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Literary Authorship By Late Imperial Governing-Class Chinese Women And The Emergence Of A "Minor Literature"

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Chapter Summary

The complex set of enabling conditions that made it possible for literate, governing class women of the Ming and Qing dynasties to assimilate literary composition and to be recognized as authors in published bieji (collected writings) and anthologies has been the subject of study by an increasing number of scholars since the 1980s. The visibility and productivity of the late imperial writing woman had brought "difference" visibly onto the scene of the literati textual monoculture. With a small number of exceptions, talented women writers' works did not achieve full recognition and parity with those of their male counterparts during the late imperial period. This chapter enlists the concept of "minor literature" as elaborated and positively valorized by French philosopher-critics Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their well-known 1986 study of Franz Kafka and also in an interview with Deleuze by Antonio Negri in 1990.

Keywords: bieji; Felix Guattari; Gilles Deleuze; governing class Chinese women; late imperial writing; literati textual monoculture; Ming dynasty; minor literature; Qing dynasty



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