Literature Courses

Sunday, March 7, 2021
Stephen Roddy
Repeatedly banned, burned, and (verbally) blasted by authorities from its first printing around 1609 through to the present day, Jin Ping Mei is a transgressive text par excellence. Even today its circulation remains controversial: two recent scholarly editions (of 1985 and 2008) expurgate approximately 4300 words (helpfully showing the size and location of each offending passage). Although the novel’s scandalous reputation rests largely on its explicit descriptions of sexual acts, these erotic interludes are interspersed with other unseemly behavior, including gluttony, drunkenness, political and moral corruption, physical violence, and...
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