Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Formation of a Layered Discourse: Cui Hu’s Mural Poem and its Resonance in the Story of 'Renmian taohua'" at Pitt, April 8.

The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures will host East Asian Studies M.A. candidate Rongqian Ma and her colloquium "Formation of a Layered Discourse: Cui Hu’s Mural Poem and its Resonance in the Story of 'Renmian taohua'" on April 8. An abstract:
This thesis studies the poetry-story relationship with an investigation into the formation of the phrase “renmian taohua” 人面桃花 (Beauty and Peach Blossoms). More specifically, I discuss how a Tang Dynasty poem attributed to Cui Hu 崔護inspired the phrase while various forms of adaptation of Cui Hu’s romance shaped the complicated cultural connotations of it. First appearing in Benshi shi (Storied Poems) 本事詩, a late-Tang anecdotal anthology edited by Meng Qi 孟棨 (fl. 841-886), Cui Hu’s poem was represented in a romantic story, which then was adapted into different genres. By tracing the evolution of the romance and particularly focusing on one drama adaptation by the playwright Meng Chengshun 孟稱舜 (1598 – 1684) in the late Ming period, I argue that the interaction between poetry and story narratives contextualized a space where a “collective memory” of the poem was shaped and represented in the form of a commonly used literary reference. Drawing upon Bakhtin’s notion of dialogism, I follow two threads in this study: one is the phrase “renmian taohua” as a layered discourse of romance, women and melancholy of loss; the other is the significance of a poetic genre that was popularized in the Ming-Qing period, which I define as “embedded poems” in this essay.
The talk will be held from 12:00 pm in 4217 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

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