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Title:Desire and redemption: The two worlds in Jin Ping Mei
Author(s):Luo, Junjie
Director of Research:Blake, Nancy; Huntington, Rania
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Blake, Nancy
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Huntington, Rania; Hassan, Wail S.; Cai, Zong-qi; Mall, Laurence
Department / Program:Comparative & World Literature
Discipline:Comparative Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Jin Ping Mei
Abstract:Jin Ping Mei was completed in the late 16th century, and is considered one of the masterpieces of classical Chinese fiction. Recent scholarship on Jin Ping Mei has focused on the novel’s representation of desire. Some critics believe that desire is depicted in this novel as originating from one or two key characters such as Ximen Qing and Pan Jinlian. I differ with these critics, and contend that desire, as represented in Jin Ping Mei, is not sustained in a simple, linear relationship. Desire instead manifests itself in complex relationships between many of the individual characters. With the help of the literary theories of desire and of network, I argue that Jin Ping Mei represents desire as having a network structure. Almost no one depicted in this novel can escape from this network, and the network reproduces itself repeatedly. Using this literary model of a “network of desires,” I attempt to offer new perspectives of some of the topics that are frequently discussed in the Jin Ping Mei scholarship. These topics include the relationship between Ximen Qing and his women, the nature of the fates of individual characters, and the messages conveyed by the conclusion of Jin Ping Mei.
Issue Date:2011-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Junjie Luo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-21
Date Deposited:2010-12

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