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The Female Recluse: The Trope of Withdrawal and Self-representation in Poems by Two Late Ming/Early Qing Women Writers

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This article examines the trope of withdrawal in the works of Li Yin (1616-85) and Huang Yuanjie (ca. 1620-ca. 1669), two women poets of the Ming-Qing transition period. It explores how the trope was constructed and constantly modified in literati discourses, and how women writers appropriated it for self-representation. The trope of withdrawal contributes to the poetic delineation of the writers’ life experiences, allowing the speaking-voice agency and new subject positions denied to them in reality, while closely relating to the writers’ fantasies, anxieties, self-introspection, and social critiques.

Affiliations: 1: University of Delaware


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