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“Secret Loves”.Folk Love Songs From Ming China

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Chapter Summary

The importance of Feng Menglong's collection of folk love songs extends well beyond its literary value. The collection is valuable for both the history of Chinese literature and anthropological documentation, not to mention the study of Chinese dialects. Indeed, the publication of these songs is an expression of the proud awareness of the local cultural tradition, that is, the 'small tradition', and may also be linked to the tension and political conflict of the Wanli period. The 'subversive' element of the lyrics is clear both in the content and the expository language. From them emerges a picture of the world and humanity which is often turned on its head and goes against common knowledge. Each song starts with a descriptive section, the premise that presents the situation, and moves on to a dialogue or monologue, which allows the protagonist to express his feelings directly.

Keywords: Chinese literature; Feng Menglong; folk love songs

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