By Beverly Bossler
This publication strains altering gender family members in China from the 10th to fourteenth centuries through reading 3 severe different types of ladies: courtesans, concubines, and trustworthy other halves. It exhibits how the intersection and mutual effect of those groups—and of male discourses approximately them—transformed rules approximately relatives kinfolk and the correct roles of fellows and girls. Courtesan tradition profoundly affected tune social and relations existence, as leisure abilities turned a defining function of a brand new version of concubinage and entertainer-concubines more and more grew to become moms of literati sons. Neo-Confucianism, the recent ethical studying of the track, used to be in flip considerably formed through this leisure tradition and the hot markets in girls it created. Responding to a extensive social consensus, Neo-Confucians known as for greater ritual reputation of concubine moms and expressed elevated hindrance approximately wifely jealousy. The booklet additionally info the occasionally awesome origins of the past due Imperial cult of constancy, exhibiting that from its inception the force to rejoice woman loyalty stemmed from a posh amalgam of political, social, and ethical agendas. via taking women—and men’s relationships with them—seriously, Beverly Bossler demonstrates the centrality of gender family within the social, political, and highbrow lifetime of the tune and Yuan dynasties.
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Extra info for Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity
Interestingly, the institutional sources, which are quite detailed on the subject of the jiao fang, say almost nothing about the bureaucratic structures that oversaw courtesans in the prefectures. Most of what is known about this aspect of government-courtesans comes from snippets of information in legal and anecdotal sources. See the information provided by Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130–1200) in his indictment of Tang Zhongyou 唐仲 友 (1136–88), discussed in chap. 4. ” 19. 3361. 20. 4295–346. 21. 169; cf. Wang Shunu, Zhongguo chang ji shi, 109.
Kishibe, “Sōdai kyōbō,” 317–18; Gong Yanming, Song dai guan zhi ci dian, 279–81. 11. 3350–51; Gong Yanming, Song dai guan zhi ci dian, 279–81. For a translation of the detailed account of an imperial banquet provided by Meng Yuanlao 孟元老 in his Dongjing meng hua lu 東京夢華錄, see Idema and West, Chinese Theater, 48–55. (Cf. ) 12. Gong Yanming, Song dai guan zhi ci dian, 279. For further detail, see Bossler, “Gender and Entertainment,” 265–67. 13. 6a–b. “Spring feelings” is a common euphemism for erotic sensations.
Xu Xuan’s friendship with Yin is evident in the numerous other poems he dedicates to him. 77. 5a–b. 78. 496. 79. 484. 80. 8b. 82 Finally, poetry for courtesans could also be a site for expressing erotic appreciation. 84 In short, in poetry such as this Northern Song men valorized a literati identity that embraced erotic and emotional sensitivity. A true literatus, we are told, is not only a creative genius who can compose a brilliant poem on a moment’s notice; he is also a man who enjoys an aesthetic appreciation for women (or perhaps girls) as objects of erotic desire, and a man of high sensibility who feels profoundly the sorrow of parting from his lover.
Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity by Beverly Bossler