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Chinese Literature
Taohuashan 桃花扇 "The Peach Blossom Fan"


The "Peach Blossom Fan" by Kong Shangren 孔尚任 (d. 1718), is the love story of the late Ming Dynasty singing girl Li Xiangjun 李香君 , and the scholar Hou Fangyu 侯方域 . The Fan is a present of Hou to his love. The bad eunuch Wei Zhongxian 魏忠賢 and his collaborators Ma Shiying 馬士英 and Ruan Dayue 阮大鉞 , wanting Hou Fangyu to join their court clique, grant a marriage present to Li Xiangjun. But the girl deeply hates the three courtiers and renounces the present. Ruan Dayue defames Hou Fangyu of treason. When the Ming court had to escape to Nanjing in 1644, Ruan Dayue and Ma Shiying forced Li Xiangjun to marry another man. Li Xiangyun tries to kill herself, her blood stains the fan that Hou Fangyu has given to her. The painter Yang Wencong 楊文聰 compares the stains with peach blossoms and brings the fan to her lover. During the turbulences of the Manchu's conquest of Nanjing, Li Xiangjun escapes and finds her way to Hou Fangyu, the two people being reunited under a new dynasty.
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July 18, 2010 © · Ulrich Theobald · Mail