Abstract

Abstract:

This paper explores the circulation, recension, and reception of the story of Shuang Jian and Su Xiaoqing. This understudied story is one of the three most popular stories of the Song, Jin, and Yuan periods, appearing in zhugongdiao, zaju, and sanqu. The variations in how Yuan sanqu writers narrated, appropriated, and interpreted the story reveal three ways of portraying Su Xiaoqing: as a virtuous, victimized courtesan who mirrors her scholarly lover; as a gold digger who chooses wealth over talent; or as the primary agent who dominates all of her relationships. The juxtaposition and interconnectedness of these narrative systems manifest the flexibility and inclusiveness of the textual space of the Yuan and the distinctiveness of sanqu as an independent literary genre.

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