Ernü yingxiong zhuan: An Integrative Reflection of Manchu and Han Cultures
Skip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please contact email@example.com to use this work in a way not covered by the license. :
For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.
The following HTML text was created from the original print version. Although care has been taken to transcribe the original correctly, errors may remain. Please refer to the PDF as the text of record for citation. If you encounter a mistranscription, please report it to the editor (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Ernü yingxiong zhuan (A Tale of Lovers and Heroes), in forty chapters, has been acknowledged as a Manchu novel which was written by the bannerman Wen Kang. According to Martin Gimm’s classification of Manchu literature, it belongs to the “Hanwen Manzu wenxue” 韓文滿足文學 (Manchu literature written in Han language). Although this novel was mostly written in the Han Chinese language, Wen Kang’s Manchu background and his ethnic consciousness make it distinct from the novels written by Han literati. The primary goal of this essay is to investigate Ernü yingxiong zhuan s cultural perspective through its artistic style. By comparing it with Honglou meng 紅樓夢 (The Dream of the Red Chamber; also known in English as The Story of the Stone) and Rulin waishi 儒林外史 (The Scholars), I will argue that Ernü yingxiong zhuan is not inferior to either of them in terms linguistic usage, fictional techniques, and social concerns. Moreover, it reflects the interaction between Manchu and Han cultures and the relationship between bannermen and Han people in the Qing dynasty during the nineteenth century.
(I) Themes and Structure
Generally speaking, the term “ernü,” literally “boys and girls,” is often used with reference to love, while “yingxiong,” “heroes,” is often used as an antonym of the former. Being the title of Ernü yingxiong zhuan, these four characters reflect the dual themes of the novel. Indeed, Wen Kang has been praised among Chinese novelists because his book title is closely related to the story itself and clearly conveys its themes. Based on the title, there are two ways to interpret it. First, “ernü” and “yingxiong” can be understood as a unified concept, which refers to the contiguity within “tianli renqing” 天理人情 (Heavenly Principle and human feelings). In the prologue, through the words of the deity Dishi tianzun 帝釋天尊, Wen Kang clarifies the internal relationship between “ernü” and “yingxiong:”
Most people nowadays regard ‘lovers’ and ‘heroes’ as two different kinds of people, to ‘love’ and to be ‘heroic’ as two different things. They mistakenly think that those who indulge in force and like fighting are ‘heroes,’ while those who toy with rouge and powder or have a weakness for catamites are ‘lovers.’ Therefore, as soon as they open their mouths, they will say, ‘So-and-so lacks heroic ambitions but has a great capacity for love,’ or ‘So-and-so is shallow in love but has a strong heroic spirit.’ What they don’t realize is that only when one has the pure nature of a hero can one fully possess a loving heart, and only when one has true love can one perform heroic deeds.
Here Wen Kang draws a distinction between his explanation of the “ernü yingxiong” and that of his contemporaries. According to his definition, “ernü” and “yingxiong” are not contrary but complementary to each other. He goes further to illustrate their essence:
In the world, some people are determined to be loyal ministers—this reflects their “heroic heart” (yingxiong xin 英雄心). There are no loyal ministers who do not love their lords-loving one’s lord is their “affectionate heart” (ernü xin 兒女心). [As for the people] who are determined to be the filial sons, this is their “heroic heart.” There are no filial sons who do not love their parents-this is their “affectionate heart.” Regarding the two words “jie” 節 (chastity) and “yi” 義 (righteousness), [we] should expand the ways of treating our lords and parents to all people’s siblings, husbands and wives, as well as friends, with same hearts and same principles.
...These [loyalty, filial piety, chastity and righteousness] are purely based on the Heavenly Principle and human feelings (tianli renqing) in which there are no artificial acts. In order to make this concept simple, we often talk about it by using the phrase “ernü yingxiong.” When we [Wen Kang and his contemporaries] investigate it carefully, it refers to the identities of great sages and men of virtue.
Therefore, Wen Kang establishes the virtues “zhong” (loyalty), “xiao” (filial piety), “jie,” and “yi” as the criteria for the “ernü yingxiong.” In fact, these virtues and “tianli renqing” derive from same origin, which is orthodox Neo-Confucianism.
Although it seems strange that, in the prologue, the Buddhist deity Dishi tianzhun is responsible for introducing Confucian concepts, in fact, Wen tried to accommodate Buddhist deities and religious ideas by viewing them in a Confucian light. For example, in Dishi’s palace, there are four banners and the characters “zhong,” “xiao,” “jie,” and “yi” are embroidered on them respectively. Wen mentions these banners twice and its implication should be noted. First, it foreshadows that Confucianism will be the dominant ideology in the novel. Second, by showing that the Buddhist deity Dishi believes in Confucian moral values, Wen indirectly places Confucianism above other ideological systems. Moreover, Dishi’s comments on “ernü yingxiong” and Chinese history also verify that Wen is an advocate of Confucianism. In other words, Dishi’s words reflect the relations and continuity between the Heaven’s will and the affairs in human world. Indeed, it is coincident with the Confucian concern about the correspondence between Heaven and the people. Besides, when Wen concludes that Nü Wa 女禍 and Sakyamuni are the best examples of “ernü yingxiong” in pre-Qing China, he eulogizes their benevolence and emphasizes how both of them benefited the human world. Obviously he views them in a Confucian fashion. Therefore, though he borrows some Buddhist terms, he intends to show the importance of Confucianism.
When we look at “ernu” and “yingxiong” separately, they often imply “qing” 情 (love or passion) and “xia” 俠 (chivalry) respectively. Wen pairs “qing” and “xia” which forms the second theme of his novel. In fact, qing became a central issue in many works of vernacular fiction and drama during the Ming-Qing period. For some writers, qing by itself is valuable enough to merit full attention in fiction. The novel Honglou meng is an example of a reevaluation of qing. However, Wen disagrees with Honglou meng’s interpretation of qing. In order to endow his novel with didactic meaning and correct people’s misunderstanding of qing, Wen intended to justify qing with moral efficacy. In the novel’s preface, Guanjian wozhai 觀鑑我齋 (Mr. Self-Scrutiny) reveals Wen’s attitude toward qing:
When it [Ernü yingxiong zhuan] talks about the Principle of Heaven, it won’t prettify its words. When it talks about the Principle of the human world, it won’t deviate from Confucian teachings. When it describes heroes, it must depict the nature of heroes. When it describes qing, it won’t involve the privacy between boys and girls (ernü zhi si 兒女之私).
