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The Changes of Literary Thoughts after Jingtai Era in Ming Dynasty

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With politics as its driving force, the cabinet-style literature came into full bloom in the early Ming dynasty. After Emperor Jingtai’s reign, the literary thoughts started to change, which was also related to the political situation. After Tumu Crisis, the cabinet-style literature lost its political foundation, the cabinet-style practitioners gradually gave up their literary views and the core people of the cabinet-style literature were deprived of their influence as the political leaders. The scholars lost their confidence in the imperial government and the subjects of their literary creation were changed from the celebrating the prosperity of the country to the description of their personal life and interests. More importantly, the emergence of Baisha philosophy of mind broke the dominance of Cheng and Zhu’s idealist philosophy over the country. The focus was shifted from the ideal to the heart and the literary creation aimed at expressing the sincere feelings and representing the true human nature. In terms of the aesthetic interest, the classical and the standard gradually gave way to the natural and the pristine. The emergence of Baisha philosophy of mind and its related literary concepts to some extent led to the emotion-oriented literary thoughts in the late Ming dynasty.


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