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Passion And Chastity: Meng Chengshun And The Fall Of The Ming

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Chapter Summary

Zhen wen ji 貞文記, the third and last extant chuanqi 傳奇 drama by the playwright and publisher Meng Chengshun 孟稱舜, requires us to square a number of circles. The Chaste Compendium retells the story of the Song-Yuan transition poet Zhang Yuniang 張玉娘, courtesy name Ruoqiong 若瓊, sobriquet Yizhen jushi 貞居士, and her doomed betrothal to her cousin Shen Quan 沈佺. The Chaste Compendium has generally been understood as a play about a young woman's passion and chastity, but the author submit that Meng's vocalization in this play is too complex to be restricted to any one of his characters.

Keywords: Meng Chengshun; Ming; The Chaste Compendium

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