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Transmutations of Desire:Literature and Religion in Late Imperial China

Transmutations

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9789882371224
Qiancheng Li
香港中文大學
2020年11月01日
552.00  元
HK$ 496.8
省下 $55.2
 
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ISBN:9789882371224
  • 規格:精裝 / 316頁 / 15.2 x 22.9 x 4.42 cm / 普通級 / 單色印刷 / 初版
  • 出版地:香港


  • 社會科學 > 文化研究 > 文化人類學











      In the West, love occupies center stage in the modern age, whether in art, intellectual life, or the economic life. We may observe a similar development in China, on its own impetus, which has resulted in this characteristic of modernity—this feature of modern life has been securely and unambiguously established, not the least facilitated by the thriving of literature aboutqing, whether in traditional or modern forms.



      Qiancheng Li concentrates on the nuances of a similar trend manifested in the Chinese context. The emphasis is on critical readings of the texts that have shaped this trend, including important Ming- and Qing-dynasty works of drama, Buddhist texts and other religious/philosophical works, in all their subtlety and evocative power.



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      The power ofqingor strong emotion is a major theme in late imperial Chinese literature—some writers asserting that it can transcend even life itself. Qiancheng Li surveys a number of seventeenth-century philosophical, religious, and literary texts to elucidate the metaphysical aspects of emotional attachment and of sexual desire in particular. Through his broad and penetrating reading, Li demonstrates incontrovertibly how, to seventeenth-century writers,qingand religion were inextricably linked. To those writers,qingcould bring enlightenment, and certainly Li’s study enlightens its readers to new levels of complexity in major literary works of that period.Transmutations of Desiresets a major new milestone in the study of traditional Chinese culture.—Robert E. Hegel, Washington University in St. Louis



      This book brings to a significantly new level the study ofqing, a key concept in intellectual discourses of the late Ming which reverberated throughout the subsequent Qing period in Chinese literature. Herein we learn how, presented with the tension between passionate attraction as a fundamental force in life and religious (especially Buddhist) emphasis on release from attachments as an ultimate spiritual goal, authors of, and commentators on, the era’s most important works of drama and long fiction developed a multi-dimensional metaphysics ofqing. Thereby they transmuted desire from a hindrance to spiritual fulfillment into its necessary complement.—Lynn A. Struve, Indiana University Bloomington



      In many areas, Professor Li’s new study mainly on dramatic works has demonstrated the kind of sophistication and rigor I wish I had been able to achieve in myDesire and Fictional Narrative in Late Imperial Chinaexclusively on fictional works. He has convincingly argued that we could not properly understand various “transmutations” of desire without an adequate understanding of their “scriptural foundation.” His study has significantly enriched our understanding of not only several well-known classics likeThe Peony Pavilion and Peach Blossom Fanbut also very important but little-studied works such as those by the dramatist Jiang Shiquan from the eighteenth century.—Martin W. Huang, University of California, Irvine



      Transmutations of Desiretakes on one of the most crucial tensions in late imperial Chinese literature, desire and its renunciation. Bringing into dialogue four of the most celebrated plays as well as several understudied ones, their commentary and reception history, Buddhist scripture, Western theoretical approaches to love, and ultimately the novelHonglou meng, Qiancheng Li has given us a rich and rewarding intertextual study. With its focus on drama, it is an indispensable complement to his earlier monographFictions of Enlightenment,which explored the interplay of religion and literature in the realm of narrative.—Rania Huntington, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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    Acknowledgements ix

    A Note on Abbreviations and Citations xi

    Prologue 1

    Chapter 1 Transmutations of Desire 11

    Qing (Desire) and Religions 11

    Origin of Desire: Transvaluation of Value 19

    The yin and yang, and the Dao 31

    Between xing (Nature) and qing (Feeling/Desire) 32

    The Ultimate Expression of qing 43

    The Full Course of Desire: The End of qing, or Its Transmutation 45

    Coda 53

    Chapter 2 Mudan ting: The Theater of the Mind 59

    The Meaning of qing in Tang Xianzu 60

    Immateriality and the Theater of the Mind 62

    Indestructibility of Pleasing Forms and Desire (Seqing nanhuai) 69

    Pursuing the Dream: The Aftermath and Consequence 82

    The Self-Portrait 85

    Death and Resurrection 89

    Transcending qing 90

    Chapter 3 Between Union and Separation: Xixiang ji and the Tragic 101

    “Meng youchun” (Dreaming of a Spring Excursion) 101

    “Yingying zhuan” (Yingying’s Story) 108

    Xixiang ji (The Western Wing) 115

    Ming Commentary Traditions on Xixiang ji 120

    Jing Shengtan’s Recension: An Anatomy of qing 122

    The Tragic: Form and Vision 125

    The Imperfect World: Feng Menglong’s Vision of the Tragic 128

    Jin Shengtan’s Tragic Vision 131

    Coda 143

    Chapter 4 Changsheng dian: Qing, Death, and Redemption 147

    Hong Sheng’s Purist Revision of the Yang Yuhuan Saga 147

    Qing: Between Life and Death 151

    From Life to Death 154

    Qing’s Repentance (qinghui) and

    the Remedy of Regrets (buhen) 159

    Ambiguities of qing 164

    Chapter 5 Taohua shan: The Inadequacy of qing and the Metaphysical Solution Revisited 169

    Qing and Exterior Values 169

    The Inadequacy of qing 173

    The Peach Blossom Fan 176

    Metaphysical Solution Revisited 180

    Concluding Remarks 181

    Chapter 6 Jiang Shiquan and Xu Xi: Justifications of qing and the Metaphysical Frame 183

    After Taohua shan: Jiang Shiquan on Tang Xianzu 183

    “Dreams” Reenacted 190

    Yu Ergu as the Ideal Reader and the Female Readership of Mudan ting 194

    Convergence of Dreams 199

    Metaphysical Solutions: Subject and Structure 207

    Xu Xi: Life, Desire, and Life-Writing— By Way of Conclusion 212

    Chapter 7 Honglou meng: Qing and Visions of the Tragic 217

    Honglou meng and the Late Ming Legacy 217

    The Imperfect World and the Cosmic Dimension of qing: Significance of the Nuwa Myth 222

    Yiyin (Lust of Mind) and chi (Folly) 225

    Du Liniang and Jia Baoyu, Fidelity and Promiscuity: Qing Independent of Its Objects 232

    Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu: The Sense of the Tragic 234

    Two Visions of the Tragic: The 80-Chapter and 120-Chapter Versions 247

    Tensions between qing and Its Opposite: The Metaphysics and Dialectics of kong, se,

    and qing Revisited 250

    Epilogue: Qing and Talents for qing Writing 255

    Bibliography 265

    Index 293

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