Thus, Wen emphasizes the compatibility between qing and Confucian moral principles. At this point, he holds view similar to Feng Menglong 馮夢龍 (1574-1646). One of Feng’s famous sayings about qing was to “transform the private feelings into public sentiments” (siqing huagong 私情化公). Indeed, in Ernüyingxiong zhuan, instead of emphasizing the love between a gifted scholar and two beautiful ladies (caizi jiaren 才子佳人), Wen pays more attention to how qing contributes to the maintenance of the Confucian social order. In other words, his qing is precisely the basis of moral propriety.
If qing in the novel represents a prime Confucian criteria of value, then xia reflects Wen Kang’s desire to seek the originally valiant spirit embedded in the Manchu ethnic group. This spirit is embodied by the female protagonist, He Yufeng 何玉鳳, alias Shisan Mei 十三妹. She is a bannerwoman with a boyish disposition, yet she practices masculine behavior without disguising herself as a man. When she commences her mission of avenging her father, her chivalry comes into full bloom. Unlike the Han women of scholar-beauty novels who match or outdo men in poetry and examination learning, she challenges men on the brute level of strength and martial arts. The incident where she overpowers the chief ruffian in a duel is an illustration.
In fact, Shisan Mei’s image of a female warrior is compatible with Manchu cultural tradition. According to Evelyn S. Rawski, “Manchu traditions gave women significantly greater freedom and authority.” Modern scholars also agree that before 1644, Manchu women were active in the political, military, and economic realms. Under the Qing during the eighteenth century, the Manchu women who were skillful at traditional martial arts still earned people’s compliments. The case of Princess Hexiao 和孝 (1775-1823) is an example. Consequently, when Wen uses Shisan Mei to represent bravery and chivalry, the foundation in Manchu culture can be comprehended.
Combining qing and xia, Wen creates a new literary style, “qingxia” 情俠, that eliminates the boundary between the knight-errant novel and the scholar-beauty romance. In the novel’s dual theme of Confucian morality and knightly spirit, Wen’s combination of Manchu and Han cultural heritages are remarkable.
As for the novel’s structure, there are two major distinguishing features. First, according to the basic plot patterns defined by Šklovaskij, Ernü yingxiong zhuan belongs to the “string-like plot” novel. This forty-chapter novel has four narrative sections and each of them has its own major story while serving to elucidate the key theme of the novel. Each section ends up with a variation of the sentence “This is the first conclusion of Erna yingxiong zhuan.” Such expressions occur at the end of chapters 12, 20, 28, and 36. In fact, the four sections are constructed around the “main biography” (zhengzhuan 正傳) of An Xuehai 安學海, the “main biography” of He Yufeng, the marriage between An Ji 安驥 and his two wives Zhang Jinfeng 張金鳳 as well as He Yufeng, and the “main biography” of An Ji. The climax of each section is marked with a reunion of the characters (tuanyuan 團圓). As Maram Epstein states, the tuanyuan elements in the novel “enhance the sense that the characters are progressing through various levels of maturity.” Therefore, the plot construction of Ernüyingxiong zhuan is more elaborately designed than the term “string-like” would suggest.
Another feature lies in the coexistence of its narrator and author. Wen Kang makes a clear distinction between the roles of narrator and author. In the novel, the author is referred to by a pen name Yanbei xianren 燕北閑人 (Man of Leisure From Yanbei), whereas the narrator remains nameless, referring to himself in the first person or as the “narrator.” From the images of Yanbei xianren, it is apparent that he is presented both as idle (a man of leisure) and as laboring on his literary work. Comparing with the words of Yanbei xianren, the narrator seems more “talkative.” For example, he discusses characters, and he intrudes to express his comments on specific incidents in the plot. Moreover, like a commentator on the novel, the narrator in Ernü yingxiong zhuan states that fiction should have it rules of composition (faze 法則):
First you have to make distinctions between the main biography and the auxiliary biographies (fuzhuan 附傳), the “host” characters (zhuwei 主位) and the “guest” characters (binwei 賓位), foreshadowing and reflection, indirect and direct descriptions, and only then will you have an integrated structure (jiegou 結構).
Here the narrator-commentator uses the critical term “jiegou” to indicate his concern about the relationship of parts of the novel to the whole. Indeed, he is unique in how openly and frequently he makes comments on his own story and its fictional technique. As David L. Rolston concludes, Ernü yingxiong zhuan “represents the most completely developed example of an author’s decision to react to fiction commentary by incorporating it into his text.”
(II) Ernü yingxiong zhuan and Honglong meng
Ernü yingxiong zhuan asserts the superiority of its textuality by setting itself up as a corrective to Honglou meng for the shadow of Honglou meng hovers over the entire novel. In the preface, Guanjian wozhai indicates that Ernü yingxiong zhuan was a response to what Wen saw as unorthodox deficiencies in earlier novels. He compares it with Xiyou ji 西游記 (Journey to the West; also translated as Monkey), Shuihu zhuan 水滸傳 (Water Margin; All Men Are Brothers; Outlaws of the Marsh), Jin Ping Mei 金瓶梅 (Golden Lotus; Plum), and Honglou meng. Among these four earlier novels, he pointedly criticizes Honglou meng’s improper theme and means of expression:
Those who think deeply about it, [understand] that although these several books claim to be based on correct behavior, self-cultivation, and good governance, they actually entrust their message to mystery [guai 怪], to force [li 力], to [moral] disorder [luan 亂], and spirits [shen 神]. Xiyou ji is talking about deity and mystery; Shuihu zhuan is focusing on the display of force; Jin Ping Mei reflects [moral] disorder; Honglou meng seems to entrust its message to sentiments [qing 情], yet it uses qing to conceal desire [yu 慾]. [Honglou meng] is a book contains guai, li, luan and shen.
Here Guanjian wozhai alludes the line in The Analects [Lun Yu 論語] that states, “The Master would not discourse mystery, force, disorder or spirits.” Based on Confucian doctrine, he confirms that Ernü yingxiong zhuan is morally superior to these four earlier works. Regarding Honglou meng, he points out that the qing is not its true theme, and in fact that novel “propagates licentiousness.” His words “guai” and “shen” also imply that non-Confucian spiritual beliefs are embedded in Honglou meng. Although it seems that he has a prejudice against Honglou meng, modern scholars have agreed that the problem of qing and yu is a prominent issue in Honglou meng, and that it also contains Buddhist and Taoist thought. On the contrary, lack of the emphasis on yu, Buddhist, and Taoist beliefs in Ernü yingxiong zhuan Wen enables to explore the relationship between qing and li (Moral Principle). In other words, he is concerned more about how to make qing fulfill the requirements of Confucian orthodoxy.
