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Rethinking the Relationship between ‘Late Ming Literature’ and ‘Wang Xue’

AN CHANSOON 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Studies on the literary theories of many historical periods and literary schools are often distorted by the biases and preconceptions of those studying them. This is difficult to avoid, and even effects the research of some erudite scholars. I assert that this problem is particularly prominent in studies on the relationship between late Ming literature and the Wang Yangming School of Mind. While there are similarities between the political and intellectual environments of the late Ming and the 20th century May 4th movement they are often the subject of forced conflations. In view of these factors, we should follow Gong’s call to ‘adjust our strategy and broaden our perspective in order to renew our efforts to understand this period.’ Although we need to reassess the relationship between late Ming literature and Wang Studies, we should not deny that this was an era marked by considerable literary achievement, and should pursue an evidence based approach to determine its value and significance. In summary, I argue that the emphasis on the relationship between late Ming intellectual trends and Wang Studies of May 4th e ra scholars and their successor s catered to the needs of the day, and to this end these scholars have been guilty of consciously overlooking discrepancies and complications. Hence it is now apparent that studies in this field remain inadequate in terms of their veracity and multi-dimensionality.

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