The Research on Stories of Blissful Union in Baojuan Texts
|Keywords:||寶卷;姻緣故事;才子佳人;民間婦女;民間文學;Baojuan;stories of blissful union;gifted scholars and beautiful ladies;common womenfolk;folk literature||Issue Date:||2012||Abstract:||
The Baojuan is a religious performance script popular through the Ming and Qing dynasties. Characterized by a mixture of prose and song, the script was delivered in a ritualized fashion and served as a sort of sermon to the commonfolk. Owing to such style, the Baojuan has been classified under the prose and song genre (說唱文學)of folk literature (民間文學).
Treating the Baojuan as such, this study focuses on texts that recount youth romances and aims to highlight the distinguishing features of the Baojuan style through a comparison of similar stories told in different form. Baojuan texts that tell such stories, which I term “Stories of Blissful Union” (姻緣故事) were spread mostly during the late Qing and early Republic Era: the subject matter of which has been deeply influenced by the Tanci (彈詞) and Guci（鼓詞）styles.
This thesis includes six chapters. Chapter 1 the research motive and methodology and define what is meant by a “Story of Blissful Union”. The literature review will place this thesis in perspective. Chapter 2 will analyze the sources and narrative mode of the stories, especially in comparison to the closely related “gifted scholars and beautiful ladies” (才子佳人) mode. Chapter 3 is about the different characters and their functions in the general plot. Chapter4, in turn, deals with the motives and allegiances of characters, thereby reading the texts in light of a deeper significance and meaning. Chapter 5 will deal with cultural aspects of the text. Firstly, I will analyze how the Education Based on the Feeling(情教觀) and Religious Profaneness during Ming and Qing dynasties influenced the stories, to give secular folklore a tinge of religious flavor. Lastly, I shall turn to the primary audience to the texts – the common womenfolk of Late Imperial China – to discuss how the texts reflected women’s lives, and how the lives of women gave shape to the texts. Chapters 6 is the conclusion.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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