In the same preface, Guanjian wozhai uses the terms “yinjiao” 隱教 and “xianjiao”顯教 to further distinguish Wen’s writing perspective from Honglou meng. According to his definitions, both yinjiao and xianjiao belong to the methods of moral education. Yet yinjiao refers to teaching by negative examples whereas xianjiao refers to teaching by positive examples. Guanjian wozhai’s words imply that a novel should function as a means of public education. Yet Wen believes that yinjiao which Honglou meng applies to expose social darkness is less effective than xianjiao which he uses to extol a time of peace and prosperity.
Why did Wen insist on employing xianjiao in his novel? It is due to his belief in Confucianism and his ethnic background. Based on Confucian doctrines, in Ernü yingxiong zhuan, he advocates the virtues “zhong” 忠 (loyalty) and “shu” 述 (generosity). For example, An Xuehai is the protagonist who embodies the virtues zhong and shu. He relieved Tan Eryin 談而音 even though Tan had trapped him into a lawsuit. Wen does not only convey this message to his readers, he also thinks that a writer’s possession of these qualities is important. Thus, he dislikes Cao Xueqin’s negative and pessimistic attitude in narrating the story of Jia 賈 family, which he calls the “forever poisoned resentment.” In this sense, xianjiao refers to not only a positive writing attitude but also a reflection of writer’s quality of forgiveness.
As a Manchu noble, he was dissatisfied with Cao’s critiques on bannermen and he sought to raise bannermen’s social status. In fact, when Wen wrote this novel, the Qing was in decline and the Eight Banners organization lost its original military significance. Under this circumstance, the privileged bannermen who lived in comfort were increasingly dissolute and corrupt. Therefore, in order to educate them and defend the legitimacy of Manchu rule, Wen chose to write his novel in a healthy spirit. To him, Honglou meng poisoned the air with its portrayal of bored, unconstructive youth and the degeneration of bannermen. Honglou meng uses a tragedy to reveal the crisis in imperial China and admonish people not to follow same disastrous path whereas Ernü yingxiong zhuan uses a comedy to stress Confucian ideology, and shows a way that the author thought people should follow. No matter if the way is feasible or not, Wen offers a clear direction to guide people to restore social order. In contrast, Cao did not provide an explicit answer of how to solve the social problems he raised.
Not only is Honglou meng referred to several times in the Guanjian wozhai preface, but the narrator in Ernü yingxiong zhuan also compares these two novels. The references to Honglou meng appear mainly in the chapter 34, which lists the reasons that An Ji, his wives, and other characters are superior to Jia Baoyu 賈寳玉, Daiyu 黛玉, Baochai 寶釵 and others. First, Wen compares Baoyu and An Ji. Although Baoyu comes from a more advantaged background than An Ji, he shows no interest in earning an official title and eventually leaves his family. On the contrary, An Ji becomes an accomplished scholar-official who assumes his expected social responsibilities. Next, he contrasts Jia Zheng 賈政 with An Xuehai. Even though both of them seem to follow orthodoxy, Jia Zheng “is cultured but not really cultured, correct but not really correct” (文而不文正而不正). He associates with a group of social-climbing and deceitful men and fails to educate his son properly whereas An Xuehai concentrates on self-cultivation and he becomes a successful father. Moreover, Lady Wang in Honglou meng and Lady An in Ernü yingxiong zhuan are also comparable. Lady Wang is partial toward Baochai and shows no concern for Daiyu. In contrast, Lady An is kind to every family member and believes that human nature is good.
Wen Kang further implies that the chief cause of the romantic tragedy in Honglou meng is the jealousy between Baochai and Daiyu. Baochai “keeps a lock on her match of gold and jade and secretly hatches treacherous plots. Daiyu is jealous of Baochai’s match of gold and jade and never ceases giving vent to bitterness and sarcasm.” However, in Ernü yingxiong zhuan, not only are He Yufeng and Zhang Jinfeng as beautiful and clever as Daiyu and Baochai, they are also united in love and concern for An Ji. Even the two maids Xiren 襲人 and Changjier 長姐兒 are compared:
... Similarly, the two had served their masters since childhood, and were both two years older than their masters, but I have never heard of [An Ji] noticing how striking she [Chang Jier] was and naming her “Hua Xiren” 花襲人 or of her testing out any “cloud and rain passions” 雲雨情 with Longmei 龍媒 [An Ji].
Through Wen’s comparisons of the characters in his novel and in Honglou meng, his criteria for judgment are explicit. Indeed, Confucian moral principles are embedded in his judgment. In order to correct the “faults” of the main characters in Honglou meng, he creates a group of ideal characters in his novel. Along with the story’s progress, some of them eventually achieve the perfect state of “ernü yingxiong.” For example, He Yufeng passes through two phases in the book: in the first half she is Thirteenth Sister, a female warrior (nüxia 女俠). In the second half she resumes her original identity, that of He Yufeng, and reverts to her “innate” (tianxingde 天性的) way of being a woman. Combining elements from the tradition of the warrior woman and the bold and capable beauty of the scholar-beauty romance, she is a corrective model for unsuccessful members of both sexes in Honglou meng. An Ji is another Jia Baoyu. Yet, he eventually transforms from a girlish and timid scholar to a hero with intellectual and political achievements. The narrator claims that Baoyu and An Ji have only one fundamental difference which is the correctness of their nature and emotions. By showing the examples of Thirteenth Sister and An Ji, Wen explores the compatibility of the two identities “ernü” and “yingxiong,” and concludes that these differences explain why the characters in Honglou meng suffer from miserable fates.
Both An Ji and He Yufeng need to experience a transformation in order to achieve the state of “ernü yingxiong,” yet An Xuehai possesses the qualities of “ernü yingxiong” from the moment he appears on the scene. He is not only the model of “ernü yingxiong,” also the embodiment of “tianli renqing.” There are many examples to verify that he practices Confucian teachings in his daily life. From his attitude to He Yufeng, Zhang Jinfeng, and Deng Jiugong 鄧九公, we can see that he is also adaptable to changing circumstances. In fact, he is a scholar with practical knowledge and the spirit of a knight-errant. Therefore, he has the opposite character to Jia Zheng.
