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Lecture%2031 - Lecture 31 Jin Ping Mei The Family in...

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Lecture 31: Jin Ping Mei: The Family in Chinese Thought
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The Family and the JPM The JPM is a novel about social decay and the decline and decadence of Ming civilization. The author does this by focusing on the rise and fall of one single household, that of Hsi-men Ch’ing. The fall of the Hsi-men household matches precisely in time that of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1126) and the household and the empire are re-established in amputated form. There is the aspect of political allegory in this novel. The JPM is the first Chinese novel to depict the decline of a civilization by focusing on the life of one family in its concrete context. The family has been very important in Chinese thought, especially in the ethical, social, and political thought of Confucianism. It was already important even before Confucianism became a school of thought.
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Song # 240 from the Book of Songs , tr. By Arthur Waley, I Great dignity had T’ai-jen, The mother of King Wen; Well loved was Lady Chiang of Chou, Bride of the high house.
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