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Lecture 6

EAS397 Lecture 6 Notes.docx

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East Asian Studies
Linda Rui Feng

EAS397 Week 6, Lecture 5 Quentin Cheung Introduction: • Assignment 1- Friday Midnight (Graded on blackboard after reading week) • Zhang Dai moments • Left Zhang Dai’s xiaopin and looking at something very different • She hung out in a lot of the same places as Zhang Dai (contemporaries for Zhang Dai)- lived into the Qing dynasty but not as long as Zhang Dai did Liu Ruishi (1618-1664) • Concept of ch’ing (qing): passion/romance (not exact translations) • Idea of loyalism- attached to the dynasty/ ruling regime that you associate with (she was born in the reign of the Wanli emperor- born in the waning days of the Ming dynasty- regime that defines identity- changing of dynasty as a dramatic change in identity- so try to bring back the dynasty through cultural and military organizations) • Literatus-courtesan couples (Chengs Long: male poet who is talented and productive but also about Liu Ruishi whose relationship was very short- she had other lovers before that and married someone else later. But very productive relationship as they wrote some of their most productive work)- Coupling of literai/courtesan important in history but also in drama, vernacular novels • Cult of passion, cult of courtesan, something being a cult- not culture, but cult of something • Talked last week about how he represents courtesans (where he writes about them collectively or individually). What was his idea of courtesanship and how did he relate to them? We are getting a different view from a high-profile courtesan. How would zhang dai make sense of someone like Liu Ruishi? She was living on boats, travelling much on water, West Lake, etc. What would his thoughts be on someone like her? Zhang Dai doesn’t write explicitly about loyalism or Ching. Class Disscussion: (Bold = prof) • Similarities between Liu Ruishi’s description of men and Zhang Dai’s • Picky as she had a choice of men • Positive description? • Love and symbolism in Liu Ruishi- dreamlike (to love is to remember, to recover past moements of pleasure and pain ) • Distancing from reality • Different degrees to political involvement (how public of a persona you wanted to pursue)- Zhang Dai tended to be more private • Idea of Romance- Qing, or somekind of romance between Courtesans and clients/lovers. Zhang Dai is clearly very aware of the commercial nature of courtesans as a group. But in this weeks’reading we’re getting an different type of discourse on courtesans and a specific kind of lover • Would he think that this is another kind of commercial transaction, a more elaborate way of getting business or if courtesans can commit to the state called Ching? • Very open-minded • Loyalism may bring them together • Little voice • Exercise like this are meant to show that • In 209 very theoretical approach- key themes was subjectivity (how people situate themselves within larger forces of gender, class and political regimes). If we read one type of text like Zhang Dai’s xiaopin and Liu Ruishi • Different textual traditions that bring out two different kinds of subjectivity despite living in the same time and place in China • Weve only concentrated on what Zhang Dai did write, not didn’t write • Same with Liu Ruishi- glimpse of what she did write about and didn’t write about • Idea of Qing, of love- whats the big deal about this? Why make such as big deal for this concept for Liu Ruishi? • Ching: -Compared to earlier ideas of emotion and attachment (earlier tradition idea of the seductress who is a goddess like tradition, and literati man says ‘oooh’ and bad things happen)- update to notion of Seduction of bringing a man down more equal or comparable exchange -Also elements of sensuality and desire (Cheng makes reference to sensuality, not just disembodied emotions) -Contrast between duty and obligation -Even love in the West, male and female are relatively concepts. Institution of marriage has preceeded idea of love (even in EastAsia). Here we’re seeing a reversal -Existing outside Confucian/family institutions/ structures- repeated marriages- courtesans- exist as a threat to the concubines -Qing itself is established between two individuals mediated by exchange and some equality in this intense exchange of emotion  BUT, qing established outside of the legal system/ family structures which denote different status for concubines -direct expression of desire/ admiration of men as she writes the same way of men as they would women E.g. river goddess as the seductive figure but Liu Ruishi flips things around to expresses the man as the river god -Spontaneaneity- emphas
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