As an antidote to Honglou meng, Ernü yingxiong zhuan’s language is very distinctive. It imitates the form of “vernacular fiction” (huaben xiaoshuo 話本小説) and uses the style of popular storytelling to narrate account of events. In the book, Wen Kang often calls it a “storytelling” (pinghua 平話) novel. Writing in clear Beijing colloquial, Wen provides a vivid portrayal of the bannermen’s lives in the late Qing period. Compared to the elegant language in Honglou meng, Ernü yingxiong zhuan’s language is more deliberately popularized. This lucid language has been noted by many scholars, for example, Hu Shi 胡適 praises Ernü yingxiong zhuan as using a more lively and earthy vernacular than either Rulin waishi or Honglou meng. He also remarks that the composition of Ernü yingxiong zhuan is later than Honglou meng by about one hundred and twenty years. In the nineteenth century, the Qing’s political constraints on literary works became looser. As a result, Wen Kang dared to use more colloquial expressions. Other modern scholars like Bing Xin 冰心 and Meng Yao 孟瑤 also compliment Ernü yingxiong zhuan for its language. In fact, Ernü yingxiong zhuan has been recognized as “an excellent textbook of Mandarin.”
In short, under the guidance of their writing perspectives, Wen Kang and Cao Xueqin express different themes and create opposite characters with distinct linguistic styles. Wen consciously corrects all unorthodox “deficiencies” in Honglou meng and endows his novel with optimistic views about polygamy and the Qing reign. Yet, this is not to say that he blindly supports Manchu cultural and political policies. His novel also reflects political corruption and malpractice in civil service examinations that will be discussed in the next part.
(III) Ernü Yingxiong Zhuan’s Exposure of Political and Social Reality
Although Ernü yingxiong zhuan has received recognition from both the general reading public and from scholars, it has been labeled as a “chuanqi” 傳奇, (literally, “transmission of the extraordinary”), not as a realistic novel and Wen Kang’s attitude toward the civil service examination has been criticized. Focusing on these two issues, this part will examine the realistic aspect of Ernü yingxiong zhuan and compare it with Rulin waishi, particularly in terms of two authors’ interpretation of the civil service exam.
In the novel, Wen Kang shows his responses to political reality and the intellectual thought in the nineteenth century China. When, during the Daoguang reign (1782-1850) and afterwards, the Qing government had to deal with internal uprisings and foreign invasions. Facing these political problems, Han scholars like Lin Zexu 林則徐 (1785-1850), Gong Zizhen 龔自珍 (1792-1841), and Zeng Guofan 曾國藩 (1811-1872) called for the promotion of practical statecraft (jingshizhixue 經世之學). Probably influenced by this intellectual trend, Wen also stresses administrative concerns in his book. For example, in the first chapter, the narrator states that An Xuehai has practical talent and knowledge (you jingi you xuewen 有經濟有學問); in Chapter 38, An Ji realizes that only being able to write prose and poetry is not good enough to be an official. In addition to studying classical literature, he pays more attention to practical affairs. Wen particularly praises An Ji’s awareness of the actual historical situation.
The novel observes the corruption of Qing ministers and local officials. It begins with a legal case which occurs during the transitional period from the Kangxi reign (1661-1722) to the Yongzheng reign (1723-1735). The case is related to the general Ji Xiantang 紀獻唐 who frames He Yufeng’s father only because He’s father refuses his request to establish a marriage between their two families. Jiang Ruizao 蔣瑞藻 identifies Ji Xiantang as Nian Gengyao 年羹堯 (? - 1726). Based on Nian’s life story, Wen creates the character Ji and attacks Ji’s crimes:
More than seven thousand officials and common people were persecuted to death [by Ji Xiantang]. The illicit money Ji obtained was more than four million. He also privately owned businesses in salt and tea and illegally sold wood and plants...Later on, he even privately stored arms and ammunition, issued prophetic books, disseminated heresies, and hatched a sinister plot.
Thus, He Yufeng’s father is only one of the victims. Unfortunately Ji is not the only corrupt high official in the world. In Wen’s view, if the high officials neglect their duties, how can they set a good model for the lower officials? In the novel, Wen also depicts the corruption among the local officials. An Xuehai’s case exemplifies this serious problem. Although An Xuehai wants to be a honest and upright official, he is trapped by his superior Tan Erying 談爾音 and, thus, dismissed from his office. Why does Tan frame an innocent subordinate? It is because Tan Erying is dissatisfied with An’s present and is jealous of An’s talent. When he gives the job of river regulation to An, he knows that An’s predecessor cheated on the work and cut down on materials. However, Tan accepts that avaricious official’s bribes so he does not investigate his malpractice. Consequently, An has to deal with the awful mess in the river-flood prevention project. Yet, no matter how hard he works, he is impeached by Tan. Indeed, in the first chapter, Wen openly criticizes the local officials’ behavior and announces An’s fate in advance:
Those prefects and magistrates neither know how to educate people in order to develop simple customs nor cherish people’s lives. They pay more attention on their social lives. They are concerned about other officials’ promotions and demotions. They like to earn money [by improper means], fawn on their superiors, and seek for new resources in their lifetime... Even though there might be a self-respecting official, he would suffer from isolation. [It is because] most people are besotted except he who is sober. Although he can win the hearts of common people, he cannot cater to his superiors. He is easily labeled as “being difficult to hold a post of great responsibility,” or “not suitable [for his post].” Therefore, he will be dismissed [from his position]. Despite that he has started his official career, he fails to carry it through. He strives for glory but suffers from insults.
Due to Wen’s own experiences in civil service, he vividly exposes the darkness in officialdom. As he says, most local officials did not concern themselves about the public interest. Meanwhile those upright officials found it difficult to achieve anything without support. Under the circumstances, the common people’s lives can be imagined. The arising of bandits and peasants’ fleeing from famines illustrate that they suffered from hunger and cold.
Corrupt practices also existed in the Civil Examinations. In the book, Wen Kang has a detailed depiction about the complete procedure of taking examinations in the different levels. Zhou Zuoren 周作人 points out that Wen’s record of the Civil Examinations is very valuable and as equally important as the information in Rulin waishi. Comparing these two novels, another critic Hu Shi remarks that Wen really intended to write a book to praise the ideal of the civil examination and thus he affirms precisely the kind of characters which Rulin waishi satirizes for their dedication to examination success. Indeed, Hu’s critique on Ernü yingxiong zhuan has become the dominant view among the Chinese scholars. However, Wen’s attitude toward the civil service exam is more complicated than Hu’s conclusion. In order to have a comprehensive understanding of Wen’s view, the similarities and differences between his thought and Wu Jingzi’s need to be examined.
