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Paradise Lost: The Fantastic Childhood Of A Courtesan To Be

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Chapter Summary

The relationship that developed throughout the centuries between the space assigned to romance within traditional Chinese literature and the social category of women under study in this chapter. Most late Qing novels about courtesans are faithful to the standardized discourse, and set out the narrative with a prologue connecting either the author of the book or its characters to a supernatural environment. Yuan Shi Tian Zun's idea that a woman's body would be less powerful and dangerous than a man's is steeped in irony, as the whole novel then proceeds to illustrate the dangers the four brothers, once turned prostitutes, come to embody for the world at large. Economic factors appear crucial in how the girls' careers develop.

Keywords: Chinese literature; courtesan; Mo Liqing; prostitution; Yuan Shi Tian Zun

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