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Writing And Illness: A Feminine Condition In Women's Poetry Of The Ming And Qing

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Chapter Summary

Poetry as a cultural practice pervaded the quotidian life of educated men and women in the Ming and Qing, the result of which is amply reflected in the large repertory of poems on many aspects of everyday life found in the vast poetry collections from this period. Historians of Chinese medicine have pointed to the difficulty of accessing the female patient's experience of illness. Textual sources for this study are primarily drawn from the Ming Qing Women's Writings database, which provides keyword search capacity in poem titles. The common occurrence of poems related to illness by women constitutes a topic defined by the subject matter and occasion. This chapter considers the lexicography of the topic generated in the sample by focusing on the title designations. The literary motifs in the poetic text are also discussed.

Keywords: Chinese medicine; Ming and Qing; quotidian life; women's poetry; women's writings

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