First, regarding orthodox learning, both Wen Kang and Wu Jingzi were dissatisfied with the Song Neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200), and believed in the “Original Confucianism” (yuanshi ruxue 原始儒學) of the pre-Qin period. In other words, they emphasized self-cultivation and the management of practical affairs. In Rulin waishi, this thought is embodied by Yu Boshi 虞博士, Du Shaoqing 杜少卿, Xiao Yunxian 蕭云仙, etc. In Ernü yingxiong zhuan, Wen creates An Xuehai to advocate pre-Qin Confucianism. In Chapter 40, he gives a lesson to his son, “in daily life, when I talk to you, I must follow the words of Duke of Zhou and Confucius.” As for Zhu Xi’s annotations of Confucian classics, both Wu Jingzi and Wen Kang explicitly express their criticism. In Chapter 34 of Rulin waishi, Du Shaoqing says,
Zhu Xi’s annotations of Confucian classics represents one school of thought. His work is only a reference that should be read along with the Confucian classics. Now people give up the Confucian classics and only rely on Zhu’s annotations which is a bad habit.”
In Chapter 39 of Ernü yingxiong zhuan, An Xuehai has similar comments:
When we literati study classics, we have to read Zhu’s annotations carefully. Yet we cannot take Zhu’s words for granted...If we over-emphasize Zhu’s annotations, then we would become more pedantic and stray from qing [feelings] and li [Principle]. Therefore, we should have our own opinions as we read them [Zhu’s works].
In fact, Zhu Xi’s School of Principle continued to represent orthodox intellectual thought during the Qing. Both Wen and Wu acknowledged the flaws of the School of Principle and advocated seeking the true essence of Confucianism in its earlier writings. Like Wu, Wen does not agree with some of Zhu’s ideas even though they are the ideological basis of the Civil Examinations.
Wen criticizes the literary form of Eight-Legged Essay (baguwen 八股文), which is also attacked by Wu Jingzi. In Chapter 33, An Xuehai clearly states that “zhiyi 制藝 (i.e. baguwen) is a channel to gain official titles by fraud.” In Chapter 34, the narrator says, “since the selection system changed to zhiyi, nobody knows how many heroes have been restrained.” In Rulin waishi, Lu Bianxiu 魯編修 and Ma Er 馬二 are the literati who lost themselves in studying baguwen5 Both books also expose the fact that even though literati could write good zhiyi, they might not succeed in the examinations. For example, An Ji’s success is relied on supernatural power, Ma Er’s failure is not due to his ability in writing zhiyi. Both authors use these cases to demonstrate that baguwen can not choose genuine talents for the state and consequently the examination system is full of problems.
From reexamining Wen Kang’s attitude to the civil service exam, it is apparent that he does not blindly support it. Compared with Wu Jingzi, both offer similar criticisms on the content and format of the examinations. In Rulin waishi, Wu satires hypocritical scholars and affirms the deeds of authentic scholars. In Erni yingxiong zhuan, although An Xuhai and An Ji take the civil exams, they are “pure scholars” (chunru 醇儒). Therefore, they do not belong to the class that Rulin waishi satirizes. From this point of view, it seems that Hu Shi’s comment on Ernü yingxiong zhuan’s attitude to civil exams is not objective. Both Wen and Wu perceive the problems in the civil service exam system. Yet, Wu puts forth more explicit and stronger attacks on the system while Wen prefers to use indirect criticism and holds to the Confucian moral principle “generosity” as he considers the problem. Why did Wen do so? This is also related to his ethnic sentiments which will be analyzed next.
(IV) Wen’s Ethnic Sentiments and Manchu Culture as Reflected in the Novel
As a Manchu noble and the writer of Ernü yingxiong zhuan, Wen Kang’s ethnic sentiments are reflected in three aspects that include his loyalty to the Manchu Empire, the depiction of collective consciousness of bannermen, and the preservation of Manchu culture.
In the novel, Wen reveals that he takes pride in Manchu history and his status as a descendent of a conquering elite. He consciously sets the story in the flourishing age of the Qing and his eulogies of the Qing Empire repeatedly appear. He not only praises the regime but also points out the problems in the bureaucratic system and offers a direction to solve those problems.Thus, it is obvious that he is concerned about the Qing decline and wished that actual circumstances would be ameliorated. His loyalty to the Qing is also reflected in his affirmation of the social responsibility of bannermen. Through An Xuehai’s words, Wen affirms that it is the duty of bannermen to serve the government.
Concerning the bannermen’s collective consciousness, the story focuses on the An family which belongs to the Han Plain Yellow Banner (Zhenghuangqi hanjun 正黃旗漢軍). According to Ota Tatsuo’s research, An Xuehai’s true identity is that of a Manchu bannerman. He also marries a bannerwoman who has strong ethnic consciousness. In Chapter 22, Lady An says, “if we discuss the people’s family background in our eight banners, we are either relatives or friends.” In the novel, even a Manchu clerk reveals this kind of consciousness. In Chapter 34, the clerk working in the examination hall says to An Ji,
Good brother, all of us bannermen have close relations. You do not need to mention my little help.
Thus, we see that Wen Kang advocates an idea that bannermen regard themselves as a member of a well-defined ethnic group and treat other group members as their intimates.
In addition, Ernü yingxiong zhuan is like an encyclopedia which records Manchu customs, rituals, etiquette, and language. It is apparent that Wen Kang tried to reflect and preserve Manchu culture in his book. As for Manchu customs, Wen introduces how one should use proper male names, women’s dress, hairstyle, and social status, etc. According to Wen, the clan names of the Manchus are not cited in normal, official correspondence. People usually employ the first character of one’s given name as his surname. For example, the bannerman Wu Ming a 烏明阿 is called as “Wu Laoda” 烏老大. Sometimes they add official titles to the clan names, such as “Zhangjia xiangguo” 章佳相國, “Fucha zhongcheng” 富察中丞. However, at Wen’s time, more Manchu elite preferred to have style names like Han people. Therefore, Wen is critical that the bannermen lost their simple and unsophisticated ethnic characteristics.
Regarding bannerwomen, they were not supposed to bind their feet but in the novel, He Yufeng and other Han bannerwomen had bound feet. Unlike He, the wife of Suiyuanr 隨緣兒 has natural feet. Her walking manner, which is distinct from Han women, is described in detail. The typical bannerwomen’s hairstyle “liangbar tou” 兩把兒頭 is mentioned in several occasions. Wen Kang also reveals that unmarried daughters in Manchu families had high social status and earned family members’ respect. He Yufeng is an example.
In Ernü yingxiong zhuan, the wedding ritual, death ritual and day-to-day etiquette of bannermen are recorded. According to Wen’s depiction, the procedure for the Manchus to marry is simple. Both the groom’s and bride’s families only need one matchmaker and the betrothal gifts can be as simple as an ornamental scepter, a jade ornament, or any accessories. As for the death ritual, Wen mentions that there is a special funeral rite called “dixiao jiexiao” 遞孝接孝 among the upper three banners. Even in daily life, Manchu families have strict codes of etiquette. “Qing’an” 請安 is a popular way to show respect to superiors, teachers, etc. Bannerwomen greet female friends by holding their both hands (lala shour 拉拉手兒). From Chang Jier serving tea for An Ji, we also see that the Manchu family lays stress on etiquette. When An Ji returns home from taking the examinations, Chang Jier is ready with his tea, fixed exactly to his taste and held out for him with two hands raised high-as taught by his mother so that no hands touch when the cup is transferred.
