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Lecture%2036 - Lecture 36 Six Records of a Floating...

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Lecture 36: Six Records of a Floating Life ( Fusheng Liuji !"#$ ): Domestic Life and the Art of Living
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Sui-pi (Random Jottings): During the late Ming (1368-1644) and the early Ch’ing (aka Qing, 1644-1911) periods, the prose genre written in classical Chinese called sui-pi , or “random jottings,” became popular and important. Random jottings are found to be on virtually every subject under the sun. They range from brief notes about the art of living, anecdotes, biographies to individual case studies concerning types of people. Many of these random jottings are “narrative” in nature. One important type of these “narrative” jottings can be called “confessional” narrative. The confessional narratives are personal and subjective accounts of experiences, beliefs, feelings, and ideas. In other words, these works are about the private lives of people or the inner aspects of people. And just like “confessional writings” in the West, often these jottings in China contain statements about the failures in the authors’ lives. Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Floating Life belongs to this type of writing.
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Confession and Dream: In the late Ming and the early Ch’ing, in the narrative works that are confessional in nature, words such as yi,
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