaka: whiny and unappealing character; Monkey is the real hero o Tripitaka controls Monkey with a golden crown that Guanyin attaches to Monkey’s head; when Tripitaka recites the secret spell, the crown tightens and causes Monkey unbearable pain o Difficulty journey necessary for true enlightenment Chapter 100: achievement of enlightenment Buddhist Allegory or Satire?:  Negative portrayals of Tripitaka and the Jade Emperor o Tripitaka is whiny and does not believe Monkey, who is always right o the Jade Emperor is only vested with authority because others believe in his authority; he does not participate in battle himself and only deputes others  Possibility of enlightenment even for weak and pathetic mortals (like Tripitaka) China on the International Stage 1. Zheng He’s 鄭和 (1371-1433) Maritime Expeditions:  Zheng He: born Ma He to a Muslim family living in Yunnan; Persian ancestry, forefathers served in Mongolian Empire o Yunnan was the final Yuan holdout against the Ming conquest o 1381: Zheng He’s father was killed in the Ming conquest of Yunnan; 11-year-old Zheng He was captured by the Ming troops and made a eunuch in the service of the Prince of Yan, Zhu Di, the future Yongle Emperor. o Trusted advisor to Zhu Di/Yongle; promoted to Eunuch Grand Director 太監 and Chief Envoy 正 使; deputed by Yongle to carry out the grand maritime expeditions o Passed away in Hormuz (near Iran) on return from final voyage in 1422  Maritime Expeditions: 7 in total, under Yongle and his successors (Hongxi/Renzong and Xuande/Xuanzong), 1405-1433; visited various areas of Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Arabia, and the eastern coast of Africa o Huge ships, many sailors o Main Goals: establish a Chinese presence abroad, impress foreigners with China’s greatness, and increase trade and tributary networks o (Largely baseless) rumors that they were actually an elaborate hidden hunt for the Jianwen Emperor, whom Yongle had deposed o Misperception of the voyages as China’s “missed opportunity”: accomplished their goals of trade and prestige-building; end of the voyages did not signal Ming’s withdrawal from international trade and diplomatic networks 2 2. The Portuguese in Macao Early Years  1510: Portuguese traders established their Asian headquarters at Goa, an island off the coast of West India  1511: conquer Malacca, a state in Malaysia  1514: Portuguese delegation lands in Lingding (Lintin) Island 內伶仃島 in the Pearl River estuary in Guangdong o strained relations with Ming as a result of complaints lodged by the displaced Sultan of Malacca, atrocities committed by Portuguese against the Malaccan people  1540s: Portuguese aid Ming in combatting pirates, earn the privilege to send annual trade missions to China  1550s: rocky relationship between Portuguese traders and Ming government; Portuguese raid villages in Ningbo and Quanzhou; Ming retaliates by ordering the execution of all Portuguese on site: the Ningbo and Quanzhou Massacres  1557: diplomatic settlement allows Portuguese to establish a permanent trading base on Macao; pay an annual rent; Chinese sovereignty and Portuguese administration Rise and Fall of Macao as a Trading Center  1560-1637: the golden age of Macao as a trading center o Portuguese traders serve as middlemen for 3 major profitable trade routes linking China with Japan and Europe: Macao-Malacca-Goa-Lisbon; Guangzhou-Macao-Nagasaki; and Macao-Manila- Mexico o Portuguese move silk and silver at inflated rates, earning huge profits; enjoy a monopoly on the Sino-Japanese trade when the Ming banned direct trade with Japan in an effort to combat piracy  1637: Japanese shogun, suspicious of the intentions of Spanish and Portuguese Catholic missionaries, decides to close Japan off from all foreign influence (except Protestant Dutch traders)>>>destruction of the Guangzhou-Macau-Nagasaki route  1641: Portugal lost Malacca to the Dutch, a new imperialist power, destroying the link to Goa  1
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