In the novel, there are more than seventy places where Manchu vocabulary or expressions are used. Most of the Manchu words are appellations, or frequently used expressions, for example, “age” 阿哥 (boys in noble family), “baturu” 巴圖魯 (Manchu warrior), “olbo” 馬褂 (bannerman’s short coat), and “inu” 依挐 (yes), etc. In some cases, Wen Kang emphasizes the difference between the Manchu and Han appellations. In Chapter 15, Deng Jiugong 鄧九公 says to An Xuehai,
[Now] I know that the young master 少爺 [shaoye] has also come here. In Manchu families, he is called “age”.
Besides, Wen writes forty-one Han characters to represent the Manchu pronunciation of a complete sentence:
額扐基孫，霍窩扐博布烏杭哦，烏魔什鄂雍窩，孤倫寡依扎喀，得噁齋齋得噁圖業木布烏栖鄂珠窩喇庫 [ere gisun holbobuhangge umesi oyonggo. gurun guwai jakade jajai de tuyembuci ojorakū].
It means that “this sentence is the most important, and thus do not divulge it to other people.” This kind of writing is very rare throughout all Qing novels. Indeed, Wen has his purpose in doing so. First, this dialogue is about the emperor’s order. The Manchu words create a mysterious atmosphere of insider power. Second, An Xuehai’s image as a Manchu literatus becomes more impressive. In fact, this Manchu sentence appears in the last chapter and Wen Kang’s ethnic sentiment penetrates the whole book. He creates a group of Manchu characters, depicts their life-styles, and stresses that they are conscious of their common ethnic identity. In reality, in the nineteenth century, the Manchus became more “sinicized.” As a member of the Manchus, Wen uses his book to educate the bannermen not to forget their origin and culture.
Ernü yingxiong zhuan is a novel with profound meanings. As a Manchu elite, Wen Kang expresses his views on the future of the Qing regime and the Manchu ethnic group. On the one hand, he accepts Han culture and believes that pre-Qin Confucianism could be used to solve the political and social crisis of the dynasty; on the other hand, he cherishes Manchu culture and consciously takes responsibility to preserve it. The novel is full of Manchu ethnic consciousness, and embodies the interaction between Manchu and Han cultures. Its vivid depiction of Qing society, use of popular language, and unique fictional techniques should also be acknowledged. All of these characteristics make it distinctive among Qing novels. Therefore, Ernü yingxiong zhuan deserves more critical attention and its significance in Qing literature should be reassessed.
BibliographyCao Xueqin. 曹雪芹 Honglou Meng. 紅樓夢.2 vols. Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1974.
Cao Zhengwen. 曹正文. Zhongguo xia wenhuashi 中國俠文化史. Shanghai: Wenyi chubanche,
Crossley, Pamela Kyle. The Manchus. Cambridge and Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.
Dai Yi 戴逸, ed. Jianming Qingshi 簡明清史. 2 vols. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1995.
Doleželová-Velingerová, Milena, ed. The Chinese Novel at the Turn of the Century. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 1980.
Elliott, Mark Christopher. Resident Aliens: The Manchu Experience in China, 1644-1760. Ph.D. Dissertation: University of California, Berkeley, 1993.
Elman, Benjamin A. A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 2000.
En Hua 恩華. Baqiyiwen bianmu 八旗藝文編目. n.p., ca. 1930-1940 ed.
Epstein, Maram. Beauty is the Beast: The Dual Face of Woman in Four Ch’ing Novels. Ph.D. Dissertation: Princeton University, 1992.
Feng Menglong. Feng Menglong quanji 馮夢龍全集. Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1993.
Gimm, Martin. “Manzu wenxue shulue” 滿足文學述略. Manxue yanjiu 滿學研究 1 (1992): 195-207.
He Manzi 何滿子 and Li Shiren 李時人, eds. Ming Qing xiaoshuo jianshang cidian 明清小説鑑賞詞典 Zhejiang: Zhejiang guji, 1992.
Hou Jian 侯健. Zhongguo xiaoshuo bijiao yanjiu 中國小説比較研究. Taipei: Dongda tushu, 1983.
Huang, Martin W. “Sentiments of Desire: Thoughts on the Cult of Qing in Ming-Qing Literature.” Chinese Literature Essays Articles Reviews 20 (12/1998): 153-184.
Hu Yimin 胡益民 and Zhou Yueliang 周月亮. Rulin waishi yu Zhongguo shiwenhua 儒林外史與中國士文化. Hefei: Anhui daxue chubanshe, 1995.
Idema, W. L. Chinese Vernacular Fiction. Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1974.
Jin Qizong 金啓孮 and Zhang Jiasheng 張佳生, eds. Manzhu lishi yu wenhua jianbian 滿足歷史與文化簡編. Shenyang: Liaoning chubanshe, 1992.
Knoerle, Jeanne S. P. The Dream of the Red Chamber—A Critical Study. Bloomington & London: Indiana University Press, 1972.
Lee, Haiyan. “Love or Lust? The Sentimental Self in Honglou meng.” Chinese Literature Essays Articles Reviews 19 (12/1997): 85-111.
Levenson, Joseph R. Confucian China and Its Modern Fate. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1958.
Lin Wei 林薇. “Ernü yingxiong zhuan zuozhe Wen Kang jiashi, shengping ji zhushu kaolüe” 兒女英雄傳作者文康家世，生平及著述考略. Wenshi 文史 18 (1983): 233-246.
Liu, James J. Y. The Chinese Knight-Errant. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1967.
Liu Yeqiu 劉葉秋. “Du Ernü yingxiong zhuan” 讀兒女英雄傳. Manzu wenxue yanyiu 滿足文學研究 3 (1985): 22-26.
Li Zehou 李澤厚. Lunyu jindu 論語今讀. Hong Kong: Tiandi tushu, 1998.
Lu, Sheldon Hsiao-peng. From Historicity to Fictionality. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994.
Ma Jigao 馬積高. Qingdai xueshu sixiang de bianqian yu wenxue 清代學術思想的變遷與文學. Changsha: Hunan chubanshe, 1996.
McMahon, Keith. Misers, Shrews, and Polygamists: Sexuality and Male-Female Relations in Eighteenth-Century. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1995.
