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The Society Of Lettered Men

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Chapter Summary

Ho Ching-ming's career was now under way in earnest, and with it his participation in the larger worlds of Chinese political and literary history. It is clear that soon after his chin-shih success, if not before, Ho Ching-ming was recognised as a promising poetic talent within the leading literary circles in Peking. Both because this recognition was crucial to his future career and because the nature of these circles and Ho's relationship to them has been misunderstood in the past, this chapter considers the literary milieu into which he emerged. To begin, however, some understanding of the literary world at the beginning of the sixteenth century is appropriate at this point, for it should help to explain the consuming interest in literature that these men had. Since Ho Ching-ming is known today almost exclusively as a poet, it is unfortunate that his first steps as a writer are obscure.

Keywords: Chinese literary history; Chinese political history; Ho Ching-ming

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