By Greenbaum, M.D.
Focussing on Chen Jiru's writings, this examine explores some of the ways in which Chen marketed himself to potential readers, and how that advertisement and political pursuits used his personae for his or her personal ends, from the 17th century to the current.
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Extra info for Chen Jiru (1558-1639) (Sinica Leidensia)
This has occasionally been the cause of some confusion. The Qi Zhen yesheng 啟禎野乘 [UnofÀcial Annals of the Final Two Reign Periods of the Ming], by Zou I 鄒漪, published in 1644—almost contemporaneous with the Chronological Biography, records Chen’s style with the homophone ‘important’ [zhong 重]. Some other records follow this usage. The UnofÀcial Annals of the Final Two Reign Periods of the Ming is an important document as it is the earliest biographical record of Chen after the one in the Collected Works, in this instance however it is wrong.
Richard von Glahn, Fountain of Fortune, p. 5. There were of course many domestic reasons for the 26 introduction xxxix respect to the social anxiety of the ‘aristocracy’ in France and England of a similar period is so apposite to some of the issues involved here that it is well worth quoting. Writing on the increasing difÀculty members of the nobility had in distinguishing themselves from those who now had money by Ànancial means alone, one historian wrote of the nobility that: They held one advantage, however, which was impregnable: unlike the parvenus, they were already in possession of the territory, and had been for some time.
30 The social change can be viscerally appreciated with speciÀc reference to the imperial examinations. Ho Ping-ti’s study of the family backgrounds of the Presented Scholars [ jinshi 進士] in late-Imperial China lists: “. . 31 From this short summary it is clear that Chen grew up in the economic and cultural centre of the empire, and that this world determined many of the possibilities of his literary activities. As mentioned above, the relationship between Chen’s works and the commercial world is usually paid but passing attention in literary assessments.