Meng Yao 孟瑤. Zhongguo xiaoshuo shi 中國小説史. Taipei: Wenxing shudian, 1966.
Mou Zongsan 牟宗三 and Tang Junyi 唐君毅, et al., eds. Jimo de xinrujia 寂寞的新瑞家. Taipei: E’hu chubanshe, 1996.
Naquin, Susan. Millenarian Rebellion in China—The Eight Trigrams Uprising of 1813. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976.
Ota, Tatsuo 太田辰夫. Manshū bungaku kō 滿洲文學考. Kobe: Kobe-shi Gaikokugo Daigaku Gaikokugaku Kenkyujo, 1976.
Rawski, Evelyn S. The Last Emperors—A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1998.
Rolston, David L. Traditional Chinese Fiction and Fiction Commentary. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.
Smith, Richard J. China’s Cultural Heritage: The Ch’ing Dynasty, 1644-1912. Colorado: Westview Press, 1983.
Spence, Jonathan D. Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-his Emperor; Bondservant and Master. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1966.
Teng Shaozhen 籐紹箴. Qingdai baqi zidi 清代八旗子弟. Beijing: Zhongguo huaqiao, 1989.
Wang Dongfang 王冬芳. “Zaoqi Manzu funü lisu de bianqian” 早期滿足婦女禮俗的變遷. Manzu wenhua 滿足文化 19 (5/1994): 74-81.
Wang Laiyin 汪萊茵. Qinggong cangzhao tanmi 清宮藏照探秘. Taipei: Huangguan wenhua. 1997.
Wang Zhonghan 王鍾翰, ed. Qingshi liezhuan 清史列傳. 20 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987.
Wei Jianxun 魏鑑勛. Mingzhu diechu—Qingdai xiaoshuo chuyi 名著迭出-清代小説芻議. Shenyang: Liaoning renmin, 1997.
Wen Kang 文康. Ernü yingxiong zhuan 兒女英雄傳. 2 vols. Shangdong: Qilu shushe, 1990.
Wright, Mary Clabaugh. The Last Stand of Chinese Conservatism: The T’ung-Chih Restoration, 1862-1874. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1967.
Wu Jingzi 吳敬梓. Rulin waishi 儒林外史. Shijiazhuang: Huashan wenyi, 1996.
Yang Xuechen 楊學琛 and Zhou Yuanlian 周遠廉. Qingdai baqi wanggong guizu xingshuaishi 清代八旗王公貴族興衰史. Shenyang: Liaoning renmin, 1986.
Yi Zhuxian 易竹賢, ed. Hu Shi lun Zhongguo gudian xiaoshuo 胡適論中國古典小説. Hubei: Changjiang wenyi chubanshe, 1987.
Ying Bicheng 應必誠. “Honglou meng yu Ern yingxiong zhuan” 紅樓夢與兒女英雄傳. Honglou meng yanjiu jikan 紅樓夢研究季刊 1 (1979): 107-128.
Yu, Anthony C. Rereading the Stone-Desire and the Making of Fiction in Dream of the Red
Chamber. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. —————. “History, Fiction and the Reading of Chinese Narrative.” Chinese Literature Essays Articles Reviews 10 (7/1988): 1-19.
Zhang Bing 張兵.Wen Kang yu Ernü yingxiong zhuan 文康與兒女英雄傳. Shenyang: Liaoning jiaoyu, 1992.
Zhang Guofeng 張國風. Rulin waishi jiqi shidai 瑞林外史及其時代. Taipei: Weijin chubanshe, 1993.
Zhao Lian 照槤. Xiaoting zalu 嘯亭雜錄. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997.
Zhao Zhizhong 趙志忠 and Ji Yonghai 季永海. “Ernü yingxiong zhuan de Manyu yuhui tese” 兒女英雄傳的滿語語匯特色. Manzu wenxue yanjiu 滿足文學研究 3 (1985): 32-35.
Zhou Zuoren 周作人. Zhou Zuoren zixuan jingpingji-fanhou suibi 周作人自選精品集-飯後隨筆.2 vols. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin, 1994.
Zhuo Ru 卓如, ed. Bing Xin juan-Ai he mei de gengyun 冰心卷—愛和美的耕耘. Shenzhen: Haitian chubanshe, 1999.
1. The earliest published edition is that of 1878 before which the novel circulated in manuscript form. The edition used here is the 1990 Qilu shushe edition of Ernü yingxiong zhuan, with Dong Xun's 董恂 (1807-1892) comments and Er Gong's 爾弓 annotations (Hereafter ENYXZ). According to Li Xuanbo 李玄伯, Wen Kang was born in the early Daoguang era (1821-1850) and died in the early Guangxu era (1875-1908). Yet Qi Rushan 齊如山 believed that Wen was alive during the Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820) and Daoguang periods, and was possibly born in the Qianlong era (1736-1795). The Japanese scholar Ota Tatsuo 太田辰夫 infers that Wen was born around the third year of the Jiaqing period (1798). According to Er Gong's postface to the ENYXZ, Wen Kang was born around 1798 and died between 1866 and 1877. The novel supposedly had fifty-three chapters, but the last thirteen have been lost. See the Ma Congshan 馬從善 and Wuliaoweng 吾了翁 (pseud.), “Prefaces,” ENYXZ, pp. 1 and 5.
2. Martin Gimm classifies Manchu literature into two realms: first, the literary works were written by the Manchus and in Manchu language (Manzu Manyu wenxue 滿足滿語文學), which includes folk songs, the Qing emperors' eulogies, and the translation of Han literature; second, the literary works were written by Manchu elite in Han language, which includes the poetry, novels, lyric songs, proses, etc. See Martin Gimm, “Manzu wenxue shulue” 滿足文學述略, Manxue yanjiu 滿足研究 1 (1992): pp. 206-207.
6. In the Qing dynasty, some Confucian scholars found it possible to accommodate Buddhist ideas by viewing them in Confucian fashion. See Richard J. Smith, China's Cultural Heritage: The Ch'ing Dynasty, 1644-1912 (Colorado: Westview Press, 1983), p. 136.
9. See “Preface,” ENYXZ, pp. 3-4. This preface was written by Guanjian wozhai 觀鑑我齋 who could be Wen Kang himself. He said that Honglou meng's interpretation of qing deviated from Confucian orthodoxy. For Wen Kang's criticism of Honglou meng, see Part Two. For an investigation about the identity of Guanjian wozhai, see Lin Wei 林薇, “Ernü yingxiong zhuan zuozhe Wen Kang jiashi, shengping ji zhushu kaohie” 兒女英雄傳作者文康家世，生平及著述考略, Wenshi 文史 18 (1983): p. 241.
