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A Study on the Thematic, Narrative, and Musical Structure of Guan Hanqing’s Yuan «Zaju, Injustice to Dou E»


Yumin Ao

This book is a study of the thematic, narrative, and musical structure of Yuanqu xuan [A Selection of Yuan Plays] edition of the Yuan zaju (variety play) Dou E yuan [Injustice to Dou E] originally composed by the highly regarded playwright Guan Hanqing (fl. 1260). Although other authors have studied these three aspects of Dou E yuan separately, this is the first comprehensive treatment of the topic as a scholarly monograph in English. Yumin Ao’s analysis is based on the edition of the play in the Yuanqu xuan [A Selection of Yuan Plays] compiled by the Ming publisher Zang Maoxun (ca. 1550–1620). Ao proposes that Dou E yuan, as a dramatic narrative which develops through its enactment on the stage rather than by verbal presentation as a story, displays its integrative structure of narration through its thematic development and within its musical conventions.
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← viii | ixAcknowledgments


This monograph is based on my thesis, submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, in January 2011. I have incurred numerous debts to many teachers, colleagues and friends in the course of writing this thesis. First, I owe a long-standing debt of gratitude to Dr. Xiaohuan Zhao for his intellectual inspiration, patient guidance, and invaluable criticisms on the original manuscript of my work. Associate Professor Roy Starrs has also provided valuable advice, for which I am grateful. I wish to express my gratitude to the Department of Languages and Cultures and its staff, and especially to Professor Tim Mehigan, Dr. Simon Ryan and Dr. Paola Voci, for the considerable amount of support that I have received. I have also benefited enormously from several scholars and friends who have read parts of the preliminary drafts and who have offered stimulating suggestions and criticisms: Associate Professor Nanyan Guo, Dr. Andrew Collins, Professor Ren Shengming, Professor Mei Sun, and Mr. Ma Weijun, whose detailed comments on the chapters or the work as a whole have been invaluable.

A University of Otago Postgraduate Scholarship enabled me to write the thesis, and a New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Award, a grant from the New Zealand government, funded a trip to China and Taiwan that allowed me to collect sources. I also obtained Humanities Ph.D. conference funding to attend international conferences, which provided me with an excellent opportunity to present my research and...

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