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Time Management And Self-Control: Self-Help Guides In Yuan

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Chapter Summary

The focus of self-fashioning in the West is clearly on the issue of creating an autonomous subject, but in China it is much more of a case of building a sodality of culture. This chapter attempts to demonstrate that the social and cultural prestige that normally accrued to the ethical meritocracy, the literati, came under duress during the late Song and Yuan eras. A Forest of Affairs has a long history of publication, the texts of which have been far better preserved in Japan than in China. The first text the author considers in these sections is "Shi kexi" (Ten Lamentable Things). The second text he considers is, "Wujie"(Five Cautions), a mixture of prose and poetry. The texts cited in the chapter reveal an urban world, one in which widespread material wealth and print culture combined to nibble away at the prerogatives of the literati.

Keywords: A Forest of Affairs; Japanese scholar; print culture in Southern Song; Shi kexi (Ten Lamentable Things); written literature in China; Wujie (Five Cautions); Yuan era



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