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Scribes of GastronomyRepresentations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature$
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Isaac Yue and Siufu Tang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139972

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139972.001.0001

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Tasting the Lotus

Tasting the Lotus

Food, Drink and the Objectification of the Female Body in Gold, Vase, and Plum Blossom

(p.97) 7 Tasting the Lotus
Scribes of Gastronomy

Isaac Yue

Hong Kong University Press

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the literary significance of food in Jinpingmei cihua by exploring such issues as the role of food in the minds of the Mings, the reasons behind the novelist's obsession with it, and authorial intention in connecting food with concepts such as lust and moral corruption. By identifying the patterns behind the staging of copious representations of food within the novel and the way these stagings echo various contemporary conventional ways of thinking, demonstrates that the plot of Jin was intentionally set up by its author to revolve around a network of food metaphors the connotations of which were easily understood by the contemporary readership. By doing so, this chapter attempts to provide a fresh perspective to the cultural and social significance of the novel.

Keywords:   Jin ping mei, Objectification, Female body, Food, Literature, Culture, China

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