16. Princess Hexiao was the youngest daughter of the Qianlong emperor. She practiced archery, and accompanied her father on the hunt. Emperor Qianlong was fond of her. See Zhao Lian 照槤, Xiaoting zalu 嘯亭雜錄 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), p. 515. See also Wang Laiyin 汪萊茵, Qinggong cangzhao tanmi 清宮藏照探秘 (Taipei: Huangguan wenhua, 1997), pp. 50-55.
18. In the string-like compositional pattern, one self-contained novella-motif follows another, and all of them are connected by the unity of the main acting characters. See Milena Doleželová-Velingerová, ed., The Chinese Novel at the Turn of the Century (Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 1980), pp. 40-41.
24. He also uses the word “jianjia” 間架 (frame) to describe the overall structure of the novel. See ENYXZ, p. 318. For the discussion of the narrator who functions as a fiction commentator, see David L. Rolston, Traditional Chinese Fiction and Fiction Commentary (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), pp. 309-310.
29. For non-Confucian thought in Honglou meng, see Jeanne S. P. Knoerle, The Dream of the Red Chamber-A Critical Study (Bloomington & London: Indiana University Press, 1972), pp. 134-143. For the Buddhist ideas in Honglou meng, see Anthony C. Yu, Rereading the Stone-Desire and the Making of Fiction in Dream of the Red Chamber (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), pp. 116-171.
30. For the discussion of the relationship between qing and yu in Honglou meng, see Haiyan Lee, “Love or Lust? The Sentimental Self in Honglou meng,” Chinese Literature Essays Articles Reviews 19 (12/1997): pp. 85-111. Anthony Yu's Rereading the Stone contains many interesting discussions of the issue of qing as explored in Honglou meng. See Yu, pp. 53-109.
35. For the Qing's military system in the nineteenth century, see Mary Clabaugh Wright, The Last Stand of Chinese Conservatism: The T'ung-Chih Restoration, 1862-1874 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1967), p. 197.
36. For the bannermen's degeneration after the Qinglong reign, see Teng Shaozhen 籐紹箴, Qingdai baqi zidi 清代八旗子弟 (Beijing: Zhongguo huaqiao, 1989), pp. 250-278; also Yang Xuechen 楊學琛, and Zhou Yuanlian 周遠廉, Qingdai baqi wanggong guizu xingshuaishi 清代八旗王公貴族興衰史 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin, 1986), pp. 345-361.
39. ENYXZ, p. 787. For translation, see Keith McMahon, Misers, Shrews, and Polygamists: Sexuality and Male-Female Relations in Eighteenth-Century (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1995), p. 279.
45. For example, he forgives An Ji who takes Zhang Jinfeng as a wife without his permission, and he emphasizes his daughter-in-law's moral quality rather than her social and economic status. He also respects his own teacher. He supports his son to be a local official which reflects his loyalty to the emperor.
46. An Xuehai does not always stick to conventions. For example, although An Ji and Zhang Jinfeng are not well-matched in social and economic status and their marriage does not follow traditional marriage rites, An Xuehai accepts them. As an intellectual, he also shows his respect to the knight-errant Deng Jiugong and praises Thirteenth Sister's chivalrous behavior. See ENYXZ, pp. 229, and 278-310.
49. “Pinghua” is a form of Chinese popular fiction preserved in the manuscripts of storytellers. It appeared in the Tang dynasty and prevailed in the Song and Yuan dynasties. For storytelling during the Song and Yuan, see W. L. Idema, Chinese Vernacular Fiction (Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1974), pp. 4-11. For storytelling in the Qing dynasty, see Zhang Bing, pp. 55-56.
52. For Meng Yao's comments, see Meng Yao 孟瑤, Zhongguo xiaoshuo shi 中國小説史 (Taipei: Wenxing shudian, 1966), vol. 4, p. 591; for Bing Xin's view, see Zhuo Ru 卓如, ed., Bing Xin juan-Ai he mei de gengyun 冰心卷—愛和美的耕耘 (Shenzhen: Haitian chubanshe, 1999), p. 298.
55. The White Lotus uprising began in 1796 and lasted for eight years. The Eight Trigrams uprising in northern China occurred in 1813. In 1839, the Opium War began. For the White Lotus uprising, see Dai Yi 戴逸 ed., Jianming Qingshi 簡明清史 (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1995), vol. 2, pp. 407-431. For the Eight Trigrams uprising, see Susan Naquin, Millenarian Rebellion in China-The Eight Trigrams Uprising of 1813 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976), pp. 121-184. For the Opium War, see Pamela Kyle Crossley, The Manchus (Cambridge and Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997), pp. 154-157.
56. For Lin Zexu and Gong Zizhen's thought, see Ma, pp. 252-253, and 256-257. For Zeng Guofan's political views, see Joseph R. Levenson, Confucian China and Its Modern Fate (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1958), pp. 54-57. For other Qing literati who hold similar assertion, see Benjamin A. Elman, A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 572-573.
59. Yi, p. 468. See also Zhang Bing, p. 24. In 1723, Nian Gengyao was given the title of General for Fuyuan 撫遠 (Distant Pacification) and suppressed a revolt in Qinghai. Because he abused his power, he was ordered by imperial command to commit suicide in 1726. For Nian's official biography, see Wang Zhonghan 王鍾翰, ed., Qingshi liezhuan 清史列傳 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), vol. 4, pp. 924-936.
67. According to Lin Anwu's 林安梧 classification, Confucianism can be divided into three categories, which are Critical Confucianism 批判性的儒學, or Original Confucianism, Imperial Confucianism 帝制式儒學, and Lively Confucianism 生活化儒學. See Lin Anwu, “Wusi qianhou de Zhongguo ruxue” 五四前後的中國儒學, Jimo de xinrujia, p. 96.
68. See Hu Yimin 胡益民, “Kang Yong Qian shiqi xiaoshuo ‘fanlixue’ qingxiang zonglun” 康雍乾時期小説“反理學”傾向綜論, Hu Yimin, and Zhou Yueliang 周月亮, Rulin waishi yu Zhongguo shiwenhua 儒林外史與中國士文化 (Hefei: Anhui daxue chubanshe, 1995), p. 202.
81. An Xuehai's nickname is Erdazi 二韃子. During the Qing, Han people only called the Manchus and Mongolia as dazi. See Ota Tatsuo 太田辰夫, Manshū bungaku kō 滿洲文學考 (Kobe: Kobe-shi Gaikokugo Daigaku Gaikokugaku Kenkyujo, 1976), p. 66.