The Tapestry of Popular Songs in 16th- and 17th-Century China
Popular songs in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century China form a rich and intriguing body of materials hardly studied so far in the English-speaking world. This book is about these songs and their impact on Chinese culture and literary practice.
It examines the tapestry books in which popular songs circulated, how books shaped readers, how books were shaped by a range of literacies, and how arrangements of performance-texts aided imitation and selection of words or phrases.
Publishing histories of the popular song collections bring to light how songs were duplicated for readers among the elite and sub-elite. The analysis of how popular songs bring together the "high" and the "low" is of special value for literary scholars and intellectual historians, and challenges the traditonal dichotomy between elite and popular culture.