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From Private Life To Public Performances: The Constituted Memory And (Re)Writings Of The Early-Qing Woman Wu Zongai

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates that the reasons for which Wu Zonga poet was recovered, remembered, and rewritten had much more to do with the socio-historical context of the late Qing than her own poetic merit. Wu Zongai's poetry or competence in poetry-writing, like her reported beauty, captivated the imagination of the literati mainly because it embodied her and lent poignancy and authenticity to her short-lived existence in history. Wu Zongai's case also illustrates how male literati participation in the editing, rewriting, and transmission of women's works in late imperial China was largely implicated in their own networks of male friendship and self-expressive needs.

Keywords: late Qing; Wu Zongai



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