Daoist Philosophy and Literati Writings in Late Imperial China
A Case Study of The Story of the Stone
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Chinese University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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The production of a book often incurs for its author debts of various kinds—academic, spiritual, and psychological. Its publication provides him a convenient channel to release his pent-up gratitude. It is, therefore, with great pleasure and deep emotion that I am composing this short note of acknowledgement to convey my sincere thanks to those who rendered me assistance on its journey to publication. ...
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When dissecting his philosophical orientation, Yuan Mei (1716–1798), a literary celebrity of the mid-Qing, made the following remarks: “If one asks me about the sources of my thinking, three parts [of it] come from Confucius and the Duke of Zhou, the other two parts originate in Zhuangzi.” 1 The complementarity of the two systems in Yuan Mei’s ...
1. Quanzhen Daoism and The Story of the Stone
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Historians of Chinese religion have indicated that although the Daoist religion began to decline from the late Ming, the individual schools enjoyed respective upsurges from time to time. A most prominent phenomenon during the Kangxi (r. 1662–1722), Yongzheng (r. 1723–1735), and Qianlong (r. 1736–1795) reigns was the strong resurgence of ...
2. Daoist Philosophy in Late Imperial China: Adaptation, Appropriation, Transformation
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In reconstructing the intellectual milieu of the Stone, of which Daoist philosophy constitutes a major component, some scholars emphasize the author’s own time of the mid-Qing.1 This study, however, will incorporate the late Ming with the conviction that the liberal senti-ments which had flourished in the immediate past remained an influ-...
3. Chaos and the Gourd
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The emperor of the South Sea was called Shu, the emperor of the North Sea was called Hu, and the emperor of the central region was called Hundun [Chaos]. Shu and Hu from time to time came together for a meeting in the territory of Hundun, and Hundun treated them very generously. Shu and Hu discussed how they could repay his kindness. “All men,” they said, “have seven openings so they ...
4. Bird and Fish
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In the Northern Darkness there is a fish and his name is Kun. The Kun is so huge I don’t know how many thousand li he measures. He changes and becomes a bird whose name is Peng. The back of the Peng measures I don’t know how many thousand li across and, when he rises up and flies off, his wings are like The Zhuangzi opens with the above fabulous tale. The fish and bird, ...
5. The Pure and the Natural
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And the way models itself on ziran (that which is so on its own).At the center of the value structure of the Stone lies the concept of purity, which stands as a prominent spiritual goal for the main protag-onists. Understanding this nuanced concept is essential to grasp Cao Xueqin’s artistic vision. The narrative strikes us with its ambivalence, ...
6. A Brief Reflection in Lieu of Conclusion: Daoist Philosophy, Literati Writings, and Cao Xueqin
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In the preceding chapters, we have traversed a fairly extensive body of late imperial literati writings and scrutinized its most esteemed text, the Stone. From the examination of the religious structure of the novel in Chapter One, to the investigation of literati writings in Chapter Two, and then to the close analysis of three pairs of motifs in the Stone ...
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Page Count: 300
Publication Year: 2013