The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China / Edition 1

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One of the most exciting recent developments in the study of Chinese literature has been the rediscovery of an extremely rich and diverse tradition of women's writing of the imperial period (221 B.C.E.-1911 C.E.). Many of these writings are of considerable literary quality. Others provide us with moving insights into the lives and feelings of a surprisingly diverse group of women living in Confucian China, a society that perhaps more than any other is known for its patriarchal tradition.

Because of the burgeoning interest in the study of both premodern and modern women in China, several scholarly books, articles, and even anthologies of women's poetry have been published in the last two decades. This anthology differs from previous works by offering a glimpse of women's writings not only in poetry but in other genres as well, including essays and letters, drama, religious writing, and narrative fiction.

The authors have presented the selections within their respective biographical and historical contexts. This comprehensive approach helps to clarify traditional Chinese ideas on the nature and function of literature as well as on the role of the woman writer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674013933
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs Series , #231
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 960
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilt Idema is Professor of Chinese Literature and Director of the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University.

Beata Grant is Chair of the Asian and Near Eastern Language and Literatures Department at Washington University, St. Louis.

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Table of Contents

Chinese dynasties and other useful information
Pt. 1 Early models for later ages 11
Ch. 1 Women on and behind the throne 17
Ch. 2 Neglected palace ladies and other phantoms 73
Ch. 3 Ladies, nuns, and courtesans 132
Pt. 2 Between new possibilities and new limitations 197
Ch. 4 Li Qingzhao 204
Ch. 5 Talent and fate 244
Ch. 6 Empresses, nuns, and actresses 292
Pt. 3 The first high tide of women's literature 347
Ch. 7 Courtesans 359
Ch. 8 Matrons and maidens 383
Ch. 9 Women writes of the conquest period 425
Ch. 10 The banana garden poetry club 471
Ch. 11 Ideal 499
Ch. 12 Reality 542
Pt. 4 The second high tide of women's literature 567
Ch. 13 Poetry 578
Ch. 14 Drama 677
Ch. 15 Plucking rhymes 717
Epilogue : nationalism and feminism : Qiu Jin 765
Ch. 16 The beheaded feminist : Qiu Jin 767
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