A Study on the Thematic, Narrative, and Musical Structure of by Yumin Ao

By Yumin Ao

This publication is a examine of the thematic, narrative, and musical constitution of Yuanqu xuan [A collection of Yuan performs] version of the Yuan zaju (variety play) Dou E yuan [Injustice to Dou E] initially composed through the extremely popular playwright Guan Hanqing (fl. 1260). even though different authors have studied those 3 facets of Dou E yuan individually, this can be the 1st complete remedy of the subject as a scholarly monograph in English. Yumin Ao’s research is predicated at the variation of the play within the Yuanqu xuan [A number of Yuan performs] compiled by means of the Ming writer Zang Maoxun (ca. 1550-1620). Ao proposes that Dou E yuan, as a dramatic narrative which develops via its enactment at the level instead of by way of verbal presentation as a narrative, screens its integrative constitution of narration via its thematic improvement and inside its musical conventions.

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Extra info for A Study on the Thematic, Narrative, and Musical Structure of Guan Hanqing's Yuan Zaju, Injustice to Dou E (Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures)

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Zhu Quan completed his only surviving work, the Taihe zhengyin pu 太和正音譜 [the Formulary of Correct Sounds of an Era of Peace], in 1398, as indicated in his preface. The first section of the formulary consists of theatrical theories and documents, while the second part mainly focuses on the song patterns of Yuan zaju. Under the second subtitle in the first section, the “Style of Music Ballads of Great Dramatists Past and Present” (Gujin yinxian yuefu geshi 古 今英賢樂府格式), Zhu Quan succinctly reviewed the styles of one hundred and eighty-seven producers of zaju and sanqu.

Thus Zang Maoxun marketed his editions and sold them in cities that were centres of the book trade, like Beijing and Nanjing. 45 The actual changes that Zang Maoxun made in the YQX version of Dou E yuan can be seen by comparing it with the GMJ version. 2 below. 41 My English translation here is based on Dolby, “Yuan Drama,” 37. 42 West, “Text and Ideology,” 344. 43 Stephen H. West and Wilt L. : Hackett Publishing, 2010), xxviii. 44 West, “A Study in Appropriation,” 283–302. : Stanford University Press, 2004), 80; Zang Maoxun 臧懋循.

The early play scripts were most probably performance aids for the actors, rather than genuinely readable and literary works of drama. During the Ming era, the play scripts of Guan Hanqing’s zaju were collected by different book dealers or editors who normally collated and revised the texts of his play collections. As they were intended for a more popular market, the texts of the “fangben” 坊本 (commercial editions) of Yuan zaju were distinct from those of the critical editions by the literati which were intended for a more educated audience.

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